In 2018, Tallinn as a destination welcomed a record number of cruise passengers again. A total of 635 thousand guests from 170 countries chose to explore what our Hanseatic capital has to offer, with every second visitor coming from either Germany or the United States.
The Port of Tallinn is honoured to see that cruise passengers all over the world consider Tallinn as one of their top destinations on the Baltic sea, explained Sirle Arro, the Head of Marketing and Communications. “2018 was another record year for us with a 12% increase in the number of visitors, and it was the first time we welcomed over 600,000 guests during the season,” she added.
What reflects Tallinn’s attractiveness is not only the total number of passengers it hosted, but also their feedback about the city. According to the renowned Cruise Critic’s most recent review, in 2018 Tallinn was rated among the TOP5 most valued destinations on the Baltic Sea and in Scandinavia once again.
“The unique factors about Tallinn highlighted by the passengers include its Hanseatic Old Town with its cobblestone streets and historic buildings creating a slightly mysterious atmosphere,” she quoted some reviews. “Our visitors also appreciate how compact and close to the harbour the centre of Tallinn is.”
Old acquaintances and new guests
Over the past few years, most of the visitors to historic Tallinn have come from Germany and the United States, constituting 30 and 21 per cent of the total number respectively in 2018. Baltic Sea cruises have become a common leisure activity for the Brits as well, with more than a tenth of the passengers coming from the UK.
“All in all, Europeans do still form the majority of all visitors (60% of the total number). Still, close cooperation of Baltic ports and global cruise operators allows us to attract more and more passengers from all over the world,” noted Ingrid Berezin, Cruise & Ferry Business Manager of the Port of Tallinn.
In the past season, Tallinn hosted people from nearly every country in the world; while there are 195 countries in the world, citizens from 170 countries were onboard the ships that docked a total of 339 times in Tallinn from April to October.
Berezin pointed out that just as the routes in the Baltic sea offer passengers diversity ranging from glorious St Petersburg and the historic pearls of Tallinn and Stockholm to marvellous Norwegian fjords, so do the cruise operators provide their passengers with various options of leisure travel. “The biggest cruise ship which docked in Tallinn this year was 333-metre-long luxurious MSC Preziosa, and we also hosted the 66-metre M/Y Variety Voyager which is valued by passengers for offering the comfort and elegance of a private superyacht,” she added.
For several operators, Tallinn is already a well-known regular destination. This past season, MS AIDAmar docked in Tallinn 23 times, and Norwegian Breakaway 16 times. The latter also carried a record of over 4700 passengers onboard and brought a total of 70 thousand people to Tallinn over the whole season.
Yet the Port of Tallinn, according to Berezin, never ceases working to attract new ships and operators. In 2018, captains of 11 ships were officially welcomed by the Harbour Master in Tallinn and presented with commemorative plaques for their maiden docking.
New terminal – smart and green
In order to continue offering passengers the most convenient entry into town and providing operators with the highest quality service, the Port of Tallinn is currently in the process of constructing a new state-of-the art cruise terminal. The construction stage of terminal, which is currently in the design phase, is scheduled to begin at the end of the 2019 season, and the opening is planned in the 2021 season.
The new cruise terminal features various innovative solutions and makes use of the most notable success stories among other port and urban areas, noted Head of Marketing and Communications Sirle Arro. Port of Tallinn’s aim is to create the most convenient welcoming gate for more than 600,000 visitors and also to form an attractive urban landscape for Tallinn’s residents and visitors. The construction of the new terminal is a part of the Port of Tallinn’s wider urban development Masterplan 2030 for the whole Old City Harbour area, which aims to turn the port area into an urban space that will be both attractive and easy to traverse while consolidating the vital activities of the port.
Cruise season 2018 in figures
April 26 – October 16
23 times – most frequent visitor AIDAmar
11 maiden visits
4,732: the largest number of passengers onboard one ship, Norwegian Breakaway
333.3 metres – MSC Preziosa being the longest ship docked
66 metres – M/Y Variety Voyager being the smallest ship docked