Published on : Monday, November 13, 2017
International cruises to the Baltic Sea are growing in popularity. The summer cruise season in Helsinki too was extremely busy, as international cruise ships brought a total of 478,000 cruise visitors to the Finnish capital. This represents growth of almost 17 percent compared to last year, when Helsinki attracted 409,000 cruise visitors. This year’s figure also beats the previous record of 436,500 cruise visitors, which was set in 2015.
“The centre of Helsinki is beautiful, attractive and lively. It offers visitors lots to see and do, even for those who spend only a few hours here. In addition to seeing the sights, cruise visitors are also increasingly interested in trying our services and shopping. Cruise visitors also get to enjoy spectacular scenery and experience the maritime aspect of our city when they arrive by ship,” says Jenny Taipale, Project Manager at Helsinki Marketing responsible for international cruise tourism.
A total of 266 cruise ships visited Helsinki in 2017. Although this is fewer than the record set in 2013, the record number of cruise visitors in 2017 reflects the growing capacity of international cruise ships. Helsinki also anticipates a busy cruise season in 2018.
The 2017 cruise season began on Wednesday 3 May and ended on 18 October, when AIDAvita was the last cruise ship to visit Helsinki. Eight cruise ships visited Helsinki for the first time in 2017. The busiest day of the cruise season was 31 May, when six cruise ships visited Helsinki simultaneously, bringing with them over 11,000 cruise passengers. The biggest nationalities among cruise visitors in 2017 were Americans (26%), Germans (25%) and Brits (10%).
Majority of cruise visitors participate in pre-booked tours
This year the City of Helsinki commissioned a survey (the European 2017 Cruise Passenger and Crew Survey) to analyse the spending habits of cruise visitors in Helsinki. The previous survey was compiled in 2014.
According to the latest survey, cruise visitors generated approximately 32 million euros in tourism income for Helsinki in 2017. The average cruise visitor spent 63.70 euros during their stay, while those who participate in tours spent on average 92.70 euros. Among cruise passengers who visited Helsinki, 53 percent participated in pre-booked tours. The average duration of stay in Helsinki among cruise visitors was around five hours.