The Baltic Sea Region is looking forward to more cruises in 2021

Statsgården pier in central Stockholm (Courtesy Ports of Stockholm)The cruise network, Cruise Baltic, has just published the annual Cruise Baltic Market Review, which not surprisingly shows disappointing figures in 2020 due to the pandemic.

The network is now looking forward to more normal conditions in 2021 and to restart cruise tourism.

The newly published 2021 edition of the Cruise Baltic Market Review reveals not surprisingly that 2020 was a challenge.

In the past year, the cruise industry all around the world experienced an extraordinary setback due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, and the cruise industry in the Baltic Sea Region was no exception.

What was expected to be a record number year with more than 6 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 in 2021 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 last year. 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,” says Claus Bødker, Director of Cruise Baltic.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of cruise guests visiting the Baltic ports in 2020 declined by -99% compared to 2019. The number of calls also decreased -96% and resulted with a total of 109 calls. The number of turnarounds decreased by -98%, 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.

With the unfortunate results in 2020, expectations are naturally higher for 2021.

“Estimates for 2021 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,” says Claus 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 in 2021 compared to 2020.

In 2020:
– The total number of cruise guests decreased by -99%
– The total number of calls decreased by -96%
– The total number of turnarounds decreased by -98%

In 2021, Cruise Baltic expects guest numbers to increase with 3,380,936 guests compared to 2020.

About the Cruise Baltic Market Review:
Cruise Baltic is a network of 31 cruise ports in 8 different countries in the Baltic Sea. The latest partner to join the network is Hamina in Finland that joined the network in early 2021. One additional port (St. Petersburg) has been included in the analysis to achieve a better view of the entire region. The purpose of the report is to present an updated view of the developments in the cruise sector in the Baltic Sea Region, including data on guests, calls and turnarounds. The information presented in the report is based on a collection of data among ports in the Baltic Sea Region as of January 2021. The report presents the actual developments until 2020 and the expected numbers for 2021.

Cruise Baltic was founded in 2004 and today it includes 31 ports and destinations in the Baltic Sea Region. The network offers easy access, great service, high standards, and full integration between ports and cities throughout the region.

(Cruise Baltic)