A record 86 cruise ships will sail into Dublin this year, giving the city a potential €55m boost.
The first of the luxury liners, Oriana, docked in the capital yesterday morning, one of the biggest vessels that will arrive here this year with a total capacity of 1,900 holidaymakers and 800 crew.
Buses were waiting at the quayside for the passengers who were ferried off to destinations such as Glendalough, Powerscourt and Malahide Castle, with hundreds more heading straight for the city centre to shop.
Dublin Port Company said the cruise ship industry had been a major tourism contributor since the mid-1990s, bringing in more than €350m in the last decade alone.
Some 86 cruise ships are set to arrive in Dublin this year up from 83 last year and just six a year in the 1990s, making it one of the few growth areas in a hard hit tourism trade.
Dublin Port has pursued the cruise industry by touting for business at a world cruise conference in Miami each year.They say that cruise ships will generate €55m this year.