Four cruise ships visit the Port of Riga at the same time
Four cruise ships visited the Port of Riga on 19 June, the ports says in a press release. This is the largest number of ships that the Port of Riga can currently host at any one time and testifies to the port’s capacity and potential. The ships Marina Majuro, Seven Seas Explorer, Clio and Aida Cara have brought a total of about 3,500 people to the capital. It is notable that, for the first time in a long time, the first cruise ship Marina Majuro has berthed at the Riga Central Terminal’s Export Port dock, which was previously used for handling dry goods. As a result of the relocation of dry goods cargo to Krievu Isle, the docks can be used for other purposes and cruise ships are one potential avenue for development for this section of the port.
According to Riga Central Terminal Board Member Valdis Andersons: "Given that the city’s zoning has changed, a vision of the future has been created in which we can handle RoRo cargo here, engage in passenger transportation and welcome cruise ships."
Cruise ships used to berth at the docks in the Export Port, but cruise ships stopped mooring here because of the intensive cargo handling. Currently, it is planned to renew mooring of cruise ships at the Riga Central Terminal’s docks and changes will affect this part of the port in the near future. Valdis Andersons goes on to explain: "This is not a business into which you simply jump right in. Cruise ships plan their routes several years in advance. Therefore, we can only hope for regular visits in several years’ time. This is the first step, which suggests that Riga is quite an attractive destination.” Marina Majuro will visit Riga for one day and return once more this year on 29 June."
As the global cruise sector grows, Baltic cruises are also becoming increasingly popular. In its Development Programme 2019-2028, the Freeport of Riga made a commitment to transform Riga into an important cruise and passenger ferry port for the Baltic region and to ensure that our city is included in the routes of all major cruise shipping lines. Last year, the Port of Riga served 75,000 cruise passengers, however, in the next 10 years this number should be doubled to 150,000 passengers and 150 vessels per year. 85 cruise ships are due to visit the Port of Riga in 2019.