With the knowledge that Cruise Baltic has received considerable recognition from the cruise industry as a developing and constantly evolving Association – no longer just a project, when first formed in 2004 – Director, Bo Larsen is using the platform of Cruise Shipping Miami this week to announce news of two new partners to join Cruise Baltic.
They are the Port of Klaipeda, Lithuania and the Port of Sassnitz, Germany.
Instrumental in the original formation of Cruise Baltic in 2004, Ina Sidlauskiene from Klaipeda City Municipality Administration, said: “Co-operation in the international Cruise Baltic network means for us a valuable exchange of experience with highly professional partners who have been working successfully with the cruise industry for many years.
“The possibility to be part of common marketing activity to promote the Baltic region ports as cruise destinations, combined with the access to the best know-how, are the main reasons why Klaipeda has returned to the Cruise Baltic network.”
Nik Wittern, Senior Advisor Cruise: “We have decided to increase our efforts in promoting the port of Sassnitz and the region to the cruise line industry in the future. I am convinced that being a member of Cruise Baltic will support these efforts and will bring benefit to the port and the region, hence, becoming a member was the logical consequence.”
Business Focus; What’s New in 2011
“With the tools already in place which we have to work with - the quality and strength of our network, the loyal and enthusiastic partners with their knowledge sharing and commitment – we are well set up for future development and taking Cruise Baltic even further forward with our planned initiatives,” says Cruise Baltic Director, Bo Larsen.
He continues: “There are issues for us all in the industry to face and improve of course, including the ever-changing environmental issues, increasing spend at Baltic ports, and promoting the diversity of our region, however, we are equipped to rise to all those challenges.”
New strategies for this year include concentrating efforts on attracting the smaller cruise lines to the region. For example, SeaDream Yacht Club, with its two, 112-passenger mega yachts, is sailing in Northern Europe for the first time this year and is already committed to returning in 2012. Says SeaDream’s Graeme Adams, Vice President Voyage Planner: “In planning these new voyages, the appeal of the Baltic ports has ensured we have sold these voyages particularly well.”
News just this month is that Spanish line, Happy Cruises has repositioned The Gemini to the Baltic in May sailing week-long cruises out of Copenhagen and Tallinn on traditional Baltic routes. The Gemini will also sail six week-long Norwegian fjord itineraries out of Copenhagen.
Says Miguel Mounir, Happy Cruises’ Managing Director and COO: “This is a great opportunity for the Spanish to experience something completely different – to sail to the Baltic on a Spanish ship; the diversity of the Baltic destinations, makes them a really popular choice and a natural part of our growth strategy. We are looking to grow our passengers from 80,000 in 2010 to 100,000 in 2011.
And looking to results in 2011…
Ole Andersen, Chairman, Cruise Baltic says: “ We are anticipating a positive growth in Baltic Sea region cruise business in 2011. The sustained success to date, on which we shall continue to build, is in no small way achieved through a strongly-led organization and team-work - the future looks bright.”
The number of passengers to the Baltic Sea region in 2011 is expected to grow substantially with a growth rate around 12% - (an estimated increase of 380,000 passengers to almost 3.5million in 2011, due in part to an extended season which will begin early April and finish in October, plus the Christmas season).
In 2011 a 10% increase is expected to 2,210 calls (2,010 in 2010).
For 2011 a larger increase in turnarounds is expected from 242 in 2010, to an estimated 262 in 2011.