On a boat trip now, wind tingling your skin, you can still sense all manner of epic comings and goings in Cork’s magnificent natural harbour: from marauding 10th-century Vikings and medieval merchant princes to today’s luxury liners. It was also here in this harbour that the Royal Cork Yacht Club, the world’s first yacht club, was founded some 300 years ago.
On Great Island in Cork Harbour, Cobh’s pastel-speckled Victorian townscape climbs the hillside to the famous bells of St Colman’s Cathedral.
You stroll with a local guide along the waterfront, chatting about maritime memorials like the statue of young Annie Moore and her brothers. Sailing from here, Annie was the first-ever immigrant to be processed at new Customs facilities on Ellis Island, New York, in 1893.
Meanwhile, in April 1912, the Titanic made her last port of call here before her tragic maiden voyage to New York – another drama to relive, on a virtual journey to board ship in the Titanic Experience in the original White Star Line Ticket Office. Enveloped by the chilling events, you check your boarding card for the passenger’s name – what was your fate?
And how did Cobh townsfolk meet the challenge when the Lusitania was torpedoed and sank in 1915? Cobh Museum tells this and other shipping tales. Or maybe you’ve come to find ancestors in genealogical records, searching out the ties that bind Cobh with people around the world.