The beauty of Cork and its surroundings is obvious well before your ship makes port. To get to your quay at Cobh, your ship must manoeuvre through some sensational scenery first. On both the way in and way out, you’ll want to be on deck as your vessel sails between Crosshaven and Roches Point and around Spike Island.
Once in Cork, prepare to explore a dynamic city where buildings from centuries past stand side by side with contemporary structures. As you would expect from Ireland’s second largest metropolis, Cork is brimming with fun pubs, quirky shops, boisterous bars, and restaurants that dish up some of the nation’s most scrumptious meals.
All the excitement and charm is wrapped up tightly in the compact city centre and tied together by the warmth of the locals. However, plenty of perfect holiday moments can be sought beyond Cork itself, with a particular highlight being the nearby Blarney Castle.
With so much to see, experience, eat and drink in Cork, it’s no surprise that many popular cruise lines offer itineraries that stop here. The port at Cobh plays host to vessels from Azamara Club Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Princess Cruises, and many other seafaring companies.
The majority of cruise ships dock at Cobh, a small town only a half hour’s drive from the heart of Cork. The main quay facilitating cruise vessels is directly next to the Cobh Heritage Centre.
Some smaller ships can sail further on River Lee to make port in Cork itself, but most are too large to go further than the port at Cobh.
At the adjacent Cobh Heritage Centre, you will find basic facilities including:
A gift store.
How to Get Around
Getting around Cork is generally manageable by foot. Buses are also available and quite affordable. As with most major cities, taxis in Cork are numerous and efficient. If you hire a car during your time in Cork, keep in mind that parking time limits are diligently enforced and most car spaces come with a price.
Travel times from Cobh Heritage Centre:
It is a 9 minute journey to Fota Wildlife Park
It is a 27 minute journey the English Market
It is a 32 minute journey to Fitzgerald Park
It is a 37 minute journey to Blarney Castle
It is a 44 minute journey to Camden Fort Meagher.
Currency – The currency in Cork is the euro (€). Notes are available in €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €1,000 denominations, while coins come in 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, €1 and €2 denominations. Just about all establishments in Cork will accept debit and credit cards.
Time Zone – Irish Standard Time is observed in Cork, which means the city is aligned to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Between late March and late October, clocks are fast-forwarded one hour for daylight savings.
Weather – As with most of Ireland, Cork’s climate is quite consistent across the seasons. The city receives plenty of rain but enjoys pleasant temperatures all year round, with the numbers rarely getting any lower than 0 degrees Celsius or higher than 25 degrees Celsius.
Blarney Castle – With almost six centuries of history and one of Ireland’s most intriguing traditions, Blarney Castle is well worth the 15-minute drive from Cork. After kissing the Blarney Stone for good luck (while upside down, of course), wander around the fascinating castle and beautiful gardens. The Court, the Dungeon, the Witch Stone, and Badger’s Cave are just some of the estate’s interesting attractions – you’ll probably spend more time here than you expect!
Fota Wildlife Park – Situated between Cork and Cobh, Fota Wildlife Park is a must-visit place for any animal lover. With a focus on conservation and education, the park strikes a wonderful balance between caring for its creatures and providing a fun experience for tourists. From monkeys and lemurs to cheetahs and giraffes, there is a wide diversity of animals to meet and marvel at here.
English Market – No foodie can resist the tastes and scents of the English Market in the heart of Cork. Whatever your palette prefers, you’re sure to find it fresh and delicious here – the stalls offer everything from meat and seafood to pastries and sweets. And as it’s a covered market, you can even enjoy a walk here on one of Cork’s frequent rainy days.
Camden Fort Meagher – Take a step (or two) back in time at Camden Fort Meagher, a military gem that overlooks Cork’s harbour. Immerse yourself in historical re-enactments and exhibition rooms that explore the not-so-peaceful periods of Ireland’s past. Ascend the Spiral Stairway, make your way through the eerie Bright Tunnel, and relax with hot tea and a spectacular view on the deck as you ponder the events that have shaped Irish culture.