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‘Setting Sail with Ambition’ – Port of Cork Company marks the start of the Annual Cruise Season



The Port of Cork Company (PoCC) is pleased to announce the official start of the 2024 cruise season with the arrival of the first cruise ship, the Ambition, operated by Ambassador Cruise Line, today, Thursday, April 4th 2024. As the Ambition docks on its maiden voyage to Cork Harbour, as part of its 12 day ‘Easter British Isles Discovery’ round-trip, it signals the beginning of what promises to be a bumper year for the cruise industry in Cork.

The 2024 Cruise Liner Schedule indicates a 10% increase in vessels expected to visit the Port of Cork this year with an impressive 103 cruise vessels scheduled to arrive between April and November 2024. Additionally, 24 cruise liners are expected to visit Bantry Bay Harbour this year, up from nine cruise ships last year.

Cruise tourism continues to be a significant contributor to the local economy, estimated to generate €17 million in revenue. Onshore spending averages at €81 per passenger and €29 per crewperson, highlighting the substantial economic benefits for the region.

The cruise season also brings great excitement, local tourism, and footfall as people and families can appreciate the sheer size of vessels from the deepwater quay in Cobh. This year’s shipping schedule which is available online includes vessels that will travel to Cork from a wide range of countries including the US and Canada and from all over Europe.

As is tradition with all maiden vessels arriving at the Port, a plaque exchange took place on board between the captain of the ship and Port of Cork Company representatives. Sailing under the flag of Bahamas with 680 cabins and a capacity for 1200 guests, the Ambition stands at 709ft in length with a draft of 23ft, showcasing the grandeur of modern cruise vessels. The Ambition’s arrival sets the stage for a diverse lineup of cruise ships expected throughout the season from all over the world.

Conor Mowlds, Chief Commercial Officer at the Port of Cork Company and Chairperson of Cruise Ireland expressed his excitement about the upcoming season, stating, “The official start of the 2024 cruise season marks an exciting time for Cork. We are thrilled to welcome the Ambition for the first time to the port and look forward to many other maiden calls this year. We hope all passengers and crew enjoy their experience. The surge in cruise calls this year reflects the collaborative efforts between the Port of Cork and our local partners, demonstrating our commitment to delivering exceptional services and experiences for local visitors, passengers and crew.”

Captain of the Ambition, Oleksii Varyvoda, stated, “It’s a pleasure to dock in picturesque Cobh for the first time and experience the warm welcome of this charming town. My fellow crew and passengers look forward to exploring the local cultural sights and experiencing the hospitality of Cork City and County while on this short visit.”

Toddy Stafford, President of Cobh and Harbour Chamber, shared his anticipation for the bustling year ahead.“The official start of the cruise season is always an exciting time. Each visiting vessel offers invaluable economic benefit to Cobh and the wider region. Tourism is now the new big industry here – the footfall from visiting vessels and visitors to the town is enormous and offers a boost to the local traders and community. We are deeply indebted to the Port of Cork to make sure the cruise liners come in and we are delighted to collaborate closely to help maximise the impact on the local economy.”

The Port of Cork’s cruise schedule is available to view at

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