The Cool Route Project funded by the EU’s Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme and led by Cork Institute of Technology, commenced in June 2015. Since then, project partners have been working hard to study and develop strategic initiatives to build the route covering all of the cruising grounds between Cork and Tromsø, as a world recognised cruising area.
The summer months of 2016 witnessed a significant increase in the number of superyacht visits to areas of the route and visits by small liners with 100 or so passengers was also a developing trend.
CIT together with the project’s marketing partner Royal Cork Yacht Club, took a decision in early 2017, to investigate this trend. An internationally based focus group of 25 superyacht skippers was established and interviews showed that these vessels were looking for new destinations and experiences. Importantly the focus group concluded that the waters and coastlines of the Cool Route stretching around Southern and Western Ireland, across Northern Ireland and up the coast of Western Scotland, to the Faroe islands and Norway- represented a very interesting package.
The Cool Route can trace documents of voyages along its coastlines since the 6th Century, with the movements by sea of monks between Ireland and Scotland. By the 8th Century Vikings were sailing the length of the route, in search of Celtic riches. While the levels of gold and jewels on the route may have since declined, these coastlines are among the richest globally in terms of history, culture, heritage, scenery great foods and specialist beverages- plenty of things to do and to see with scenery second to none.
The project has now become highly proactive in its bid to attract more of this valuable business. Superyachts and small liners only require a pontoon to accept tenders, embarking and disembarking passengers, so no specialised facilities are required. Even the smallest coastal village can attract these visitors- putting it on the map for many others. The route has received personal endorsements from a number of renowned names in the sailing world.
The Royal Cork Yacht Club as part of its Cool Route marketing brief has now produced a very high quality marketing brochure, containing both generic information on the overall route, as well as a set of national inserts on reach of the participating coastal areas. The brochure is available in hard copy for circulation to superyacht and small liner operators, owners and skippers and also in an online version which can be downloaded at www.sailcoolroute.eu/superyachts