Cruise Tourism in Ireland 2010 [pdf, 1.1MB]

03 January 2011

Market size attributed to cruise tourism in Ireland

While figures have been declining in the tourism industry overall, cruise tourism has experienced year-on-year growth since 1990. The number of cruise ship passengers and crew travelling to Ireland has increased by over 200% in the last decade, from 64,376 to 204,489. This growth has come about through both an increase in the number of cruise ship visits, and in the number of vessels with a higher passenger capacity. If future trends reflect recent experiences, the Irish cruise market has potential for substantial growth in the coming years.

Profile of Cruise Ships and Passengers Arriving in Ireland

  • Three out of every five cruise ships arriving in Ireland, originated in Britain.

  • A further 24% of ships commenced their cruise in Northern Europe, with 11% in Germany.

  • Over half the cruise ships arriving to our shores have capacity for over 2,000 passengers and are of a 4 - 4.5 star rating.

  • Four out of five cruises are in the early to middle stage of their itinerary when they arrive at Ireland, with the majority of cruises lasting between eight and 12 nights.

  • Country of residence of over a third of passengers is British. North Americans account for 37% of passengers to Ireland, with the majority of these on a fly-cruise originating in Britain.

  • 55% of passengers are aged 60+, cruise ships have also started to attract a younger age profile and this is reflected in the fact that almost one in five passengers arriving on cruise ships to Ireland are under 44 years of age.

  • Average number of cruises taken by passengers to Ireland is 4.3 cruises. Only 14% of respondents are on their first cruise, with almost one in five respondents having taken over 10 previous cruises.

  • Of repeat cruise passengers, almost half had taken their last cruise within the past 12 months and a third had taken a cruise between one and two years ago.

  • Almost a quarter of passengers have ancestral ties to Ireland, and one in five has friends or family living here.