The cruise industry in the Baltic Sea continues to grow according to the latest Cruise Baltic Market Review. The review shows a record-breaking number of cruise guests visiting the region as well as an increase in the number of calls.
The newly published 2020 edition of the Cruise Baltic Market Review reveals a record number of cruise guests in 2019. A total of5,909,784 guests visited the ports in the Baltic Sea in 2019, which is an increase of 9.1% since 2018 and 16.9% since 2017. Moreover, the region has experienced growth in the number of calls despite the fact that the cruise vessels are getting bigger.
The report also reveals that the shoulder seasons, which are defined as off peak periods from January to May and September to December, have increased by 10.5%. Furthermore, there has been an increase in overnight stays from 730 in 2018 to 777 in 2019, which is a 6.4% increase.
“The numbers are very positive, as the increase in shoulder seasons helps to spread out the guests and thereby extend the season. The increase in overnight stays means that guests can enjoy more time at each destination and, for example, get a chance to spend more money onshore,” explains Claus Bodker, Director of Cruise Baltic.
Small ports have the largest growth
Looking at the number of cruise guests visiting the ports in the Baltic Sea, especially the small ports have experienced an increase in 2019. With a 37.8% growth in 2019, the small ports are the segments with the largest growth.
“They generally seem to grow more now compared to the larger ports, which have a steadier growth. This is positive in terms of sustainability as the cruise industry then generates a positive economic impact in more cities in the Baltic Sea – and not just in the large destinations,” says Claus Bodker.
Copenhagen is still the largest cruise port with 940,000 guests in 2019, which is an 8.2% increase since 2018. The most visited cruise ports, besides Copenhagen, were Kiel, St. Petersburg, Stockholm and Tallinn.
The most sustainable cruise destination in the world
With the positive results in 2019, expectations for 2020 are a continued increase in the number of guests and calls – and at the same time, to continue to have high ambitions regarding sustainability.
“Together with our destination partners, we work every day towards offering all cruise guests an unforgettable experience in the Baltic. We will keep attracting cruise guests while simultaneously transforming the Baltic Sea into the most sustainable cruise destination in the world,” says Claus Bodker.
Cruise Baltic is a network of 30 cruise ports in 8 different countries in the Baltic Sea. A new partner, Nyborg, was added to the Cruise Baltic Network in 2019. Three additional ports (St. Petersburg, Kiel and Riga) have been included in the analysis to achieve a full view of the entire region. The purpose of the report is to present an updated view of the developments in the cruise sector in the Baltic Sea Region, including data on guests, calls and turnarounds. The information presented in the report is based on a collection of data among ports in the Baltic Sea Region as of January 2020. The report presents the actual developments until 2019 and the expected numbers for 2020.
The total number of cruise guests increased by 9.1%
The total number of calls increased by 3.0%
The total number of turnarounds decreased by 2.2%
The total number of cruise guests will increase by 7.7%
The total number of calls will increase by 8.4%
The total number of turnarounds will decrease by 1.9%
In 2020, Cruise Baltic expects guest numbers to increase by more than 450,000 compared to 2019 to almost 6.4 million guests.