Helsinki expects another record summer for cruise visitors
Photo: Joona Saaresto
Helsinki expects to receive almost 300 international cruise ship calls during the summer 2018 season. The Helsinki Helpers will be on hand to greet the visitors right from the start of the season. According to international forecasts, the popularity of the Baltic Sea as a cruise destination is expected to grow even more in the years ahead.
The upcoming cruise season in Helsinki will once again be busier than ever. Almost 300 cruise ships are expected to call on the Finnish capital, bringing with them over half a million international cruise visitors.
The cruise season begins on 24 April with the arrival of the five-star cruise ship MS Hanseatic at the South Harbour. The busiest day of the summer will be 2 July, when six cruise ships will call on Helsinki on the same day with almost 10,000 cruise passengers altogether.
The upcoming cruise season reflects in part the growth in tourism in Helsinki. In 2017, the Finnish capital attracted 266 cruise ship calls with a combined total of 478,000 cruise passengers.
”Tourism in Helsinki is growing at a healthy rate, and the growing number of international cruise ships demonstrates for its own part how Helsinki is an attractive destination. The estimated number of cruise ship visits this summer represents growth of nearly 13 percent compared to last summer’s record season,” says Laura Aalto, CEO of Helsinki Marketing.
The large number of international cruise visitors during the summer season is also good for business among local service providers. According to a survey conducted in 2017, each cruise visitor spends an average of 63.70 euros during a five-hour visit to Helsinki. In total, cruise visitors generated approximately 32 million euros in tourism income for Helsinki last year.
Helsinki Helpers begin their season already in May for the first time ever
Tourist Information’s summer workers, the Helsinki Helpers, are a familiar sight on the streets of the city and at the cruise harbours. The first Helsinki Helpers will begin working already in May so that they can serve cruise visitors already at the start of the season.
“In response to the growing demand for mobile Tourist Information services at our cruise harbours, the first Helsinki Helpers will begin their season already at the start of May. They will be joined by the rest of the Helsinki Helpers in the city centre as of 28 May,” Aalto continues.
In addition to the Helsinki Helpers, cruise visitors will be served by the new Tourist Information offices inside the Central Railway Station and Stockmann’s department store beginning this May.
Faster growth expected for the Baltic Sea region
The number of international cruise visitors to the Baltic Sea increased by 1.2 million in 2017 compared to the previous year, and the number is expected to grow by a further 8.4 percent this year.
According to Cruise Baltic, the network of international cruise destinations in Northern Europe, cruise ships already carry 27 million passengers a year globally, and this number is expected to grow to 40 million over the coming decade. Furthermore, cruise destinations with cooler temperatures, such as those in the Baltic Sea, are expected to grow even more in popularity. According to the network, the trend will be for cruise ships to begin favouring the Baltic Sea and Asia over the Mediterranean and Caribbean.
In addition, Cruise Baltic believes that the key themes in global cruise travel are expected to be sustainable tourism, wellness and smart travel apps.
CEO, Helsinki Marketing
Tel. +358 40 507 9660
Helsinki Marketing is a company owned by the City of Helsinki. It is responsible for operative city marketing and business partnerships for Helsinki. Helsinki Marketing interacts with local residents, visitors, decision-makers and experts.