Cruise Ship Dock Construction Completed, Visitor Numbers Expected to Decline ({{commentsTotal}})

Cruise ships in Tallinn's Old City Harbor
Cruise ships in Tallinn's Old City Harbor Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

A new 10 million euro cruise ship dock was opened at the Port of Tallinn on Saturday, welcoming the 330-meter Royal Princess with 3,000 passengers.

Port of Tallinn board member Allan Kiil said the dock was the most expensive one-off investment project for the port last year when construction began, and will cater to larger cruise ships of up to 340 meters in length, Äripäev reported today.

Urve Palo, the Minister for Economic Affairs, said Estonia still has room to grow in the cruise ship industry, and each of the nearly 500,000 one-day tourists leaves an average of 56.7 euros in the country.

A total of 300 ships bringing 470,000 cruise ship passengers to Tallinn are expected this year, slightly less than what was expected at the beginning of last year's cruise ship season.

Sirle Arro, head of marketing at the port, said they expect fewer cruise ships than last year to dock in Tallinn. She said new destinations have began to attract cruise ships, while other destinations have grown in popularity.

The Ukraine crisis has so far had little effect on cruise ship tourism on the Baltic Sea, although if more sanctions are placed on Russia, that situation will change, she said.

“This would be beneficial in the short term, as ships would be forced to stop in Tallinn for longer or find new destinations, for example visiting Saaremaa more often, but in the long term this is not viable, as St. Petersburg is the most important destination for Baltic Sea cruise ships. It is where passengers and ships want to visit,” Arro said.