The Dun Laoghaire Harbour Masterplan, published in 2011, identified the need to develop strategies to ensure the long term future of the harbour, in view of the declining importance of ferry traffic. Development of cruise business was identified as one of the opportunities to be pursued. In addition, Dún Laoghaire is designated as a marine tourism port under the Government’s National Ports Policy and the development of the cruise business fits into this framework.
Since the publication of the Masterplan, significant progress has been made in attracting cruise business to Dun Laoghaire and this year we will have most successful cruise season ever, with a total of 22 ships expected, bringing up to 100,000 passengers and crew to the town.
The cruise industry is an important and growing sector of the tourism market. Cruise ships are getting bigger in size, offering more facilities to passengers, but requiring deeper water and longer berths of accommodate them. Over 50% of new ships currently on order are over 300m in length. At present Cobh is the only port in Ireland that can accommodate these vessels. Cruise ships want to be able to dock and allow passengers to disembark directly on to a quay, rather than being taken ashore by tender. If facilities are not put in place, Ireland risks losing out on the rapidly expanding cruise tourism market.
The expansion and development of the cruise business would offer significant economic benefits to Dún Laoghaire and the surrounding areas. These would include expenditure by disembarked passenger and crew; payments to excursion operators by cruise companies; harbour fees; and purchases by cruise ships of local supplies while in harbour.
Against this background the Dun Laoghaire Cruise Stakeholder Group (made up of the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company; Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council; and the Dun Laoghaire BID Company) have prepared plans for the development of a new cruise berth facility that would enable the harbour to cater for this new generation of larger cruise vessels.
Details of the proposed development are available in PDF format here.
Also available is a list of answers to the most frequently asked questions here.
Click here for more information on the sailing effect space.
Please click here for a map of the areas in the harbour available to sailors post Cruise berth construction.
It is expected that a planning application for the new facility will be submitted to An Bord Pleanala by the end of April 2015. The application will be made by Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company on behalf of the Dun Laoghaire Cruise Stakeholder Group. The application must be made directly to An Bord Pleanala (rather than to the local authority) as the new facility falls within the definition of strategic infrastructure under the Planning and Development Acts.
In advance of the submission of the planning application, the Dun Laoghaire Stakeholder Group is anxious to hear the views of harbour stakeholders and the general public and all submissions or comments made will be carefully considered before the application is finalised.
Observations or comments can be submitted by email to email@example.com or by post to Jean Finnegan, Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, Harbour Lodge, Crofton Rd, Dun Laoghaire, anytime up to 5pm on Monday, 13th April 2015.