Helsinki, the capital of Finland and a lively seaside city, is poised to receive nearly 270 international cruises in the summer of 2017, up from what it received last year. The arrival of Astor to the Katajanokka Quay next to the Allas Sea Pool in the centre of Helsinki in early May flagged off the season. Cruise ships will arrive at four different harbours in Helsinki: Katajanokka, the South Harbour, Hernesaari and the West Harbour (Melkki Quay). Hernesaari and the West Harbour will serve over 80 percent of cruise visitors, and Santa Claus will be on hand to welcome them this summer in Hernesaari. On the basis of advance bookings, Helsinki expects to welcome an estimated 440,000 visitors, who will get to enjoy the cultural activities and services on offer this summer in the Finnish capital.
“The busiest day this summer will be May 31, when no less than five cruise ships arrive in Helsinki: Norwegian Getaway at the Melkki Quay, the German cruise ship AIDAmar and the Italian cruise ship MSC Magnifica in Hernesaari, and the luxury cruise ships Le Soleal and Ocean Dream in the South Harbour. Altogether these five cruise ships will bring over 11,000 cruise visitors to Helsinki in a single day,” said Jenny Taipale, Project Manager at Helsinki Marketing.
A new digital sign system introduced this summer in Hernesaari is expected to improve visitor experience and to make it easier for cruise visitors to find their way around. The project is being carried out together with Samsung and the Cruise Baltic network.
Last summer, Helsinki Marketing produced the entertaining 'Helsinki Talk Show' together with the Cruise Baltic network and the Princess cruise operator. Special guests from Helsinki entertained passengers on-board with talks on Helsinki as a city and travel destination. Special guests included Professor Marja Makarow (Millennium Technology Prize), fashion designer Marita Huurinainen and Laura Aalto (Development Director, Helsinki Marketing). The talk show was a big success and so the cruise operator has asked Helsinki Marketing to do it again this summer. This year’s special guests will include designer Noora Delage, the company said.
Six cruise ships will be visiting Helsinki for the first time this summer–Viking Sky, MSC Magnifica, Norwegian Getaway, Seven Seas Explorer, Columbu and Mein Schiff 6.
The last visit of the 2017 cruise season will be made by AIDAvita on October 20.
According to Helsinki Marketing, this year the biggest growth is expected to come in the number of visitors from Asia. Last year the biggest markets for cruise passengers were Germany, the US and Great Britain. Cruise Baltic expects the number of cruise visitors to the Baltic Sea region to increase by 13 percent and the number of cruise ship visits by 15 percent this year.
According to the European 2014 Cruise Passenger and Crew Survey, the average cruise visitor generates Euro 65 by way of tourism income individually. The figure is slightly higher, at Euro 87, for cruise visitors who take part in tours.