The international cruise season is expected to bring to Helsinki an estimated 400,000 visitors aboard 285 cruise ships between May and October this year. This would represent an increase of approximately 15,000 visitors compared to the previous record set last year. The majority of the passengers will be coming from the USA, Great Britain, Germany, Spain and Italy. The most rapid growth is being created by cruise visitors from within Europe. Each passenger spends an average of 66 euros per visit in Helsinki.
The majority of the international cruise ships arriving in Helsinki will moor at Hernesaari. This season cruise visitors will have the opportunity for the first time of taking a convenient waterbus directly to the Market Square in the city centre. The new service is being offered by Xmare, while will operate the service whenever a cruise ship arrives.
“In addition, Hernesaari will feature a new market area with six service containers, for which we are currently seeking partners. In summer 2013 the area will also include a new sauna shoreline, where cruise visitors can experience a genuine Finnish sauna during their short stays. The saunas will also be available for rent by residents and other visitors throughout the year. We are currently seeking sponsors for this project and awaiting final planning permission,” reports Cruise Coordinator Noora Heino.
The first cruise ship of the season will arrive in Helsinki on 6 May. The Helsinki City Tourist & Convention Bureau will offer tourist information services directly at the Hernesaari cruise ship terminal, as well as at its regular locations. A special Helsinki brochure for cruise visitors will be published at the start of the season in English, German and Spanish.
Cruise Insight magazine names Helsinki “Best Destination Experience”
Helsinki was awarded the title “Best Destination Experience 2011” by Cruise Insight magazine at the Cruise Shipping Miami 2012 event in March. Helsinki has continuously received high marks from international cruise operators. Other Baltic Sea cruise destinations were also awarded in different categories. Cruise Insight is an industry journal that is published twice a year.