Ahead of the busy 2013 cruise season, the Port of Cork today announced details of their sister seaport agreement with PortMiami, the “Cruise Capital of the World”. The sister seaport agreement will benefit the Port of Cork and PortMiami in collaborating on the exchange of information and ideas, with the intended aim of increasing both cargo and cruise trade between ports.

The Port of Cork can learn a lot from PortMiami, particularly on increasing the number of cruise calls to Cork. On average Port Miami welcomes 4million cruise passengers annually and has seven cruise terminals, while this year the Port of Cork will welcome 60 cruise liners carrying in excess of 100,000 passengers and crew to the region.

Over the last 10 years, the Port of Cork has invested €8 million in upgrading and improving cruise facilities and this has made a major impact on the number of calls, increasing from 35 in 2005 to 60 this year. The Port of Cork has high aims to grow the number of cruise calls to 80 over the next five years and to increase turn-around calls and overnight stays. Learning from PortMiami and sharing knowledge and industry information will assist the Port of Cork in achieving these goals.

The cruise business in Cork is very important for the local economy and increasing calls and overnight stays will help to generate further revenue for the region.

Other benefits of signing a Sister Seaport agreement for both ports are;

• Commitment to a free and uninhibited exchange of information regarding the cargo and cruise industries in each port, and general marketing research aimed at increasing cruise and cargo traffic between ports.

• Forming groups that exchange security information with the aim of strengthening the safety of ports worldwide

• Assisting in the implementation of educational programs that will help foster goodwill between ports

• Global promotion of both the sister seaport relationship and the advantages of doing business with the sister seaports

While the Port of Cork looks forward to a busy cruise season in 2013, Captain Michael McCarthy Port of Cork Commercial Manager says the sister seaport agreement with Port Miami means a lot for the Port and indeed Cork.

“We attended the largest ever cruise exhibition, Seatrade Miami earlier this year and we were delighted to sign the sister seaport agreement with PortMiami. The benefit of this mutual agreement means we can benchmark our cruise business with PortMiami who have extensive experience in operating cruise terminals. PortMiami is the “Cruise Capital of the World” and they operate very successful turnaround calls for most of the large cruise lines and this is something the Port of Cork hopes to learn from in the future.”

Captain McCarthy continued: “In 2012 the Port of Cork had three successful turnaround calls from Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and MSC Cruises and we are aiming to extend this sector of the cruise business.”

All cruise vessels that call to Cork are given a very special welcome courtesy of CorkCruise, providing tourist representatives who go on board each vessel, a display of traditional Irish dancing for passengers and a fond farewell on the quayside with a performance by a local brass band. These efforts do not go unnoticed by the passengers and the cruise lines and in 2011 the Port of Cork was awarded two Cruise Insight Awards for ‘Best Shore Side Welcome’ and ‘Best Tour Guides’.

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