Although several Baltic countries are now hosting cruise ships and CruiseBaltic’s annual market review shows positive predictions for this year, the future is once again uncertain, the organisation said.
Baltic countries are holding their breath, while the situation between Russia and the Ukraine escalates.
With nearly 2,800 expected cruise ship calls this year, the forecasts contained in the latest CruiseBaltic Market review were positive.
Despite the predictions for increased interest in the region, CruiseBaltic admitted that it will be difficult to know what to expect this year.
“Our thoughts are with the Ukrainian people and we are once again facing uncertain times ahead. We had hoped that 2022 would show us what the new normal would look like, but it will most likely not be the case with the tragic situation.
“However, if the COVID-19 situation taught us one thing, it’s how well the cruise industry manages pressure and difficulties,” said CruiseBaltic Director, Claus Bodker (pictured).
During a typical Baltic cruise year, the ports welcome more than 2,000 cruise ship calls. In a good year, this number can rise to 2,500.
If 2022 meets expectations of almost 2,800 calls, it will be the first cruise year to be closer to normal, since the start of the pandemic.
Despite the pandemic and its restrictions, the Baltic Sea region welcomed 648 cruise calls and nearly 1 mill cruise guests last year.
However, the options for cruise ship destinations were limited with Swedish cruise ports receiving nearly half of all the cruise calls in the region.
Cruise operators are currently expecting to stick to their itineraries for 2022 with the exception of calls at St Petersburg.
CruiseBaltic spans a network of 32 cruise ports in eight countries in the Baltic region and last year, the Finnish port of Hamina and Sassnitz in Germany joined the association.