Boost for County Limerick as luxury liner drops anchor in Foynes

Norma Prendiville

Reporter:

Norma Prendiville

SHANNON Development says it is hoping to build on the successful visit of the Sliver Whisper cruise liner to Foynes Port this week.

SHANNON Development says it is hoping to build on the successful visit of the Sliver Whisper cruise liner to Foynes Port this week.

The visit of the ultra-luxurious vessel marked the start of the 2012 cruise season which Shannon Development and other tourism promoters hope will prove even more lucrative this year.

To mark the event, Shannon Development’s John Crowe made a special on-board presentation to the ship’s captain, Alessandro Zanello.

Noting the significance of the visit, Mr Crowe said that Shannon Development had been working actively with the Shannon Foynes Port Company to develop the cruise-liner business in the region “We are marketing Foynes and the Shannon region as a destination of choice,” Mr Crowe said.

“We have been in discussions with Silversea for a number of years and we are delighted to welcome the Silver Whisper to Foynes Port at the start of the 2012 cruise season.”

“The cruise ship business is estimated to be worth €60 million to the Irish economy annually,” Mr Crowe continued. “Spectacular countryside, a wide variety of day visitor attractions and activities including excursions to Adare, Limerick City, Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and the magnificient Cliffs of Moher, highlight the attractiveness of Foynes Port and the Shannon Region as a “must see” destination on the European cruise circuit.”

The Silver Whisper is part of the Silversea fleet which has been purpose-built for the ultra-luxury market, establishing a new class of smaller and more intimate vessels.

These elite vessels were specifically designed for fewer guests, more space and the highest levels of personalised service.

The Silver Whisper is a 28,200 tonne vessel with a length of 182 metres. It has capacity for 284 guests and is operated by Italian officers, European staff and an international crew totalling 295 in all, resulting in a very high crew to passenger ratio.