Port of Riga positioned as an attractive destination for world's major cruise companies
Last week, from 19-20 September in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, the Freeport of Riga Authority together with Rīgas pasažieru termināls SIA, participated in a summit organized by CLIA, the world's largest cruise industry association, attended by the world's largest cruise line operators.
Within the framework of the summit the Freeport of Riga Authority promoted Riga as an attractive and welcoming destination, emphasizing that a number of measures have been carried out at the Port of Riga in order to make the port more suitable for cruise ships, both in terms of shipping safety and capacity. "Cleaning of the access channel and ship turning pool has been carried out, which allows us to accommodate increasingly larger and voluminous cruise ships in the city centre, as well as considering the future perspectives in the context of the transfer of port activities away from the city centre, we will have access to additional berths in the export port area", says Edgars Suna (Edgars Sūna), Deputy CEO for Port Development Matters, convinced of the growing opportunities for the port.
During the summit, in order to discuss opportunities for future cooperation, decision makers of global cruise companies such as Carnival Maritime Gmbh, Marella Cruises, Costa Crociere, Holland America Group, Pullmantur, TUI Cruises, etc. met with Riga representatives, suggesting that the course taken by Riga and its strategy to attract cruise ships has been right. In the future we have every opportunity to get Riga featured on all the most popular Baltic cruise itineraries.
It should be noted that the cruise season in the Port of Riga, as elsewhere in the Baltic Sea region, lasts from the end of April to the beginning of October. After that, most ships sail to warmer seas or serve exclusive destinations. For example, the smaller liner Corithian, which was moored at the Port of Riga last week, will continue its voyage to Antarctica crossing the Atlantic Ocean, where the cruise season will soon begin.
Cruise travel is currently one of the most rapidly growing tourism segments in the world. The number of cruise ships in Riga increases every year. In 2016, 63 liners moored at the Port of Riga, while last year it was already 87. This year 91 cruise ships will arrive in Riga, representing 30 different operators and bringing about 70 thousand passengers from 123 different countries. According to the information collected by the Freeport of Riga Authority, 33% of all tourists are German, 17% are from the United States, 10% from Great Britain, 6% from Finland and 5% from Russia. More than 1000 cruise tourists came from Italy, Australia, Canada, Spain, Switzerland, France, Austria and Israel.