Cruise season 2012 in the Freeport of Riga

In 2012 the Freeport of Riga opened the cruise season earlier than usually – on April 30 with the call of prestigious MSC Lirica at the Riga Passenger Terminal. The season was concluded with the visit of luxury cruise ship Nautica (Oceania Cruises) on September 22.

During the season 91 cruise calls were registered at the port of Riga, which indicates 32% increase of calls comparing to 2011. With the significant increase of cruise calls, the number of cruise passengers grew accordingly. In total 81.2 thous. cruise tourists from more than 100 countries worldwide arrived to Riga. The statistics show that cruise tourists arrive to Riga from various exotic places such as Cameroon, Ecuador, Sri Lanka, and others, but the majority of port’s guests are German, American, Swedish and British tourists. Overall cruise activity indicators were exceptionally positive this season. The number of passengers increased by 28% compared to 2011.

In 7th of August the Freeport of Riga celebrated the thousandth cruise call in Riga in this century. The honour of the thousandth call belonged to the luxurious cruise ship Crystal Symphony (Crystal Cruises) that coincided with ship’s first visit to Riga. This season the Freeport of Riga welcomed as well the first visits of cruise vessels:  Princess Anastasia (St. Peter Line), Fram (Hurtigruten), Grand Mistral (Iberocruceros), Ocean Princess (Princess Cruises), Nautica (Oceania Cruises), Columbus 2 (Hapag Lloyd cruises), Hamburg (Oceania Cruises), Balmoral (Fred Olsen) and Aurora (P&O Cruises).

During the season the most frequent cruise vessels calling the Freeport of Riga were Marina and Nautica. These American operator’s Oceania Cruises cruise vessels called Riga 6 times each. Taking into account the increasing visits of American cruise operators this year, the Freeport registered a record high number of American cruise passengers – 17.3 thousand.

Although the cruise season 2012 is closed, Riga Passenger Terminal expects the expedition cruise ship Sorolla on November 18. During Christmas the cruise ship Silja Europa will have its annual visit to Riga.