Holland America Lines, MS Prinsendam made her maiden call to Bantry Bay Harbour on June 12 on what was to be the first visit of a cruise liner to Bantry in almost 30 years. Carrying over 800 passengers, MS Prinsendam arrived in the early hours of the morning and stayed until evening, ensuring passengers got every opportunity to explore the region.
Speaking about the arrival of MS Prinsendam to Bantry, Bantry Bay Port Company Harbour Master Captain Paul O’Regan said: “We are very encouraged by Holland American Lines commitment to call to Bantry. This is an exciting time for the whole of West Cork as we aim to grow this cruise business considerably over the next few years.
“We have the experience and professionalism within the Port of Cork of what needs to be achieved to grow the cruise business here, and Bantry Bay Port Company is fully committed. The unique selling point with Bantry is to attract the smaller boutique cruises or expedition cruises which can access smaller ports and harbour, meaning their passengers can benefit from a richer experience onshore.”
In August, Bantry Bay Port Company will officially open the new inner harbour development which has seen an investment of €9.5 million over the last year. This facility will greatly enhance the marine tourism activity in the area and will also aid in accommodating future cruise calls.
According to Holland American Lines website the MS Prinsendam is described as: ‘With a capacity of just 835 guests, MS Prinsendam is intimate, yet comfortably spacious. Explore seldom-visited destinations larger ships can’t reach.’