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Baltic hoping for better fortunes this year

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Stockholm, Sweden
What was anticipated as another record-breaking year for the Baltic Sea region with more than 6m cruisers expected in 2020, not surprisingly ended with disappointing numbers, according to Cruise Baltic’s latest Market Review.

The cruise network of 31 cruise ports in eight different countries now looks forward to the world returning to more normal conditions in 2021 and to a restart of cruise tourism.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of cruise guests visiting the Baltic ports in 2020 declined 99% compared to 2019 when 5.9m guests visited the Baltic on a cruise ship. The number of calls also decreased 96% and resulted with a total of 109 calls.

Turnarounds numbered 11 from the pre-pandemic scheduled bookings of 481.

‘The figures are of course disappointing and not at all as we predicted they would look at this time last year,’ said Claus Bødker, director of Cruise Baltic.

Looking to welcome cruise ships in a safe way

‘No one could have foreseen what 2020 would really be like. We can now only hope for better cruise tourism times and prepare to welcome more cruises in a safe way in 2021, he added.

Despite strict lockdowns and border restrictions, the Baltic ports still managed to welcome some cruise calls. 13 ports in total welcomed cruise ships and guests in 2020.

With the unfortunate results in 2020, expectations are naturally higher for 2021, noted Bødker with Cruise Baltic expecting over 3m  guests compared to 2020.

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