Galway City Tribune – The Harbour Company is targeting massive cruise ships such as the MV Britannia and Queen Mary 2 – which hold 7,000 passengers between them – to dock in Galway Bay.
Harbour Master Captain Brian Sheridan said he had “excellent feedback” from the Carnival Group (which operates the P&O Cruises and Cunard brands) after his decision last year to hire a ferry to act as a tender to bring passengers ashore, making the service less weather-dependent.
BY MARTHA BRENNAN AND ENDA CUNNINGHAM
“I’m trying to get the Britannia (4,300 passengers and 1,400 crew) and to build up to the Queen Mary 2 liner (2,700 passengers and 1,250 crew). She’s so large, she would need very deep water, so would need to dock off Salthill, off the diving tower.
“Captain Steven Young [Carnival Group’s Vice-President of Port Operations] in Southampton is so happy with the way things went with the Oriana in Galway last August (1,900 passengers and 800 crew), there has been great feedback, so we’re working hard to get bigger and bigger,” said Captain Sheridan.
Galway had been reliant on calm weather conditions to bring passengers ashore on a tender (which holds 80 people), but a number of trips ashore had to be cancelled in recent years due to strong winds.
Last year, Capt Sheridan decided to hire a ferry to bring 300 passengers a time from the cruise ships into the Docks, and the larger vessel is far less susceptible to inclement weather conditions.
Meanwhile, Galway is set for another tourism boost this Summer, when around 9,000 passengers come ashore from thirteen separate cruise ships.
To read the rest of this article and for details on all the cruise ships due in Galway this year, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.