Record numbers of cruise guests visiting the Baltic Sea

In 2018, more cruise guests than ever before went ashore at a Baltic Sea port. This is shown in a new report from Cruise Baltic, which also reveals a record high number of calls into the Baltic Sea ports. The compass points towards further growth in 2019.

Cruise lines and cruise guests worldwide increasingly head towards the Baltic Sea. Thus, a report about the development of the 29 Cruise Baltic ports as well as the ports in St. Petersburg, Riga and Kiel shows an increase in the number of cruise guests of 7.3 percent in 2018. In total, the ports welcomed 5,424,943 cruise guests. This is a new record.

“The development shows that the cooperation between the Cruise Baltic ports is an effective launch pad for growth, where we have a clear focus on developing the cruise destinations and creating high guest experiences. At the same time, the record is an attestation that the Baltic Sea ports have managed to adapt to market trends and, for example, facilitate today’s larger ships,” says Claus Bødker, Director of Cruise Baltic.

Last year was also the year when record numbers of cruise ships berthed at one of the Baltic Sea ports. Although the average number of guests on board a cruise ship since 2008 has grown from 1,340 to 2,017, still more cruise lines are heading towards the Baltic Sea. Thus, in 2018, the number of cruise calls was 7.7 percent higher than in 2017.

The development is good news for ports and cities in the Baltic Sea region, which may even look forward to yet more cruise guests in 2019.

“The prognosis for this year looks very promising. Last year, the Baltic ports could welcome no less than 5,4 million cruise guests, and we expect to top the record this year, where we expect to welcome 5,8 million cruise guests,” says Claus Bødker.

With 868,000 cruise guests last year compared to 2017, Port of Copenhagen was the busiest cruise port in the Baltic Sea region. This is concluded in the Cruise Baltic Market Review, which highlights the number of guests as the highest in the history of Port of Copenhagen. Here there is also a chance of further progress, and specifically the prognosis for 2019 shows a growth of 12.3 percent.

On second, third, fourth and fifth place of the most visited ports in the Baltic Sea, the report lists Rostock, St. Petersburg, Tallinn and Stockholm, respectively.

*The data in the report was collected in January 2019 and was based on figures from the ports of the Baltic Sea.


In 2018, the cruise business in the Baltic Sea experienced an increase in the number of cruise guests visiting the region, amounting to a total number of 5,424,943 guests. This is the highest number ever. The region also experienced positive growth rates regarding calls and turnarounds compared to 2017.

In 2018:
– The total number of cruise guests has increased by 7.3%
– The total number of calls has increased by 7.7%
– The total number of turnarounds has increased by 2.9%

Estimates for 2019 are overall positive, estimating a further increase in number of guests and calls.

In 2019:
– The total number of cruise guests will increase by 6.6%
– The total number of calls will increase by 3.6%
– The total number of turnarounds will increase by 1%

In 2019, Cruise Baltic expects guest numbers to increase by more than 700,000 compared to 2017 to almost 5.8 million guests.

Cruise Baltic was founded in 2004 as a network of 12 cruise destinations in the Baltic Sea region. Since then, the network has been growing and today it includes 29 destinations.

(Cruise Baltic)