Killybegs will be buzzing this weekend when four cruise ships will visit the port over three days.
On Saturday, two ships will be in port together. The MS L’Austral is due to arrive at 7am and an hour later, at 8am, the MS Albatros is scheduled to berth.
On Sunday, at 2.30pm, the MS Boudicca will arrive and, on Monday, 16th, the prestigious MS National Geographic Explorer will tie up at 1.30pm.
Said Ann Dorrian, who welcomes visitors at the Killybegs Information Centre: “This is going to be a very busy few days but we are delighted to see such an interest in Killybegs by the cruise companies.”
She added: “Many of the passengers and crews book our Hidden Gems tour up Sliabh Liag and along the spectacular coast road. They are never disappointed.”
Saturday will be the big day in Killybegs in more ways than one. As well as the two ships, L’Austral with more than 260 French visitors and the Albatross with 830 Germans, the town will be host to a bus load of American visitors, courtesy of the Cork-based company, EIL Intercultural Learning.
And, just for good measure, it’s First Holy Communion day at St Mary of the Visitation church.
A craft fair has been organised in the Bay View hotel, to which all are welcome. And a farmers’ market will be held on the Diamond. (I have put a query in to the Tara but no response yet).
On the following day, the largest ship to visit Killybegs this year, the 28,000 ton MS Boudicca with 880 passengers and 325 of a crew, will tie up at 2.30pm and stay in harbour until 8pm.
Killybegs will be the first port of call for his magnificent vessel which is making a round trip from Liverpool to eastern Canada and back. A Fred Olsen Group ship, the 200-meter Boudicca was completely refitted in 2011.
And on Monday, May 16, the National Geographic Explorer will visit from 1.30 to 7pm. National Geographic has been organising tours to this area for many years with groups of academics on board who are interested in the archaeology, history, folklore and music of this area.
Said Ann Dorrian: “It’s wonderful to see such an interest in Killybegs by major international cruise companies. Local tourism groups and businesses are gearing up for a hectic few days and, hopefully, the experience will be enjoyable for all concerned and lead to more visits in the future.”