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Voice of the Commonwealth - The Global Influencer

Voice of the Commonwealth - The Global Influencer

3,000-passenger MSC Magnifica to berth in Cobh

IRELAND – The biggest cruise ship to visit Cork since Covid hit is due to berth in Cobh on, heralding the return of a tourism sector worth up to €17m annually to the local economy.

A carnival atmosphere is expected in the harbour town throughout the day to welcome the 294m-long, 16-deck 60m-high MSC Magnifica and her estimated 3,000 passengers and 1,000-plus crew, the second cruise liner to berth in Cobh in just a few days.

While the smaller Borealis ship arrived on Good Friday, the arrival just days later of one of the world’s largest and most luxurious cruise ships signals the real return of regular cruise ship business to Cork Harbour.

And it is showing strong signs of recovery, with confirmation from the Port of Cork that some 90 vessels are due to call to Cobh before the end of the season in October — almost close to pre-pandemic levels.

Johanna Murphy, president of Cobh and Harbour Chamber, said while the town benefitted from staycations over the last two years, it really missed the cruise liners.

“There is a real buzz in the town now that cruise ships are calling again, they are like a floating village on their own and we’ve missed them for the last two years.” she said.

Members of the Cobh Animation Team will be in period costumes around the town on Tuesday, and hotels and pubs have organised entertainment, with many hiring extra staff to cope with the expected influx of visitors.

Bus and coach operators are expecting strong demand for day-trips to various tourist attractions in Cork City and beyond.

Hendrick Verwey of Cobh Tourism, and Cobh Tidy Towns, said the arrival of such huge ships is a huge boost for the town and the wider region. 

And he said apart from the passenger and crew spend, the town gets a boost from those who arrive just to see the ships themselves.

“It’s a real spectacle, with many people coming to Cobh for the day to watch the ships berth and depart,” he said.

The MSC Magnifica, which is sailing from Hamburg, is due in Cobh about 1pm, and is set to depart about 8pm.

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