Tag: Dún Laoghaire

Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company (DLHC) confirms that Stena will not resume its ferry service on the Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead route


Wednesday, 4th February

Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company (DLHC) confirms that Stena will not resume its ferry service on the Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead route

Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company (DLHC) has today confirmed that a Stena seasonal service from Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead will not be resuming.

According to Gerry Dunne, CEO of Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company: “While it is disappointing that a service will not be resuming for this forthcoming summer season, the Harbour Company is now seeking alternative providers to operate a seasonal service on the route.

“A call for Expressions of Interest in operating a seasonal service has been issued on eTenders by Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, and it is our hope that a replacement passenger service will be in place for 2016.  In recent months, the Harbour Company has received a number of informal approaches to operate the route, and we hope that these inquiries can now be advanced through a competitive tendering process.”

The Prior Information Notice is available here.

The importance of the passenger service business to Dun Laoghaire has declined in the past decade, and in particular over the past five years, where the service has been reduced to a seasonal operation.  By 2014, passenger numbers had declined to 141,652 compared with 1,719,853 passengers in 1998.

Up until recent days, DLHC and Stena have engaged in active discussions on the delivery of a seasonal service.  However, Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company understands that Stena was unable to secure a suitable vessel and have now decided not to resume operations on this route.

The Harbour Company has enjoyed a positive working relationship with Stena. In the event that Stena identifies a suitable vessel to meet passenger needs on the route, the Harbour Company would be receptive to any future approach from Stena.

Despite today’s announcement by Stena, job losses in DLHC are not envisaged in the harbour, due to the emergence of new commercial activities including the growing cruise business and the proposed Urban Beach.

It is estimated that Dun Laoghaire will attract 100, 000 cruise passengers and crew in 2015, with similar numbers expected for 2016 and 2017. A planning application under the Strategic Infrastructure Development Act for a new cruise berth for ‘next generation’ cruise ships will be submitted in the coming weeks to An Bord Pleanála.

The growing cruise business will have significant economic spin-off value for Dun Laoghaire and the wider hinterland. It is estimated that the spend of ferry passengers in the greater Dun Laoghaire area was approximately €800k in 2014.  By contrast, it is expected that cruise passengers arriving into Dun Laoghaire this year will spend approximately €7m. This will more than make up for any loss of revenue to the local businesses from ferry passengers.

Meanwhile, the important development projects in our Masterplan continue to be progressed.

A detailed proposal has been submitted to the Government in respect of the International Diaspora Centre, and a decision is awaited.  This world-class visitor attraction can now be accommodated in the Ferry Terminal building, providing a great opportunity to create a new, immediate, and cost-effective use of this 80,000 sq. ft. building.

Gerry Dunne commented: “It makes enormous commercial sense to locate the International Diaspora Centre in the Ferry Terminal Building.  Due to Stena’s decision, this building is available immediately”.

Planning permission for our Urban Beach has been granted by the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, and is now subject to appeal to An Bord Pleanala.

In the meantime, initial planning for the Residential Development on St Michael’s Pier is underway.  The Harbour Company is determined to have these projects up and running at the earliest possible time. The National Ports Policy, published in 2013 by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport in 2013 said that the long term future of the harbour would be ‘in terms of marine leisure, maritime tourism, cultural amenity and urban redevelopment’.  In light of the Stena decision, Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company looks forward to redoubling our efforts with our stakeholders – the local business community, the Minister for Transport and Tourism, and the local County Council – to ensure that the potential of our world-class harbour is fully reached as set out in our Masterplan.


CONTACT:  Catherine Heaney / Emily Brennan, DHR Communications @ 087-2309835 / 086-1658629 / 01-4200580.

Join in the Festive Fun at Dún Laoghaire Harbour this Christmas

Dún Laoghaire Harbour will be transformed into a winter wonderland this Christmas with a programme of magical events taking place at the harbour from 26th November until 23rd December 2014. Families are invited to get into the Christmas spirit by attending many of the events this festival has lined up at the harbour.

Santa Claus is coming to Town
What could make Christmas more enchanting than meeting Santa Claus himself? Enjoy an unforgettable line up of entertainment as Christmas celebrations kick off with Santa Claus’s arrival at 5.30pm on Saturday, 29th November at Harbour Plaza. Then the Christmas lights will be switched on and a breath-taking fireworks display over Dún Laoghaire Harbour will officially announce that Christmas in Dún Laoghaire is underway.

Magical Christmas Lantern Procession
The magical lantern procession will see children of all ages light up the street from the People’s Park to the East Pier on Saturday, 20th December at 4pm. The handmade willow and tissue paper lanterns come in all Christmas shapes and sizes. The procession, led by a group of drummers, will take the following route: Park Road; Upr. Georges Street; Marine Road; Queens Road; and the East Pier. It will be followed by a spectacular Fireworks display from the East Pier Lighthouse at 5pm.

Outside of the Harbour, other events taking place in Dún Laoghaire as part of the Christmas Festival include:

• Christmas Market at the Pavilion Quarter and DLR Lexicon.
• Free Treasure Hunts.
• Traditional Crib at St. Michael’s Church.
• Christmas Cookery and Craft School.
• SuperValu Trolley Dash.
• Santa Hat Record Attempt in aid of Barnardos.
• Authentic German Christmas Decoration Stall.

Speaking ahead of the Christmas Festival, Tim Ryan, Operations Manager at Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company said: “The Christmas season is a very special time of year. The Christmas Festival is one of the highlights of the year for the harbour and we are delighted to be a part of it.

“Dún Laoghaire is a perfect location for such a festival. Visitors can hop on the dart from the city centre or catch a bus from their nearest stop and enjoy a fun-filled day out soaking up the festive spirit overlooking the beautiful marina or taking a stroll on the pier.”

For more information on the Dún Laoghaire Christmas Festival 2014, please visit http://www.dunlaoghaire.ie/christmas-festival/.

Crowds turn out for RMS Queen Mary 2 maiden visit

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A spectacular welcome greeted the arrival of the world’s largest ocean liner when she berthed in Dún Laoghaire this morning (Thursday 16th May 2013).  A five star welcome saw 3,000 passengers greeted by a piper and Irish dancers, tour guides, free wireless and business offers after docking at the Old Coal Harbour.

The RMS Queen Mary II is the first of a flotilla of 14 floating visitors to dock in Dún Laoghaire this year, bringing over 30,000 cruise passengers, and generating an income of €3 million for the area. This compares with just 200 passengers arriving in the harbour in 2012.

The QM2 -the longest, tallest, widest and most expensive liner ever built – departed Greenock in Scotland for Dún Laoghaire on Wednesday evening and will continue her voyage this evening to Holyhead and Liverpool, followed by Invergordon, Stavanger in Norway and then Hamburg in Germany.

Over 35 nationalities from every continent in the world (including 6 from Ireland!) were represented among the passengers, with the majority coming from Germany (1,400) followed by the UK (760) and the US (200).

A ‘mini cruise-festival’ this afternoon (Thursday 16th May) will celebrate the Queen Mary 2 arrival with family entertainment,  boat trips circling the ship, face painting, a complimentary vintage bus, live music and dancing and special offers throughout the town.

Don McManus, Chairman of the Dún Laoghaire Business Association says excitement is rife among the Dún Laoghaire Business community: “The arrival of the Queen Mary 2 marks the beginning of a new era for Dún Laoghaire.  The business community has been hugely supportive in funding the cruise welcome and associated publicity.  The Queen Mary 2 alone will generate a spend in the region of €400,000 for the area. We have big plans to continue with the rapid development of the lucrative cruise market in the coming months and years.”

“The cruise ship market is the fastest-growing sector in the travel and leisure industry.  Globally, it is experiencing accelerated growth of 7.2 per cent per annum despite the tourism industry declining overall.    It generates direct spend in Ireland in excess of €20 million per annum, however this is a tiny fraction of the €27 billion the market is worth globally. “

“The continuous expansion of the market has increased demand for additional destinations for cruise line operators.  By responding to the high standards set out by the cruise companies, Dún Laoghaire is capitalising on this opportunity and we anticipate rapid year on year growth for Dún Laoghaire in the industry.”

Research conducted by Fáilte Ireland in 2010 revealed that over 80% of passengers disembarking in Ireland considered Ireland an important destination in their itinerary.  The opportunity is enormous.  Dún Laoghaire is seizing this opportunity.   By responding to what they want, we will attract the business.”

The initiative is supported by Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Co. Council and the Dún Laoghaire Business Association.

Visit of Queen Mary II a Milestone in Development of Dún Laoghaire as Cruise Centre


Today (Thursday, May 16th) marks a significant milestone in the development of Dún Laoghaire Harbour as a location for visits by cruise ships, with the arrival this morning of the Queen Mary II, flagship vessel of the famous Cunard line.

Around 3,000 passengers and 1,000 crew were on the vessel that arrived at 7.00am and will remain moored off the harbour until around 6.00pm this evening. Six further cruise vessels are expected to visit Dún Laoghaire Harbour over the next two months with a total of 14 expected over the full season.

Speaking after the arrival of the Queen Mary II this morning, the CEO of Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company, Gerry Dunne, said: “This is an historic day for Dún Laoghaire Harbour and augurs well for our plans to develop the harbour as the key port along the east coast for cruise visits.”

“The cruise line business is a growing market sector in the tourism industry. Ireland has recently begun to capitalise on this market and over the last few years has succeeded in attracting a growing number of visits by cruise liners. 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.”

“Working with the Dún Laoghaire Cruise Stakeholder Group the Harbour Company has engaged in a vigorous marketing campaign, particularly in the United States, to enable Dún Laoghaire to tap into this lucrative market.”

“To ensure that the harbour is also capable of catering for the ‘new generation’ of larger cruise vessels, the Stakeholder Group 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 is entirely consistent with the designation of Dún Laoghaire under the recently published National Ports Policy as a centre for marine related tourism and recreational activities.”

“The visit of the Queen Mary II shows the potential of this sector of tourism to deliver significant economic benefit to DúnLaoghaire, the Greater Dublin area and the country in general”.

Preparations for the RMS Queen Mary II


Huge preparations underway as Dún Laoghaire gears up for mini-cruise fest to celebrate arrival of world’s largest ocean liner – the RMS Queen Mary II

  • Magnificent QM2 arrives at 7am approx
  • FREE Vintage bus from Dún Laoghaire to Glasthule from 10am
  • Boat trips out to circle QM2 with Dublin Bay Cruises (see www.dublinbaycruises.com)
  • Face painting at St. Michael’s Church from 2pm
  • Street music and dancing at St. Michael’s Church from 2pm
  • Special offers throughout the town
  • First of 14 cruise arrivals to Dún Laoghaire this year

Major preparations are underway in Dún Laoghaire as the town gears up for a mini-cruise festival to celebrate this Thursday’s gala arrival of the largest ocean liner in the world – the RMS Queen Mary II.

The spectacular cruise ship carrying 3,000 passengers and 1,200 crew will berth in Dún Laoghaire for the first time ever at 7am this Thursday (16th May 2013).

A five star welcome will see passengers greeted by a piper and Irish dancers as they embark at the old coal harbour from 7am.

The Dún Laoghaire Cruise Stakeholders’ Group has also installed an advanced wireless facility in Dún Laoghaire so passengers, residents and visitors to the town can enjoy extensive free internet access throughout Dún Laoghaire extending as far as the cruise ship itself during their stay.

A ‘mini cruise-festival’ for both cruise and domestic visitors on the day will include family entertainment, boat trips circling the Queen Mary, face painting, a complimentary vintage bus and live music and dancing and special offers throughout the town.

A new IPhone app for visitors to Dún Laoghaire will launch this Thursday morning (16th May 2013) in time the arrival of over 4,000 cruise passengers at 7am.  The ‘CityShopper’ app will offer discounts on tourist attractions, special offers in bars and restaurants and retail deals to visitors to Dún Laoghaire from this week.

Don McManus, Chairman of the Dún Laoghaire Business Association says excitement is rife among the Dún Laoghaire Business community:

“The arrival of the Queen Mary II on Thursday marks the beginning of a new era for Dún Laoghaire.  The business community has been hugely supportive in funding the cruise welcome and associated publicity.  We have big plans to continue with the rapid development of the lucrative cruise market in the coming years. Last year saw the arrival of just two cruise ships carrying 300 crew and passengers.  Following the establishment of a Dún Laoghaire Cruise Stakeholder Group and an aggressive international marketing strategy, this year we will welcome fourteen cruise ships with over 30,000 passengers and crew!”

The initiative is supported by Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Co. Council and the Dún Laoghaire Business Association.

Dún Laoghaire Welcomes Six Cruise Ships from May – July 2013


Up to six cruise vessels are expected to use the facilities at Dún Laoghaire from May – July this year, bringing potentially up to 15,000 passengers and crew ashore. The highlight of the season is likely to be the visit on Thursday, 16th May of the Queen Mary II – the flagship vessel of the famous Cunard Line – with 3,000 passengers and several hundred crew members aboard.

In addition to the Queen Mary II, Dún Laoghaire will be welcoming five more cruise ships from May – July 2013 on:

  • Wednesday, 22nd May
  • Tuesday, 7th July
  • Wednesday, 17th July
  • Thursday, 18th July
  • Friday, 26th July

One of the objectives of the Dún Laoghaire Harbour Master Plan, published in 2011, was to enhance Dún Laoghaire’s attractiveness as a gateway for tourists to Ireland by offering state-of- the-art berthing and terminal facilities to ferry and cruise operators.

For more information, please visit https://dlharbour.ie/visit-us/cruise/

The Shackleton Endurance Exhibition

Relive the true life story of Irish-born explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic expedition of 1914-1917 at the Shackleton Endurance Exhibition in Dún Laoghaire.

On display are over 150 photographs taken by the Expedition photographer Frank Hurley, a full size exact replica of the James Caird; the lifeboat that proved so critical to the rescue, and much more. The exhibition is open daily from 11am – 5pm and is based in The Ferry Terminal Building until November 2014.
For more information, please visit http://www.shackletonexhibition.com/.