New member at Cruise Europe: Shannon Foynes Port
Shannon Foynes Port received its first call in 2014. Since then, it has had up to three calls a year up until 2019. Despite the current pandemic situation, it is preparing for when the ships return.
There are six jetties located at the Port of Foynes in County Limerick: The two biggest are the East Jetty with a length of 295m and West Jetty at 271m.
In the second quarter of this year an extension project will begin to join the jetties and increase the berthage length by 120m. On completion in the fourth quarter of 2022, the total berth length will therefore be 580m.The controlled depth at berth is 10.5m and in the approach channel 7.8m.
Five cruiseships can be accommodated at anchorage which is located 1nm from Foynes Port tender quay. “In 2019 the anchorage and tender procedure was put into practice successfully,” says 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.
The village of Foynes (which sits on the Wild Atlantic Way), where small shops, bars and cafes and the Foynes Flying Boat Museum are located, is a short walk from the port and tender quay. Limerick city is 20 miles away and Killarney 50 miles. Shannon International Airport, which operates schedules daily direct flights to the US, UK and Europe, is a 60 minute transfer.
Although there is no terminal, or associated facilities, currently available at the port, Connolly explains that there is the space and potential to develop such facilities when the market becomes sustainable for long-term investment.
In the same way, the provision of cold ironing and liquefied natural gas are 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 anchorage. All disposable waste can be landed at port or anchorage.
In terms of security, this will be carried out by the harbour master and ship security officer 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,” explains Connolly.
When it comes to dredging, the Foynes basin is dredged every two years, with the next planned dredge taking place in the second quarter 2021. “SFPC monitor depths in the Foynes basin regularly and depths at berths are maintained at 10.50m by inhouse dredging facilities,” he says. Cruiseship tender anchorage is in excess of 17m controlled depth and monitored regularly.
With depths in some parts of the estuary up to 32m, the estuary is considered one of the deepest, most sheltered ports in the world.
Port charges will be the normal tonnage charge for cruise vessels at Foynes, plus a passenger charge of €3 per passenger landing.
Where adequate notice is provided, berths and anchorage booking can be agreed and secured.
Within a short drive from the port are attractions ranging from Adare Manor, host to the 2027 Ryder Cup, medieval Bunratty Castle, the iconic cliffs of Moher and the picturesque town of Killarney. Also on offer are a host of activities including archery, golf, hiking and fishing as can be seen from the video Cruise Shannon Estuary at https://www.sfpc.ie/cruise-shannon-estuary/