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Panache estimates £100m loss in Russia’s cruise revenue since start of the war in Ukraine

Feedback by cruise passengers visiting Tallinn and Riga has been positive, with British passengers reporting good value for money
As much as £100m could have been lost from the Russian economy last year as cruise ships visited alternative destinations due to the war in Ukraine, according to Panache Cruises.

Latvia and Estonia drew higher financial reward as other Baltic countries absorbed the sailings from Russian ports, indicate findings by the sellers of luxury, river and niche cruises whose founder James Cole has worked with some of the UK’s largest cruise travel agency brands.

‘The war in Ukraine has had a number of unexpected consequences for Russia and one of them being a loss of tourist revenue as far north as St. Petersburg,’ stated a Panache Cruises spokesman.

‘The Russian city has long enjoyed a reputation as one of the highlights of a Baltic Sea cruise but since the situation in Ukraine began to unfold, cruise companies have been seeking out alternative destinations to take holidaymakers.

‘Estonia and Latvia have been the main beneficiaries with the number of cruises to both roughly doubling in number in 2022 compared to before the pandemic.’

£50m in each country

Prior to the pandemic, Cruise Baltic estimated that around 650,000 cruise ship tourists visited Tallinn each year with a similar number also stopping at Riga, with passengers spending £50m in each country.

Panache believes those numbers have approximately doubled to 1.3m over the past 12 months, with spending in each destination at around £100m from cruise ship tourists alone.

‘Our analysis estimates that numbers of cruises and therefore the number of tourists visiting Estonia and Latvia instead of Russia have doubled, so it’s safe to assume spending has approximately doubled also,’ continued the spokesperson.

Years for cruising to recover in St Petersburg

Panache sees the trend for cruises beyond Russia ports continuing, with positive feedback reported from passengers. ‘The feedback we have had from customers on both Tallinn and Riga has been outstanding. They are both beautiful capital cities and largely unspoiled compared to more visited destinations.’

He continued, ‘British visitors report that their money goes much further than expected when visiting these cities as costs are still relatively low compared to St. Petersburg so they represent great value for tourists.

‘We see this trend continuing as long as the war in Ukraine goes on and even beyond that. It may take many years for St. Petersburg to recover in terms of lost tourist revenue.’

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