Cobh welcomes over fifty Cruise liners every year but few cruise visits are as eagerly anticipated by locals and passengers alike as the annual visit of a ship from “Down Under”!
The Sea Princess arrives in Cobh on Tuesday 14th July 2015 with 1500 Australians and 400 Kiwis on a round the world cruise from Sydney to Sydney. The ship and passengers left Sydney on 22nd May and will be just over halfway through a 104 night voyage. They will already have visited over 20 ports including Dubai, Venice, Dubrovnik, Barcelona and Southampton. Cobh pulls out all the stops to welcome the passengers and crew and as a result “Australia Day in Cobh” has become eagerly anticipated each year by the passengers. Click here to see the Australia Day poster
For each visit the town buzzes and a fantastic atmosphere prevails as many passengers forgo organised excursions to enjoy a feast of local talent, the craic in the pubs and the themed shop window displays.
The Blessing of the Bonnets ceremony in memory of all convict women transported to Australia will take place at 11 am on the quayside. Thereafter it’s entertainment all the way with Darragh McGann, Niamh O’Connor, Luasca, the Cowhie Ryan Irish Dancers and Douglas Comhaltas taking to the bandstand in The Promenade. Market stalls and a town packed full of things to see and do make for a perfect day.
The magical sendoff from the quayside is ranked by the passengers as the “best in the world” as Cobh Confraternity Band play a selection of favourites and people gather to wave off the visitors.
Over twenty further ports including Reykjavik, New York, Lima and Easter Island await to delight the passengers of the Sea Princess. A passage through the Panama Canal and commemorations held on deck off the coast of Gallipoli to commemorate the Australian & New Zealand troops who landed at Anzac Cove in 1915 during World War 1 will surely rank as top highlights.
A short visit to a small port called Cobh in Cork Harbour on the south coast of Ireland will also!
*The 2016 World Cruise on Sea Princess that will visit Cobh on 11th July 2016 is already close to selling out with just balcony cabins still available. The €30,000 price tag per person may seem expensive, but it works out at less than €300 a night to see so much of the world and only have to unpack once. Inside cabins were available for €18,000 pp for the same cruise*
Programme of Activities 14th July 2015
All times approximate and subject to change and all in The Promenade unless otherwise stated
Carillon Recital on the bells of St. Colman’s Cathedral 10.30 – 10.45 am
Presented by carillonneur Adrian Gebruers on the 49 bell carillon of the magnificent Cathedral, this short performance will have a very Australian influence!
Blessing of the Bonnets ceremony 11 am – Quayside adjacent to Railway Station entrance
A special invitation is extended to the passengers and ship’s company of the Sea Princess to partake in this fitting memorial ceremony.
‘Roses from the Heart’ is a unique memorial to the 25,566 convict women transported to Australia from Ireland and Britain from 1788 to 1853. A beautiful bonnet has been made to remember almost all of these women and children. The bonnets in Cobh remember the women and children aboard the Neva that was shipwrecked off King’s Island.
Niamh O’Connor 11.30 – 12.30 pm
Niamh has performed in front of crowds of 11,000 and will sing a selection of songs of all genres including a few Irish ones! A music selection mixing old time favourites and cover versions will make your Australia Day in Cobh even more enjoyable!
Luasca 12.30 – 1 pm
This group of young musicians will play a selection of traditional tunes on tin whistles and flutes.
Cowhie Ryan Irish Dance Group 1 pm – 1.30 pm
These young performers will enthrall and entertain on the waterfront in the Promenade.
Douglas Comhaltas Seisiún 1.30 pm – 3.30 pm
Comhaltas promotes Irish music and culture throughout the world. This diverse group of accomplished musicians, fresh from performances in London, will play Tin Whistle, Fiddle, Flute, Box, Concertina, Banjo, Mandolin, Bodhrán, Harp, Piano and more. They will have you tapping your feet or perhaps dancing!
Darragh McGann 3.30 – 4.30 pm
This lyrical baritone captivated the audience at the Belfast Britain’s Got Talent auditions and his performance of Danny Boy was viewed 360,000 on YouTube. Known locally as “The Singing Taxi Driver” Darragh is a star performer of all genres of music.
Traditional Cobh sendoff from the quayside featuring Cobh Confraternity Band 5.30 pm – on the quayside In a bye gone era, friends, relatives and the people of Cobh gathered on the quayside to wave white handkerchiefs as a farewell salute as people set off for a “new life” in the “new world”.
Today the departure of a Cruise Liner is a happy occasion. With the Band playing a selection of favourites make sure to buy a flag from the Cobh Tourism Stall at the Promenade gates throughout the day to wave back!