Bobby hops on board the beautiful MS Black Watch

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Dublin Port expects to welcome more than 80 cruise ships, carrying more than 140,000 visitors to the city, over the summer cruise season which kicked off in May. More than 20 cruise ships are also expected at Dun Laoghaire over the course of the season.

Dublin has already welcomed the largest ship ever to dock at the port with the arrival of the 333m long MSC Splendida - the 11th longest cruise ship in the world.

Things are set to get busier, too. Dublin Port Company’s Alexandra Basin Redevelopment Project will extend the length of the dock and enable the world’s largest cruise ships to routinely call to Dublin Port. The redevelopment will take five years to complete, and is due to cost more than €200m. Dublin Port hopes that work will begin later in 2015.

With cruise ships becoming increasingly big business in Ireland, for this week’s Down to Business Bobby hopped on board the beautiful MS Black Watch, courtesy of Fold Olsen Cruise Lines and Cruisescapes.

He was joined by some Newstalk listeners who won a competition on the show to spend an afternoon on the ship and have some lunch.

Bobby was also joined by Kate Wooldrich - international sales manager of Fred Olsen Cruises - and Alan Lynch from Cruisescapes. Of course no ship sails without a captain, and Bobby was also lucky enough to have a chat with Captain Mikael Degerlund.

 

 

Kate Wooldrich explained, “this year we are celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of the very first Mr Olsen. So it’s a fifth generation later, but it’s a family-run company and Mr Olsen is very much at the helm of the company, if you will pardon the pun.

“Because of the very nature of the product, that traditional style of cruising, we very much cater to the fifty plus market. We also strongly cater towards single guests as well… We have over 200 true single cabins across our fleet,” she explained.

Kate explained that food remains a major part of the cruise experience, but stresses “all four ships we have in our fleet have wonderfully equipped gyms… You can walk around the whole deck and do a mile if you do four times around.

“We do offer the opportunity to balance out the intake… it’s a little anecdote, but the average weight gain is around two pounds a day,” she told Bobby.

Alan Lynch, meanwhile, discussed some of the prices with Bobby - whether you’re going to the Caribbean or up to the Norwegian fjords.

Alan was keen to point out “there’s a cruise for everybody… You’ve got to be very particular about the type of cruise you pick. It’s not just saying ‘I want to go on a cruise’ and just hop on any cruise. You’ll probably end up on the wrong cruise if you take that attitude. It is very important to do a little bit of research.”

 

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