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Roadmap for sustainable cruise port development worked out

The Green Cruise Port – Sustainable Development of Cruise Port Locations project has been completed along with the action plan and recommendations for the Baltic Sea cruise ports. The project was financed from the European Regional Development Fund and its purpose was to unite the Baltic Sea cruise ports to enable solving current problems with joined forces and to support sustainable and quality development of all ports involved in the project. By joining the project, the Freeport of Riga Authority received an opportunity to study the aspects that are the most important for cruise development at the Port of Riga, exchange information and gain experience from other Baltic Sea cruise ports.

The Green Cruise Port project included analysis of the situation in the Baltic Sea ports and search for solutions in three main areas: 1) port infrastructure development according to sustainability criteria, 2) environmentally friendly passenger land transport links with the port, 3) environmental and economic impact of cruise passenger sightseeing on the port cities. Summarising experience and knowledge of the Baltic Sea cruise ports, Green Cruise Port Action Plan 2030 was developed to serve as a roadmap for the Port of Riga as well and to boost cruise ship and passenger numbers in Riga while minimising any negative effects of cruise tourism. 

Ansis Zeltiņš, CEO of the Freeport of Riga: “Cruise industry worldwide and in the Baltic Seas region is developing very rapidly. We at the Port of Riga are also happy that the numbers of visits of cruise ships and the numbers of cruise passengers are growing. In the new Freeport of Riga development programme, we have set a goal to make Riga an important cruise port in the Baltic Sea region. 

At the same time we understand that cruise ships have significant impact on the environment, city infrastructure and people. One of the greatest challenges for cruise ports is the fact that the ships get bigger and bigger carrying even more passengers at once. Not only it requires the appropriate infrastructure to accept ships and passengers in the port, but also introduction of solutions that would minimise the impact of the ships and tourism on the city environment. Our aim is not only to make the Port of Riga frequently visited and important, but also a truly sustainable and green cruise destination.”

The Port of Riga project included a study of cruise terminal sustainable development options at the Port of Riga. The study has shown that the Port of Riga has the necessary main preconditions for sustainable development of the cruise terminal infrastructure. The existing Riga Passenger Terminal (pier) has good location; while the length of the pier and the size of territory for land operations are limiting factors. So far, the Export Port and Andrejsala have been considered the best sites to create a sustainable cruise terminal complying with the most demanding environmental standards.