What was expected to be a record number year with more than six million guests in the Baltic Sea Region turned out to be the complete opposite. The cruise network, Cruise Baltic, now looks forward to the world returning to more normal conditions this year and to a restart of cruise tourism.
“The figures are of course disappointing and not at all as we predicted they would look at this time in 2020. No one could have foreseen what the year 2020 would really be like. We can now only hope for better cruise tourism times and prepare to welcome more cruises in a safe way in 2021,” said Claus Bødker, director, Cruise Baltic.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of cruise guests visiting the Baltic ports in 2020 declined by 99 percent compared to 2019. The number of calls also decreased 96 percent and resulted with a total of 109 calls. The number of turnarounds decreased by 98 percent, from a total of 481 to 11. Despite strict lockdowns and border restrictions, the Baltic ports still managed to welcome some cruise calls. 13 ports in total had cruise calls and guests in 2020.
“Estimates for this year are extremely positive, but we still expect the cruise season to be affected by the pandemic. Together with our destination partners, we work to offer all cruise guests an unforgettable – and not the least safe – experience in the Baltic. We will continue to attract cruise guests by ensuring that it is safe and secure to travel to our destinations,” adfded Bødker.
Although the industry most likely still will be affected by the pandemic, the cruise network remains optimistic and expects guest numbers to increase with 3,380,936 guests in the Baltic Sea Region during this year compared to 2020.