Waterford city, along with Belview and Dunmore East will welcome 20 cruise ships between April and September, with double that number expected to sail our way come Summer 2011.
Upbeat Port of Waterford officials, in regular contact with both the City Council and Chamber of Commerce, believe the Waterford Crystal revival on The Mall is already having the desired effect.
“This is fantastic news for Waterford,” said Waterford Chamber Chief Executive Michael Garland.
“Combining the estimated flow of tourists into the city from the cruise ship visits along with those who will visit the new Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre; there could be as many as 100,000 tourists in the city centre over the next few months.”
The 2011 season is already taking an even more positive shape, with an estimated 400,000 people set to be drawn into the city thanks to the Tall Ships Race.
“Given that the Crystal Centre will be well bedded-in come the summer after next, it’s reasonable to assume that it will attract well over 100,000 visitors again, maybe as many as 150,000,” said Mr Garland.
“Combine that with the anticipated visitor numbers for the Tall Ships Race and we’re going to have a buzzing city centre full of visitors who will hopefully spread the word about Waterford when they return home. It’s a tremendously exciting prospect.”
The ships scheduled to berth range from the 72-metre Ocean Nova, set to lower anchor off Dunmore East on April 22nd, to the 285-metre Westerdam, due to arrive at Dunmore on August 5th.