The number of cruise passengers visiting the Baltic region rose by more than 12% last year to 3.9 million.
Cruise Baltic, the organisation representing ports in the area, forecast a further increase to 4.1 million this year.
The figures come from 25 destinations under the group’s umbrella including St Petersburg, Kiel and Riga for the first time. Copenhagen attracted the largest number of passengers, ship calls and turnarounds.
Cruise Baltic director Bo Larsen said: “By including the ports of St Petersburg, Kiel and Riga in our survey we wanted to ensure that we remain the ‘first port of call’ for our cruise industry colleagues who are looking for a comprehensive overview on developments in the Baltic Sea region.”
But he added that “realistically our industry continues to face huge challenges in the current marketplace – from environmental issues affecting both ships and ports, to fuel charges and climate change. For these reasons we shall have to be even more unified in the future”.
The number of ship calls rose by 6% last year while turnarounds went up by 12%.
The top five cruise lines in the region were the German operator Aida Cruises as well as Costa Cruises, MSC Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Holland America Line.
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