Dublin Port Company (DPC) has launched a public consultation on the future of cruise tourism at Dublin Port. To help inform the consultation process, DPC has published a discussion paper setting out key considerations to be addressed. DPC has also published the findings of an independent economic cost-benefit analysis by Indecon International Economic Consultants and recent research by Fáilte Ireland on expenditure by cruise tourists in Dublin.
The consultation, which opens on 22nd October 2019 and runs until 17th January 2020, seeks the views of stakeholders on the future development of cruise tourism in Dublin regarding a number of issues, including:
- The appetite of the City of Dublin for large-scale cruise tourism;
- Environmental considerations, specifically air emissions;
- The financial challenge of funding proposed new cruise berths.
The context for the consultation is Dublin Port’s Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR) Project, which is currently under construction. The final part of this project will involve building new berths suitable for the largest cruise ships at North Wall Quay Extension, east of the Tom Clarke Bridge. Construction is scheduled to start in 2024, meaning the new berths would be available for the cruise season of 2026.
Dublin Port Company (DPC) is developing Dublin Port on the basis of Masterplan 2040. This was first published in 2012 and reviewed and updated in 2018. The Masterplan envisages the redevelopment of North Wall Quay Extension (NWQE) to provide berths adjacent to the Tom Clark Bridge suitable for the largest of cruise ships.
Planning permission and other consents have been secured to develop these berths as part of the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR) Project. Construction of the ABR Project is underway and the development of the new cruise berths at NWQE is scheduled to start in 2024 with the new berths available for the cruise season of 2026. The financial challenge to DPC of the proposed cruise development was recognised explicitly in the Masterplan and this needs to be resolved if the project is to proceed.
In addition, over the seven years since DPC first set out its thinking on the development of cruise facilities in Dublin Port, a number of challenging issues have emerged which need to be resolved before DPC would proceed. These issues include air quality in Dublin and the appetite of the City to host a large cruise tourism business. The Masterplan has two linked objectives. Firstly, it seeks to provide capacity for growth in cargo volumes up to 2040 and, in doing this, to bring Dublin Port to its ultimate capacity. Secondly, it seeks to re-integrate the Port with the City.
The cruise consultation paper seeks the views of stakeholders on the proposed development to ensure that it would not compromise or undermine the Masterplan’s objective to re-integrate the Port with the City. Subject to the outcome of this consultation process, the next step for DPC will be to raise the finance required for the proposed development by way of a concession agreement with a cruise operator or operators.
Interested parties are invited to respond to the consultation document no later than 17th January 2020, either by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to:
Dublin Port Company
The consultation document, the Indecon Cost Benefit Analysis report and the Fáilte Ireland report on cruise passenger expenditure are all available to download here: