On October 17, the moorage of Marco Polo cruise ship in the Old City Harbour ended this year’s cruise season in Tallinn.
On board of season’s final cruise ship was 698 mostly British cruise passengers, who began their cruise from London. Marco Polo came to Tallinn from Warnemünde and after a 6-hour stay sailed on to St. Petersburg.
Port of Tallinn had five cruise ship calls this October. According to Sirle Arro, Port of Tallinn’s Head of Marketing and Communication Department, so many visits in October was quite unusual but a good indicator of season’s lengthening in the Baltic Sea region.
“Visits in October resemble the ones in summer time – main tourist attraction is definitely Tallinn’s Old Town, but there are also tours to the Estonian Open Air Museum and Kadriorg. In October, off high season, there are less tourists in town, which enables people in service sector to pay special attention to foreign visitors. On the negative side, the weather in October can be quite unpredictable,“ explained Ms. Arro.
This year’s cruise season brought to Estonia altogether more than 498 000 cruise passengers, which is 5.4 per cent more than a year before. In Tallinn, there were 278 cruise ship calls, which is 19 calls less than last year. Cruise ships called Saaremaa harbour five times this year bringing 3623 people to the Estonia’s biggest island.
According to Ms. Arro, this reflected perfectly the current trend in cruise business – ships are getting bigger year by year allowing more passengers on board. “Although we had less cruise ship calls, the annual number of cruise passengers increased,“ added Arro.
As usual, the most popular month per number of visits was July, during which 74 cruise ships together with 135,925 passengers visited Estonia. The largest cruise ships that visited Tallinn this season were 330-meter Regal Princess and Britannia.
Based on Port of Tallinn’s prognosis, cruise numbers for next year will be similar or a bit higher than this year. Based on current data, there are exactly the same number of cruise ship calls planned for 2016 – 278 cruise ship calls to Tallinn and 5 to Saaremaa.