Thu, 04/25/2024 - 12:42
Nieuw Statendam

“This has been a difficult time for the Baltic Sea region, but we hope that we will gradually return to an upward trend, as it was before the pandemic and the war started by Russia in Ukraine,” commented Jens Chr. Skrede, Managing Director at Cruise Europe, referring to the current situation in the sector.

In April 2024, the representatives of the Freeport of Riga Authority together with the Riga Investment and Tourism Agency, Ro-Pax Terminal and Riga Cruiseship Agency participated in the event “Seatrade Global 2024”, representing the Port of Riga and the city at the world's largest cruise tourism exhibition. They met with industry partners and representatives of cruise companies to discuss cruise line plans for the coming years as well as current reservations.

During the forum, it was confirmed that several new U.S. cruise lines might enter the Port of Riga in the next few years, and the return of some large cruise lines could be expected soon.

Over the next three years, the U.S. cruise company Princess Cruises is planning to significantly increase the number of calls to the port of Riga. Line spokeswoman Debbie Holbrook stated: “We're viewing the route’s development positively. We are delighted to resume our voyages and will continue to send our vessels to Riga and other destinations in the region. Our passengers cherish those destinations and hold them in high regard, making them significant for our cruise line.” This season the ship of the Princess Cruises line will call Riga only once, however ship calls within one season have already been officially announced for 2026.

“We have initiated negotiations with the management of the US-based cruise line Carnival Cruise Line to include Riga in its tourist cruise itinerary starting from 2026. These are large, beautiful premium class ships capable of bringing a large number of tourists to our city, making the arrival of such a line at Riga a great success. Unless the situation in the region worsens, we stand a good chance of welcoming several truly unique ships of top-level cruise brands to the Port of Riga in the coming years. These may include Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection cruise yachts and Explora Journeys ships, which represent MSC's exclusive niche product,” said Edgars Sūna, Deputy CEO for Development of the Freeport of Riga, referring to the discussions during the “Seatrade Global 2024”.

Riga has also garnered recognition from the American exclusive niche cruise line Silversea Cruises. “According to this year’s cruise sales figures in the region, the Baltic Sea route remains in high demand even without St. Petersburg. All reservations for this summer are fully booked, and considering the positive trend, we are thinking about launching another new ship in the Baltic Sea for the next season,” highlighted Susanna Capaccio, Silversea Cruises representative. She emphasized that Riga is a very beautiful city with a charming old town and easily accessible sights. “We have noticed that cruise guests initially unfamiliar with Riga return overwhelmed and excited after exploring the city. Unforgettable tourist experience and exceptional service provided exceed expectations”, added Susanna Capaccio.

“We have jointly invested a lot of work in the development of the cruise niche, presenting Riga as a unique destination for cruise travel, providing excellent customer service in the port, highlighting the safety of the region, offering travelers a diverse and authentic tourist experience. We are pleased with every positive feedback and welcome new cruise lines to Riga, which will contribute to the increase in the number of cruise passengers and the city's economy, promoting international recognition of Riga,” said Edgars Sūna.

This year's cruise season in the port of Riga will start tomorrow on April 25 with the arrival of the ship Le Bellot of the French cruise company Ponant .

A total of 67 cruise ship calls are expected this year, making an increase of 5 ship calls compared to last year.

Information for media

Liene Ozola
  • liene.ozola [at], +371 670 308 53
  • Freeport of Riga Authority
  • 12 Kalpaka blvd, Riga, Latvia, LV-1010