Award Winning, Luxury Sailing Ship Docked in Dún Laoghaire Harbour
An award winning, luxury sailing ship is docked in Dún Laoghaire Harbour today (18.07.2013). The Wind Surf – a five masted sailing ship – is scheduled to embark 300 guests and disembark 280 guests in Dún Laoghaire ahead of a ten day Gaelic Explorer cruise which includes the Isle of Man, Portrush in Antrim as well as Stromness, Invergordon, Peterhead and Edinburgh in Scotland.
The Wind Surf is using Dún Laoghaire as a turnaround port meaning that guests will embark and disembark in Dún Laoghaire. Turnaround ports often enjoy additional economic benefits as guests use local services such hotels and restaurants before and after their cruise.
Speaking about the visit, CEO of Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company, Gerry Dunne, said: “The Wind Surf is using Dún Laoghaire Harbour as an turnaround port which augurs well for our plans to develop the harbour as the key port along the east coast for cruise visits. Clearly, the cruise tourism sector has great potential to deliver significant economic benefit to Dún Laoghaire, the Greater Dublin area and the country in general.”
“Ireland has recently begun to capitalise on the cruise tourism market and over the last few years has succeeded in attracting a growing number of visits by cruise liners. In 2013, Dún Laoghaire Harbour is expecting to handle a record 14 cruise ship calls from cruise line customers including P&O, Cunard and Windstar Cruises, bringing potentially up to 30,000 passengers and crew ashore. This is up from just 200 passengers in 2012.”
“However, the number of trips to Ireland represents a very small share of this potential market and the opportunity exists to grow this business to the Irish economy very significantly. We are working together with the Dún Laoghaire Cruise Stakeholder Group to engage in an energetic marketing campaign, particularly in the United States, to enable Dún Laoghaire to tap into this lucrative market.”
As part of the Stakeholder Group, Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company has initiated a Pre-Application Consultation with An Bord Pleanála under Section 37 of the Planning and Development Act, 2000 in regard to proposals for the construction of a new quay in Dún Laoghaire Harbour to cater for vessels of up to c.340m long. This will ensure that the harbour is also capable of catering for the ‘new generation’ of larger cruise vessels. Under the recently published National Ports Policy, Dún Laoghaire has been designated as a centre for marine related tourism and recreational activities.
The Wind Surf is the largest ship in the Windstar Cruises fleet which operates five sailing yachts known for their luxurious amenities and unique ports of call. Carrying 312 guests and 191 international staff, The Wind Surf has a remarkable seven triangular, self-furling, bridge operated sails.