More than a hundred foreign vessels have withdrawn in a short time – Helsinki was waiting for an almost record.breaking cruise season, then Russia invaded Ukraine – Economy

Based on advance bookings, the cruise season was expected to be almost record after two pandemic summers.

Over One hundred international cruise ships have canceled their arrivals in Helsinki next summer as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has forced shipping companies to re-route their Baltic Sea cruises.

It is reported from the Port of Helsinki that international cruise companies had made more than 300 Advance Reservations to the Port of Helsinki at the beginning of the year, but by the end of April there were more than 170 reservations.

Communications Manager of the Port of Helsinki Eeva Hietanen says there have been an exceptional number of cancellations this year.

“There are small changes in bookings every year, but the situation in Russia has caused more changes lately. American shipping companies have canceled their visits to Russia quite straightforwardly, ”says Hietanen.

Harbor Master Staffan Teromaa According to the Port of Helsinki, cancellations began to occur, especially after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, although the continuation of the pandemic also weighs on cruise traffic.

After the Russian invasion, international shipping companies decided to cancel their visit to St. Petersburg. As a result, many ships do not visit Helsinki or other Baltic ports at all, but some ships exceptionally stay in Helsinki overnight.

“When St. Petersburg was caught, the ships were re-routed, and this is reflected in the increase in overnight stays in Helsinki. Usually cruisers come in the morning and leave for the next port during the day or evening, ”says Teromaa.

Helsinki The international cruise season started last week on Maundy Thursday, when the Italian shipping company Iss-Tositt’s cruise ship Hamburg visited Helsinki on its way from Tallinn to Mariehamn.

Based on advance bookings, the cruise season was expected to be almost record after two pandemic summers.

In the peak year of 2019, 303 vessels called at the Port of Helsinki, bringing almost 605,000 cruise passengers to the city. At that time, cruise passengers and crew members left for Helsinki According to a survey by the Port of Helsinki approximately EUR 25 million.

In the first corona summer in 2020, the number of cruise ships fell to zero. Last summer, the number recovered for 14 vessels.

The majority of international cruise ships arriving in Finland stop in Helsinki. Another large cruise port in Finland is Mariehamn. Cruise ships in the Baltic Sea will also visit Kotka and Turku.

Helsinki Sataman Teromaa estimates that approximately 340,000 cruise passengers will arrive in Helsinki this summer. That’s about 260,000 fewer passengers than expected at the beginning of the year. As a result, the amount of money left by cruise passengers in Helsinki also drops significantly.

“As a result of the war and the pandemic in Ukraine, just under half of the passengers have dropped off,” Teromaa says.

The estimate is based on the assumption that the shipping companies have sold their vessels in full.

By Editor

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