Riga is one of the most attractive destinations for a Baltic Sea cruise. The excellent recreational and cultural offer of the city of Riga makes it one of the most popular waterfront cities, highly appreciated by cruise tourists, while the infrastructure providing excellent cruise services is appreciated by cruise line operators.
The 820-year-old city of Riga with its rich culture and unique architecture of various periods, high-quality services of the hospitality industry has always been a popular destination for tourists from all around the world, including cruise passengers. Moreover, due to the passenger port central location and the developed motor road network, the cruise passengers can easily reach the most significant tourist attractions elsewhere in Latvia from Riga within the cruise program.
The technical and navigation capabilities of the Freeport of Riga ensure safe and fast servicing of large cruise vessels. The largest cruise ship that has ever visited the Freeport of Riga is the “Celebrity Silhouette” with more than 2,700 cruise passengers. The length of the ship - 315 meters, width - 36.9 meters, maximum draught - 8.3 meters and GT - 122 thousand tons.
In the framework of the Freeport of Riga development it is planned to build a new, modern berth and terminal infrastructure in the port area Eksportosta to accommodate large cruise vessels. Esksportosta is located close to the city center, making the stay in Riga more comfortable for ship passengers, more profitable for operators, and more environment-friendly for the city residents reducing the environmental impact of large vessels.
As early as 2026, the Rail Baltica high-speed railway will connect Riga with the capitals of the Baltic States and the cities of Northern Europe. Due to the connection of Riga Central Railway Station with Riga Airport, which is to be implemented within the framework of Rail Baltica project, passengers from Riga Airport will be able to get to the port of Riga in 20 minutes. Thus in the future the Freeport of Riga might become a convenient Baltic Sea cruise “turnaround port”, or a port where cruise ships and passengers start and end their journey.
Membership in international associations
With the aim to promote the development of cruises in the Freeport of Riga, the Freeport of Riga Authority has joined the world's largest cruise industry association Cruise Lines International Association CLIA (www.cruising.org) as well as the Cruise Europe - a business to business network of cruise ports and destinations in Northern & Atlantic Europe, which brings together more than 100 European ports to jointly promote cruise development in the region (www.cruiseeurope.com).