HaminaKotka, Finland, receives great guest feedback

HaminaKotka, Finland, receives great guest feedback (Image at LateCruiseNews.com - June 2023)The Port of HaminaKotka’s season began on May 18 when Fred Olsen Cruise Lines’ Balmoral sailed into Kotka Kantasatama city, to be followed at the end of the month by Saga Cruises’ Spirit of Discovery calling Kotka Mussalo container port.

“Kotka is an ever-popular port of call for our ships, providing something a little different to the headline ports that make up a busy Baltic sea cruise,” says Simon Giles, destination experience executive Saga Cruises. “We are guaranteed a warm welcome here and our cruise guests are always greeted ashore by some local entertainment, alongside an enthusiastic and helpful team.”

“The quaint city is a delight to explore independently, from the town square with its inviting coffee shops to the beautiful water garden and impressive Vellamo maritime exhibition.

“An impressive selection of shore excursions are also available to our guests in Kotka. Our most popular offerings are the opportunity to sail on a masted-ship through the archipelago or take a boat ride to the Imperial Fishing Lodge, surrounded by beautiful nature.

“For something a little different, a trip to nearby Malmgard Manor hosted by the wonderful owner Count Henrik Creutz is a special and memorable experience.

“Although Kotka may not stand out in a cruise itinerary that features many lauded European cities, after visiting here it is certainly a place our guests won’t forget,” he concludes.

In early June Silverseas Cruises’ Silver Wind sailed twice to Ulko-Tammio in Gulf of Finland National Park, a first for the island. “This was a unique new experience for all stakeholders, to arrange a spectacular new experience of nature luxury on an unpopulated island,” says Petra Cranston, project manager cruise business Port of HaminaKotka. “The overall feedback from guests, crew and captain of the ship was excellent.”

The easternmost cruiseport in the Baltic has not suffered from its location, explains Cranston who says that passengers are interested in being able to visit the border towns of Kotka and Hamina, hear about the cultural and maritime history, as well as experiencing nature in the nearby archipelago and the river. “Feedback has been only positive as they can see how peaceful and safe it is to be here. The location close to Helsinki and Tallinn gives a good opportunity for the cruiselines to make their visits in port longer as the distance between the different ports is short,” adds Cranston.

Independent travellers can explore Kotka, an island centre surrounded by the sea and dating back to 1879 and/or Hamina, a star-shaped small fortress town with many old picturesque wooden houses and an interesting history established in 1653.

The season continues into August with calls from companies such as Hanseatic Cruises, Phoenix Reisen, Norwegian Cruise Line, Noble Caledonia and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

The majority of passengers are American, British and German although many different nationalities also visit. This year about 20,000, including crew, are expected to visit the two towns between May and August.

(Port of HaminaKotka, Finland)