Port of Riga is expecting 88 cruise ship calls in 2017
The Freeport of Riga Authority (RBP) says it represented the port of Riga at two international cruise industry events – at the exhibition and conference “SeatradeMed” as well as at the conference dedicated to the project “Green Cruise Port - Sustainable Development of Cruise Port Locations”. “SeatradeMed” is the most important European cruise industry event, that takes place every two years, alternating with “SeatradeEurope”. The exhibition and the conference focus on the Mediterranean region, but, given that the Mediterranean Sea is the second largest cruise destination in the world, all major cruise industry players meet at the said event to discuss key issues of the entire cruise industry. Taking part in the Green Cruise Port conference, the Freeport of Riga together with other European cruise ports are working to develop a common regional vision for the improvement of the port environment applying the instruments, provided by the European Funds – research, studies, best practices, etc.
The Freeport of Riga Authority participated in the “SeatradeMed” conference together with the SIA “Rīgas Pasažieru Termināls” (Riga Passenger Terminal), using the platform, provided by the cruise organization “Cruise Europe”. The most important news for the port of Riga, which was voiced both from the conference podium and confirmed during a meeting with representatives of the cruise lines, is an excellent next year forecast for the Baltic Sea region in regards of cruise sphere, including the port of Riga. In the framework of negotiations with cruise lines, it was mentioned, that now the advantages of the Baltic Sea region are being highly appreciated due to the current geopolitical situation. Although our region is relatively expensive for navigation, it is safe and well-organized. Currently, these aspects are particularly assessed in the light of problems in other European regions - unsettled security issues, refugees, terrorism, natural disasters. Previously, the Baltic Sea region was often criticized at cruise industry events for high costs and emissions of sulfur. At the moment, due to the situation in the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea and Europe in general, the cruise lines’ perception of our region has changed. At the same time, the official conference speakers highlighted such problems of the European cruise ports as overload, environmental pollution and the increasing size of ships.Still the Baltic Sea ports better handle these challenges - they focus on their operation, and professionally address the problems in a timely manner.
During the conference session “Ports&Cities” the city and the port cooperation formula for successful cruise development was identified, which is also essential to Riga as a cruise destination:
Successful cooperation between the Port and the City = Understanding (clear understanding of everybody’s role) + Social Support (from the residents / city authorities) + Vision (future development).
The FPRA Marketing Department Cruise industry expert Ms.Laura Apoga: “By participating in “SeatradeMed” event we are promoting Riga as a major cruise destination. We have met existing customers and are preparing for cruise activity increase during the next season. In 2017 the Riga port is expecting 88 cruise ship calls - and with the aim to prepare for the next cruise season both the FPRA and the SIA “Riga Passenger Terminal” representatives met with clients, coordinated their activities and addressed technical issues.”