CRUISE ships berthing at Foynes this summer will boost the local economy by up to €500,000, Shannon Development has estimated.
And, says Margaret O’Shaughnessy of the Foynes Flying Boat Museum, it is an aspect of tourism with great potential and which can grow.
“Some 400 passengers from the Adonia visited the museum last Saturday, we were absolutely flat out “ she pointed out. And dozens more were ferried to Adare and to Newcastle West. “It was a fabulous day for Foynes – and a lot of local businesses benefited. The place was full of cars with people coming to see the ship.”
The Adonia, with its 700 passengers and 400 crew, is the second of five cruise liners scheduled to berth at Foynes this summer. The ship is part of the P&O fleet and has been extensively refurbished – and launched by Shirley Bassey earlier this year.
The first liner, a French cruise, Le Diament arrived last Thursday with some 200 passengers on board. A third cruiser, the Saga Spirit of Adventure arrived on Tuesday.
Aoife Cowman, projects and promotions executive with Shannon Development said that Foynes is “the main cruise port destination on Ireland’s West Coast.”
“ Shannon Development, in association with the Shannon Foynes Port Company, have worked proactively to market the area as a destination of choice for cruise ships, highlighting the attractiveness of the on-shore product.”
“Spectacular countryside, a wide variety of day visitor attractions and activities including excursions to Adare, Limerick City, Bunratty Castle & Folk Park and the magnificient Cliffs of Moher, make the Shannon Region an ideal destination on the European cruise circuit,” Ms Cowman said.