Dublin Port has outlined plans to once again grow cruise calls from 2024/25, following a controversial policy to limit ship visits.
Port authorities announced plans last month to restrict the yearly number of calls to the Irish capital to about 80 from 2021 – almost half as many as in 2018.
As part of the restrictions, only two large vessels per week will be allowed during the summer season and one per week in the winter, while turnarounds will be abolished.
In a briefing sent to the Irish government by the port detailing its new berthing and pricing strategy, Dublin Port Company (DPC) confirmed once major construction works of its Alexandra Quay West wall had been completed, cruise calls will increase to 150 from 2024/25.
Following further redevelopment to its North Wall Quay extension, slated for completion in 2026, calls will increase past 200, authorities have predicted.
DPC said it was "currently finalising" cruise calls for 2021, while 2022 berth allocations would be confirmed by the end of the year and 2023 berths by the end 2020.
"The port recognises that new cruise facilities will be required to further develop this business and cater for future growth prospects," DPC said in its report.
"The company believes that the consented option of redeveloping North Wall Quay extension best meets the objective of growing Dublin’s cruise tourism business to its maximum potential.
"As a result of this development of the cruise business in Dublin, DPC has achieved proof of concept that Dublin Port can sustain a major cruise business with large numbers of valuable turnaround passengers.
"After 2023, when works on Alexandra Quay West are completed, it will be possible to again increase the number of cruise ships back towards 150.
"The extent to which this will be possible will be determined by the growth in cargo volumes between now and then.
"The period from 2023 to 2025 will be an interim period to rebuild cruise volumes ahead of the development of North Wall Quay Extension."
The news of Dublin’s cut in cruise capacity was met last month with "shock", "frustration" and "disappointment" by agents in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Eamonn O’Reilly, chief executive of DPC, cited the need to create space for freight shipping due to Brexit, according to Ireland’s Sunday Independent.