With three months to go before the 2018 cruise season starts the port can look forward to another good year with 31 ships stemmed. Although the number of ships remains fairly static at around 30 without dredging the port this number will hover around the current level. Next year the stemming list is building with 25 ships booked in with the German operated vessels accounting for almost half of the ships.

According to Cruise Europe (CE) the organisation founded to promote the region to the cruise industry, all the regions have reported increased numbers both in calls and passengers. Europe is now a year-round destination for cruise ships.

Europe now represents 11 per cent of the global deployment. Cruise Europe said:“The outlook for 2018 and beyond is very positive and there is a general feeling of optimism with CE.”

On the other hand our comparison port Cobh in southern Ireland goes from strength to strength with a record 96 cruise ships expected this year which will pump millions into the local economy.

Ships visiting Cobh will pass Falmouth either eastbound or westbound depending on their cruise itineraries – a golden opportunity missed for Cornwall.

The CE website http://www.cruiseeurope.com/news-members makes interesting reading or in the case of Falmouth depressing news as ports around Europe recognise and invest in dredging, new berths, terminals and infrastructure to accommodate the behemoths of the cruise companies and their passengers.

With over 90 new ships on the order books, many of them mega cruise ships, Falmouth will only be able to offer bay anchorages which are not suitable for transferring thousands of passengers by tender. The largest ship calling this year is Holland America Lines Zuiderdam. At 936 feet in length she will anchor offshore.

The Cruise Lines International Association Europe report documents that the industry is a vital contributor to the economies in Europe, generating jobs for well over 365,000 people in Europe. The lines continue to order ships and new source markets are emerging. The future for cruising in Europe should be bright.