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Baltic ports share their ambitions for 2024 and beyond

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Cruise Baltic Director Klaus Bondam in Miami before the kick off of Seatrade Cruise Global 2024
Ports in the Cruise Baltic network updated Seatrade Cruise on new developments and future plans. 

The network, which comprises 32 ports and destinations in the Baltic Sea region, hosted a joint event with Cruise Norway in Miami before the kick off of Seatrade Cruise Global where its director, Klaus Bondam, described Baltic ports as ‘close competitors and friendly allies,’ and emphasised the diversity of the region. 


Copenhagen expects to receive cruise calls year-round including more than 50 from October 2024 to April 2025. By 2025, shore power will be available at Copenhagen Malmö Port, and will be at full working capacity by 2028. In addition, the Langelinie cruise pier, promenade, and home of The Little Mermaid statue will be renovated and shore power-ready by 2025.

And when it comes to new attractions, the ‘Home of Carlsberg’ opened in December. Carlsberg is a well-known beer brand, named after an influential family who lived during the late 1800s. Their vision was to create the best beer in the world and make art and culture available to everyone, resulting in multiple attractions in and around Copenhagen. Home of Carlsberg tells their story via a modern and interactive exhibition.


Barbara Scheel Agersnap, CEO, Copenhagen Malmö Port


Reachable from Kalundborg is Røsnæs – the largest wine area in Denmark. The Peninsular of Røsnæs has been declared one of Denmark’s most beautiful sites. The region has applied for Protected Designation of Origin certification. Climate change is turning the area into a growing wine-producing region with large international wineries showing an interest in the area.

In September 2023 Trelleborg Viking-Age Fortress was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list, with Forbes describing it as ‘Europe’s next big attraction.’ The fortress is the largest and best preserved of its kind in the country.


The Port of Roenne, Denmark is being expanded with a new 400 mtr multipurpose quay in the western part of the port area. The port has also improved navigation and manoeuvring conditions with a calmer harbour through the extension of the southern outer fault, removal of inner piers and deepening to 11mtr.  

The new quay is expected to be completed by April next year.

Destination Bornholm

There are two new shore excursions in Bornholm. Passengers can find out how, by 2030, 3 GW offshore wind farms will deliver power to Denmark, Sweden, and Germany via the island of Bornholm, becoming an ‘energy island.’ The tour takes place in the old electricity plant in the middle of Roenne – the capital of Bornholm.

Bornholm is recognised as one of Denmark’s gastronomic strongholds, which passengers can discover during the ‘Bike and taste tour in Roenne’ excursion, passing through one of Denmark’s largest urban conservation areas with cobblestone streets, blooming hollyhocks, and old half-timbered houses.


This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Port of Skagen, Denmark. ‘It has been an immense pleasure to be able to welcome so many beautiful cruise vessels and thousands of happy cruise guests from all over the world throughout a quarter of a century,’ commented Anne Sofie Rønne Jensen, cruise manager, Cruise Skagen. 

According to Willy Hansen, MD, Port of Skagen, 'We've grown significantly since 2015 when there was a multimillion pound investment to support cruise vessels. We have bookings all the way through to 2028 already.' It plans to have its first shore power plant up and running by late 2027, in order to deliver shorepower from the 2028 cruise season. 

Skagen expects to receive 59 cruise calls and up to 167,000 cruise passengers this year, but the destination tends not to receive calls in December/January when its key attractions are closed.

12 vessels will call at the destination for the first time in 2024: AIDA Cruises’ AIDAbella, Albatros Expeditions’ Ocean Albatros, Atlas Ocean Voyages’ World Navigator, Azamara’s Azamara Onward, Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Apex, Cunard’s Queen Anne, Phoenix Reisen’s Amadea and Amera, Princess Cruises’ Caribbean Princess, TUI Cruises’ Mein Schiff 7, Viking Cruises’ Viking Star, Villa Vie Residences’ Villa Vie Odyssey.

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Karen Christine Steenberg, junior cruise manager, Cruise Skagen/Port of Skagen; Astrid Handrup Rasmussen, cruise manager, Visit Aarhus; Morten Musk, commercial manager, Port of Aarhus; Will Hansen, MD, Port of Skagen


The Port of Aarhus, Denmark’s largest commercial port, anticipates the arrival of 240,000 cruise passengers this year – an increase of almost 40% compared to last season. 

In 2023, the port inaugurated Denmark’s first and only shore power supply system for cruise ships, which supplies green electricity from wind turbines. 

The Port of Aarhus aims to be carbon neutral by 2030 and is working towards becoming the most sustainable port in the Baltic Sea area.

Aarhus can handle some of the largest cruise ships. It receives approximately 60 cruise calls per year and 200,000 cruise passengers. 

The ‘Aarhus Eye’ attraction opened in Denmark’s tallest building, ‘Lighthouse 2.0,’ where passengers can dive into the history of Aarhus while taking in panoramic views, while drinking or dining. The attraction also hosts an immersive exhibition where visitors learn how the city developed from being the centre of the Viking Age in Denmark to what it is today, as the country’s second largest and second oldest city. 


In Tallinn, the newly opened pop-art museum POCO features a diverse exhibition showcasing works by iconic artists such as Warhol, Banksy, Koons, Lichtenstein, and more. Pop-art is characterised by a blend of irony, social critique, and playful elements.

The Estonian Maritime Museum’s Seaplane Harbor will reopen for visitors on May 12. With this reopening, the interactive section of the museum’s main exhibition will be expanded, featuring new exhibits highlighting extraordinary sea voyages. Additionally, an interactive exhibition will offer visitors the opportunity to engage with simulators and experience coping with seasickness on a lifeboat set on a trampoline. Following modernisation of the Seaplane Harbor, the Maritime Museum aims to become the most accessible museum in Estonia.

Tallinn will host and organise the 2024 Tall Ships Races sailboat regatta taking place from July 11 to July 14 at the Old City Harbor cruise area, offering a plethora of activities and experiences both on land and at sea.

Meanwhile, the Port of Tallinn is gearing up for the installation of shore power for cruise vessels. Recently, the port conducted a competition for the architectural design of a 110/10 kV building complex, including a substation with a capacity of up to 63 MVA, to be situated in the cruise area. This substation construction is crucial for enabling shore power capability for cruise ships at Old City Harbour by 2030. The envisioned substation, alongside a commercial building, will blend aesthetically into the port area’s future linear park and existing cruise terminal setup. 

Port of Tallinn’s cruise terminal has been awarded Green Key status, which recognises its commitment to environmentally sustainable practices. 


Estonia’s Kuressaare castle-fortress is one of the best-preserved castles in the Baltic states and has been home to the Saaremaa Museum for more than 150 years. 

A virtual lion, an engaging audiovisual presentation of the legend of the walled-in knight, and a museum shop have been added. 

In addition to its permanent exhibition, the castle also houses a temporary exhibition, ‘The islanders of the middle ages,’ taking visitors back in time to the life of a medieval islander. Among other things, visitors can test how much they have in common with the islanders of a century ago using a machine specially created for the exhibition.


HaminaKotka in Finland has positioned itself as an exclusive and sustainable destination providing unique experiences with the Gulf of Finland National Park offering experiences on non-populated islands. The nearby, authentic coastal towns of Hamina and Kotka have a rich cultural heritage originating from historic Russian and Swedish empires. There are a multitude of outdoor experiences year-round.


At the Port of Helsinki, there is a new ferryboat service from West Harbour cruise quays, a shuttle service to and from the city centre and archipelago sightseeing tours. A state of the art cruise call booking system, GISGRO, was deployed this year. Santa Claus may welcome passengers on the pier at West Harbour.

A new tour takes visitors to the sites and venues built for the 1952 Olympics, recounting history, legends, myths and sustainability connected with the event. Plus, there will be an array of food festivities in Helsinki this year, kicking off with a Michelin Guide Nordic ceremony in May. 

Cruise passengers arriving in Helsinki, Finland are never more than a 10-minute walk from a park or forest. 

Port of Helsinki is the governing member of Cruise Finland, the newly established network of ports, destinations and other Finnish stakeholders. 

For the 7th year in a row, Finland ranks as the happiest country in the world in the United Nations World Happiness Report. 


The Port of Turku, Finland joined the city’s climate team with an ambitious goal to be climate neutral by 2029 and hopes to be able to offer LNG bunkering as soon as possible. 

Updates to its ferry quays, starting in 2025, and works on a ferry passenger terminal will have a positive effect on cruising – the already short and walkable distance to the city centre will become even shorter, easier, and more scenic for cruise passengers. In the meantime, the port is working, in collaboration with the destination and local authorities, on anchorages for small ships and visits by Zodiac to the small islands in the archipelago that surround the city of Turku. 

According to Visit Turku Archipelago, the city of Turku, which turns 795 this year, has a bustling events calendar planned. For example, it will host The Tall Ships Races 2024 and Turku Music Festival, with a wide range of music from grand orchestral concerts to chamber music, recitals, and jazz.

Recognised as Finland’s top foodie destination, Turku hosts diverse culinary experiences like the Turku Food Weeks, showcasing local and seasonal delights. Finland’s ‘Picnic under the apple trees’ experience takes place in the nearby small town of Naantali.


In March, Sweden’s Port of Lysekil welcomed a Cruise Baltic fam trip delegation. Among the sites visited by cruise line representatives was the last stage of the Western Sea Boardwalk, newly opened. It now spans 1100 mtr along the cliffside and offers a picturesque stroll around the peninsula where Lysekil is nestled.

Following consultation with local pilots, Lysekil has been able to adjust its pier restrictions, increasing the maximum LOA from 250 mtr to 255 mtr, opening up the destination for larger vessels. 

Lysekil will receive six cruise calls this season. The first of these, from Compagnie Française de Croisières’ Renaissance, took place on April 11. 


Ports of Stockholm has been given the green light to apply for European Union funding for three sustainability initiatives. The major focus of the projects is the development of electricity infrastructure. During 2024 Ports of Stockholm will have two cruise quays ready shore power at Stadsgården S167 and S160. 

Stockholm received 128 cruise calls in 2023 and 121 in 2024. ‘It will be more or less the same in 2025, ‘ said Stefan Scheja, marketing manager ferries and cruises, Ports of Stockholm, ‘it’s really the American market that is missing.’ Plus, ‘large family cruises haven’t returned; we’re hoping 2026 will be different and things will return to normal,’ Scheja added. 

There are calls throughout the year, November being the exception. ‘It’s quite a new thing to be receiving expedition calls,’ remarked Scheja – a trend that emerged during the pandemic. 

Opening in spring is N.A.O.M, which stands for ‘Not an Ordinary Museum,’ and blending art, technology, and storytelling. 

Nordiska Museet’s new permanent exhibition is the museum’s largest to date. The exhibition is a diorama spanning over 500 years, about life, death, family, love, work, traditions, and everyday life in the Nordic region. 

A further new attraction is Wisdome Stockholm which is equipped with cutting-edge visualisation technology. 

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Stefan Scheja, manager, cruise and ferry, Ports of Stockholm and Karin Mäntymäki, director, market development, Visit Stockholm


Ystad in the very south of Sweden has a new pier capable of accommodating ships up to 250 mtr in length, while a small pier in the city centre can handle vessels of up to 90 mtr. Anchorage is available. 

Typically receiving between two and five cruise calls annually, Cruise Baltic’s newest member aims to appeal to the international cruise market. 

Located on the southern coast of Sweden, Ystad has a rich cultural heritage, picturesque landscapes, and vibrant local community.  The megalithoc monument of Ale's Stones (Ales Stenar) is a key attraction; Ystad also has a rich medieval history, vineyards, high-end restaurants, as well as Sandhammaren beach – one of Europe’s best beaches. 


Ludwig Böss from the Port of Ystad and Linus Mattsson, PM, Cruise Ystad

Scandinavian Airlines

From June 17, SAS will start connecting customers with a daily nonstop service to Atlanta, US from Copenhagen as part of its summer programme. 

SAS, a strategic partner of Cruise Baltic, is not only introducing a new destination but also increasing frequencies to the US during the summer season. The Copenhagen-New York (JFK) route will have up to two daily flights, complementing the existing daily flights to New York-Newark Airport from Stockholm, Oslo, and Copenhagen. 

Copenhagen to Boston flights will operate daily during the summertime. 

In addition, a fourth weekly flight will be added from Copenhagen to Toronto.