Shannon Foynes Port has joined Cruise Europe.
The Irish port received its first cruise ship call in 2014 and since then, has had up to three calls per year until 2019.
Despite the current pandemic, the port is preparing for cruise ships return.
There are six jetties located at Foynes in County Limerick: The two biggest are the East Jetty with a length of 295 m and West Jetty at 271 m long.
In the second quarter of this year, an extension project will start to join the jetties and increase the berthing length by 120 m. On completion, scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2022, the total berth length will be 580 m.
The controlled depth at berth is 10.5 m and in the approach channel is 7.8 m in depth.
Five cruise ships can be accommodated at anchorage which is located 1 nautical mile from Foynes Port tender quay.
“In 2019 the anchorage and tender procedure was put into practice successfully,” explained Mark Connolly, Business Development Executive, Shannon Foynes Port.
Passengers are tendered ashore to Foynes Yacht Club Pontoon where disembarkation/embarkation formalities can be conducted. Reception facilities, including access to toilet facilities and refreshments, can also be arranged.
Although there is no terminal, or associated facilities, currently available at the port, Connolly said that there is the space and potential to develop facilities when the market becomes sustainable for long-term investment.
The provision of cold ironing and LNG are also under consideration by the port. Low sulphur fuel is available by pipeline or road tanker alongside at West Jetty and by road tanker alongside East Jetty. It is not available at the anchorage. All disposable waste can be landed at the port or anchorage.
In terms of security, this will be carried out by the Harbour Master and ship security officer (SSO) when the vessel is alongside berth or at anchor. “Shannon Foynes Port Company [SFPC] will provide increased security patrols whilst cruise liners are alongside the port and at the tender pontoon,” Connolly added.
Foynes basin is dredged every two years, with the next planned dredge due to take place in the second quarter 2021. “SFPC monitor depths in the Foynes basin regularly and depths at berths are maintained at 10.5 m by in house dredging facilities,” Connolly said.
The cruise ship tender anchorage has a depth of in excess of 17 m, which is controlled and monitored regularly.
With depths in some parts of the estuary down to 32 m, it is considered one of the deepest, most sheltered ports in the world.
There will be the normal tonnage charge for cruise vessels at Foynes, plus a passenger charge of €3 per passenger landed.