Plans have been presented to Cork City Council’s planning office for Ireland’s first floating four-star hotel.The company behind the project plan to permanently moor a 105m luxury cruise vessel on the north channel of the River Lee at Penrose Quay, next to Michael Collins Bridge.
The cruise ship, named ‘My Story’ is 105 metres long and has three decks, 96 cabins with accommodation for 156 people, a panorama bar, several lounge areas, a swimming pool, and a sun deck. The vessel was built in 1971 and is based in Rotterdam, Holland. The vessel is entirely self-sufficient but will require a connection to the water main and the foul sewer.
The vessel, currently tied up for the winter season, has cruised along Germany’s River Rhine and Danube, Europe’s second longest river, but may take up permanent residence in Cork as soon as August 2017.
The cruiser is estimated to cost around €1.75m and its acquisition is subject to planning approval. Sick & Sore Ltd, the company behind the floating hotel project, are keen to get the project up and running and insist if this particular vessel cannot be acquired, the development will proceed with another vessel, similar in scale.
Sick & Sore Ltd is based in Dublin and headed up by Director Sam Corbett Jnr. Mr Corbett has been involved in several maritime projects around Ireland including, playing a key part in the project to acquire the former Cork-based tender vessel the Cill Áirne. Once acquired, the vessel was renovated and refitted for use as a restaurant on Dublin’s North Wall Quay in 2006.
Mr Corbett told CCC that the vessel is well made and effectively ready to go. A decision from CCC is expected mid-February and allowing time for the logistics of transporting the cruiser, Mr Corbett hopes the hotel could be operational by August.
Sick & Sore Ltd have said a high-profile hotel and tourist destination operator is lined up to operate the hotel and the company plans to recruit a high-end restaurateur to operate the business’ food element. The restaurant’s main focus will be on serving guests of the hotel, but will operate lunch and dinner services for the general public.
According to the planning application, the development will enhance Cork’s recreational and leisure amenities, “The proposed development would utilise the quay, attract tourists and provide an alternative/unique dining and accommodation experience for both residents and visitors alike.”
Photo William Murphy via Flickr