Dublin has joined a list of popular European destinations to crack down on cruise passengers, as it halves the number of calls made by cruise lines by 2021.

In a statement from the Dublin port authority, the company said that following the rising number of cruise ships stopping at the port, and what it described as a “huge growth” in cargo volumes, it will half the number of cruise ships that can stop there annually to 80.

There are so far, 160 cruise ships due to stop at Dublin port in 2019 and 140 have made booking for 2020.

Andy Harmer, the director of Cruise Line International Association’s UK and Ireland branch said: “The decision to reduce their presence in the Irish cruise sector is very disappointing.

“The number of cruise calls will dramatically drop across all Irish ports as a result of the Port of Dublin’s plans. We urge the port to reconsider its decision and to work with the Irish Government and the cruise industry to build cruise tourism sustainably across Ireland moving forward.”

From 2021, the number of cruise ships that can stop in Dublin will be managed according to a new cruise ship berthing and pricing policy.

Mr Harmer said that this new “extremely restrictive regime is very worrying.”

CLIA said the changes will effectively limit the number of cruise ship calls per week to:

  • Two large cruise ships per week in the summer season
  • One per week in the winter
  • Zero turnarounds

“Because of the huge growth in cargo volumes and the impact of the major program of capital works in Dublin Port (€1 billion from 2019 to 2028) it is necessary for Dublin Port Company (DPC) to introduce a system to better balance the allocation of berths for essential year-round cargo services and for seasonal cruise ships,” said the Dublin Port Authority in a statement.

The port authority told the Telegraph UK that if that it was to cater for more cruise ships, more berths would need to be built. And this would have to come from co-financing or long term financial guarantees from the cruise lines.