Cruise Baltic announced comprehensive results of its Market Review 2017

Riga  (Stefano Fermi)2016 saw a total of 4,333,529 passengers visit the Baltic Sea Region: plus 1.2% over 2015; while in 2017, passenger, call and turnaround figures all expected to increase to record levels.

The analysis, conducted amongst all the Cruise Baltic destinations (29) – including, for full accuracy purposes, data from additional destinations St Petersburg, Kiel and Riga – reports on 2016 actual results and those expected for 2017.

The figures presented in the Market Review are based on a collection of data from amongst ports in the Baltic Sea region as of December 2016 and present an updated view of the developments in the cruise sector in the Baltic Sea Region.

A summary of 2016 includes:

• the total number of passenger movements has increased by 1.2% (compared to 2015), totalling 4,333,529 pax
• the total number of calls was unchanged
• the total number of turnarounds has increased by 14.1%

From 2000 – 2016 figures:

– the number of passengers visiting the Cruise Baltic destinations has increased by an average annual rate of 9.9% – from 1.1 million in 2000 to more than 4.3 million in 2016.
– The number of calls increased by an average annual rate of 2.7% per year – from 1,479 in 2000, to 2,163 in 2016.
– The number of turnarounds increased by an average annual rate of 9.6% per year – from 106 in 2000 to 460* in 2016. (*turnaround numbers from Kiel and Lübeck-Travemunde unavailable for parts of the period and therefore are not included in this average annual growth rate calculation)

The Top 5 ports

– most passenger visits in 2016: Rostock saw the highest growth rate of 14% with 553,000 passengers compared to 485,000 in 2015; Copenhagen, the largest port in terms of passengers has also increased with rates of 9.3% from 2015 to 2016 = 740,000; Stockholm experienced a decrease of 5,7% to 500.000 passengers.
– The number of calls in 2016 increased in three of the top five ports. Rostock increased the most by 14%; then Copenhagen by 9.3%; Kiel by 5,8 %. The number of calls decreased in Stockholm by 5,7% and in St. Petersburg by 4 %.
– The Top 5 ports amounted to 1,136 calls out of the total 2,163 in 2016, accounting for 52% of all calls.
– in 2016 Copenhagen was once again the largest turnaround port with 139, marking an increase of 11% compared to 2015; Rostock and Kiel both experienced an increase of 12,6% and 15.3% respectively; Kiel grew by 15.3% to 136 turns.

In 2017 turnaround expectations will increase in three of the ports: by 35% for Stockholm, by 9.4% for Copenhagen and by 4.7% for Rostock while Kiel experience a decrease in turn by -5.9%.

In the larger ports, with between 50 – 199 calls – comprising Rostock, Kiel, Oslo, Klaipeda, Riga and Kristiansand – growth of passenger numbers continued at 7.9% in 2016, from 1,339,881 passengers in 2015 to 1,445,662 in 2016. In total the ports had 591 calls in 2016 and will increase in 2017 by 2.2% to 604 calls.

Those ports with between 25 – 49 calls – comprising Visby, Gdansk, Gothenburg and Aarhus – an increase of 2.5% in passenger numbers has been experienced. The passenger numbers in this segment are expected to increase by 21.4% by 2017. Between them the four destinations had 138 calls in 2016, looking to increase by no less than 40.6% in 2017 to 194 calls.

Overall the passenger figures in the ports with 0-24 calls decreased by -17.2% in 2016, however, with great variation within the group of 17. However, four of the destinations – Karlskrona, Helsingborg, Kalmar and Elsinore – each grew more than 100% in 2016. For 2017 overall passenger figures are expected to grow by 90.7% and calls in this segment is expected to increase by 70.4% to 196 calls.

Looking ahead to a record 2017:

– Passengers to the Cruise Baltic destinations: the number is expected to increase by 13.0% compared to 2016 with an increase of no less than 561,972 pax to a total of 4.895.501 pax.
– The number of calls to Cruise Baltic ports: an increase of 15.2% is anticipated, expecting 2,492 calls.
– The number of turnarounds: an increase of 3.7% is expected, from 460 in 2016 to an estimated 477 in 2017.
– Top five ports – positive passenger expectations for 2017 – Stockholm, St Petersburg and Copenhagen will grow (34%, 17.5% and 14.9%); Rostock will remain stable, while only Kiel is expecting a decrease of -13.5%. In fact, St. Petersburg, Rostock, Copenhagen and Stockholm are expected to receive its highest number of cruise guests ever.

Says Claus Bødker, Cruise Baltic Director: “I believe 2017 will prove to be a particularly significant and positive year for our Baltic Sea destinations – we are expecting the highest number of cruise guests and the highest number of turnarounds with several ports achieving record high numbers. We are committed to offering the many guests a truly great experience, with added value; and we are dedicated to bringing more ‘industry firsts’ to the marketplace in order to match the competition from the new, emerging cruise destinations.”

(Cruise Baltic)


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