The emergence of Cork Harbour as a major shipping port in the early 19th century resulted from a culmination of centuries of visitors, invaders, adventurers and explorers. Cork harbour was one of the major stopping off points on the south coast of Ireland for the exploration of unknown oceans and distant lands.
By the time the era of the great steam ships had arrived, Cork harbour was already a hub of transatlantic traffic. Shipping companies such as the White Star Line
, the Cunard Line, the Holland America, United States line and many more used the harbour as a major embarkation point for passengers and mail.
Inevitably great adventurous voyages such as the first crossing of the Atlantic ocean by steam, and great tragedies such as the Titanic
became associated with the harbour against the backdrop of thousands of ships passing in and out of its only entrance over centuries of seafaring.
The entrance to Cork Harbour with Roches Point in the distance, with Crosshaven and Curabinny Wood in the foreground