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Baltic exceeds cruise passenger expectations, survey shows

Cruise passengers set high expectations to the Baltic, but these expectations are more than matched by the experience, a survey commissioned by Cruise Baltic shows.

 The survey shows that 84% of responses taken from the top 5 source markets (Italy, UK, Germany, USA, Spain; and 16% from other markets): Passenger feedback is one of the tools that has proved extremely useful in Cruise Baltic’s on-going strategic discussions. Results from a survey taken in Summer 2011 from a broad/wide group of passengers representing all the major markets revealed:

 * Expectations are very high 4.16 (scale of 1 to 5) prior to cruising the Baltic. Positive news is that expectations are fulfilled with a high score of 4.48 on the passenger satisfaction index.

 * overall satisfaction levels are high – 89% (the same percentage as in the 2007 Cruise Baltic survey); those ‘Likely to Return’ = 64% on a city break; and 55% on a cruise.

 * comparing the satisfaction levels of the warmer Mediterranean and the Caribbean regions, versus the colder Baltic, Alaska and the Norwegian Fjords – the latter scored the highest with the Baltic 4.48 (scale of 1 to 5).

 Other significant comparisons include:

* ‘satisfaction level of the cities visited’ - 4.46 (scale of 1 to 5)

* ‘quality of services’ - 4.45 (scale of 1 to 5); 87% of all passengers are very likely, or likely to recommend a cruise in the Baltic sea.

 Partner Survey

Another strategic tool of importance for Cruise Baltic’s network is the partner survey. Results from the survey conducted in October 2011 amongst all the Cruise Baltic members, have revealed:

 Eight key subjects were measured (scale of 1 to 5): Strategy, Value-for-money, Meetings, Secretariat, Director, Marketing, Press and Knowledge sharing: Overall satisfaction levels are very high – ranging from the role of the Director (4.69) and quality of the Secretariat (4.62), to the content of Steering Group Meetings (4.50).

Says Bo Larsen, Director, Cruise Baltic: “We evaluate constantly all our efforts, both from an internal and external perspective. The focus on value-for-money has definitely increased over the past years, which makes the partner survey a key tool in our efforts to improve our role and deliver ‘Return on Investment’ for our very loyal Baltic partners and the same goes for our strategic partners Scandinavian Airlines and Scandic Hotels.”

Conclusions: based on these responses, Cruise Baltic will continue its focus and commitment to increasing the value of the partnership and improving methods of implementing strategies; new PR and marketing initiatives will be adopted including improvements to the website, to increase Cruise Baltic visibility within the industry; and further efforts to improve knowledge sharing among members will be introduced.

Passenger volume rises at twice the rate of call increase in Baltic

Network Cruise Baltic has used the platform of Cruise Shipping Miami this week to announce the positive results of its Market Review 2012. The survey, conducted amongst all the Cruise Baltic destinations (25) - and for the first time including data from additional destinations St Petersburg, Kiel and Riga – reports on 2011 results and those anticipated in 2012.

The figures for 2011 summarized include:

* the number of passengers has increased by 12.8%

* the number of calls has increased by 6.0%

* the number of turnarounds has increased by 12.0%

* Copenhagen has experienced the largest numbers in terms of passengers, calls and turnarounds

 Says Bo Larsen, Cruise Baltic Director: “By including the ports of St Petersburg, Kiel and Riga in our survey we wanted to ensure that we remain the ‘first port of call’ for our cruise industry colleagues who are looking for a comprehensive overview on developments in the Baltic Sea region.”

From 2000 – 2011

- the number of passengers to the region has increased by an average annual rate of 12.2% - from 1.1 million in 2000 to 3.9 million in 2011. Looking ahead to 2012 it is expected that the number of passengers will increase slightly with a growth rate of 5.8%, representing an estimated increase of approximately 230,000 passengers, to more than 4.1million.

 - the number of calls has increased by an average annual rate of 4.0% per year - from 1,531 in 2000, to   2,361 in 2011. In 2012 a 9.5% increase is anticipated to 2,585 calls.

 - the number of turnarounds increased by an average annual rate of 9.8%. An increase of 9.7% is expected in 2012, from 411 (in 2011) to an estimated 451.

 In 2011 the top 5 ports (most passenger visits) are: Copenhagen with a 23.7% increase since 2010 = 819,000 in 2011; Tallinn with 437,517 and Helsinki with 385,000 have both increased by approximately 12%. St Petersburg saw a growth of 10.4%, 472,000 passengers and Stockholm increased by 8.9% to 452,000.

 Expectations vary for 2012 between 1.3% to 5.9% growth, while Tallinn expects a 1.7% decrease. The number of calls in 2011 increased at all of the top 5 ports. Copenhagen increased the most with 19.9%; Tallinn with 5% and Helsinki with 4.5%; St Petersburg with 1.6%; and Stockholm a small increase of 0.8%. 

Port of Rostock teams up with five partners in Miami promotion

Hafen-Entwicklungsgesellschaft Rostock is taking part in the largest international trade fair for the cruise shipping industry – Cruise Shipping Miami - from 12 – 15 March. Hafen-Entwicklungsgesellschaft is joined by five other exhibitors at the fair to promote Rostock-Warnemünde as a cruise destination as well as its maritime services industry.

 

Kloska Group, a ship supplier and service provider, the tour operators VIP Hanse Touring and European-Land-Excursions as well as the shipping agents HC Röver and Sartori & Berger are joining Hafen- Entwicklungsgesellschaft in a mutual presence for the Rostock port.

Under the motto “Destination Germany” five German cruise ports are present at a joint stand of 27 square-meters in the “German Pavilion”. The Rostock port will be joined at this year’s fair by Bremerhaven, Hamburg, Kiel and Lubeck.

 

After the big success last year the German cruise ports together inviting the international cruise shipping agencies to an evening reception on March 13 .Approximately 11,000 visitors from within the industry are expected at this year’s fair. Almost 900 exhibitors including more than 150 ports from all over the world will be presenting the latest trends and offerings of the cruise shipping industry.The Rostock port has been taking part in this cruise shipping convention in Miami since 1994.

 

With 180 notified calls of 39 cruise vessels, the cruise port of Rostock- Warnemünde is headed for a new record year in the upcoming season.

So Warnemünde is again the most frequented German cruise port this year.

 

 

Mayor Bloomberg announces cruise business generated a record high economic impact of $239 million in 2011 for New York City

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced that the cruise industry generated a total economic impact of $239 million for New York City in 2011 – a new record. The 2011 Economic Impact Study detailed an increase of nearly 50,000 passengers from 2010, to over 632,000 combined embarking and transit passengers in 2011. These passengers, along with crew, spent approximately $149.8 million in New York City in 2011. Overall, the study showed significant growth in all sectors of the City’s cruise industry with an 11 percent increase in ship calls, a 9 percent increase in passengers, and a 3 percent increase in spending over the previous year. The findings confirm that cruising continues to be an important component of the City’s tourism industry, which reached its goal of attracting 50 million annual visitors one year ahead of schedule, in 2011. The City welcomed a record 50.5 million visitors last year who collectively spent $32 billion. Tourism is now the City’s fifth largest industry, impacting 320,000 local jobs.

"The millions of tourists who visit New York City each year come here by plane, train, automobile and, increasingly, cruise ship," said Mayor Bloomberg. "This report is more proof that the investments we’ve made and the work we’ve done to support the cruise industry are now paying off. Our record number of 50.5 million visitors in 2011 shows that there has never been a more exciting time to visit New York City, and that’s great news for our economy. The cruise industry produces jobs and spending that are vital to our continued economic growth."

"The growing success of the cruise industry in New York is evidence of the impact of two of Mayor Bloomberg’s signature policy initiatives: encouraging tourism and reconnecting New Yorkers to our waterfront," Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel said. "With a record number of tourists visiting New York and our water as clean as it’s been in a century, we are confident that the cruise industry will continue to thrive in New York."

"The $239 million in economic impact generated by New York City’s cruise industry is further confirmation of the Bloomberg Administration’s successful efforts to promote this important sector," said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky. "With passenger and ship call numbers at all-time highs, the future of the City’s cruise industry as a generator for jobs and economic activity remains bright."

"The cruise sector is an important component of New York City’s $32 billion tourism industry," said George Fertitta, NYC & Company’s CEO. "With the increase in the number of cruise ships calling on New York City, there are more opportunities than ever before for travelers to take advantage of pre- and post-cruise visits, and experience the unique energy, diversity and optimism of the five boroughs."

New York City ranks among the nation’s top five cruise ports due its dining, shopping, entertainment, cultural and lodging options. In 2011: Ship calls at the Manhattan and Brooklyn Cruise Terminals increased to 267, from 241 in 2010; passengers increased from 582,979 in 2010 to 632,923 in 2011; and spending by passengers and crew increased from $144.6 million in 2010 to $149.8 million in 2011.

Spending was broken out into three categories: embarking passengers, who began their cruise in New York City, transit passengers, who took cruises that stopped in the city, and crew. Embarking passengers were the largest spenders with an estimated $121.9 million in direct spending, followed by on shore crew spending at $23.9 million, and transit passenger spending at $4 million. The largest spending categories for embarking passengers were hotel accommodations at over $61.8 million and food and beverages at over $17.2 million.

The majority of cruise passengers continue to come from outside the City. These passengers often do pre- or post-cruise stays at a New York City hotel, leading to the highest average spending per passenger at $442 during a two night stay. NYC & Company recently launched a new cruise microsite at wwwnycgo.com/cruisenyc that includes information for consumers on the city’s cruise terminals as well as local events and suggested pre- and post-cruise itineraries.

NYCEDC currently projects the numbers of passengers and ship calls to remain at all-time high levels, with an expected 634,000 combined embarking and transit passengers and 260 ship calls in 2012.

The economic impact numbers are the culmination of a year of positive developments for the City’s cruise industry. Last April the City announced that, beginning in May 2012, the Disney Magic would make New York City its homeport and sail 20 cruises from the Manhattan Cruise Terminal Disney will become the sixth major cruise line to make New York City its homeport, joining Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Holland America at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal, along with Cunard and Princess at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal.

In June 2011, the City announced that the Carnival Miracle would make New York City its year-round homeport beginning in April 2012. The Carnival Miracle will become the third major cruise ship to call year-round in New York City.

Norwegian Cruise Line announced in October 2011 that their new state-of-the-art 4,000 passenger ship, Norwegian Breakaway, will make New York City its year-round home port once it is built. The Norwegian Breakaway will begin making calls in May 2013, and will become the largest ship ever to call in New York City.

Supporting the cruise industry is part of the Waterfront Vision and Enhancement Strategy, a sustainable blueprint for New York City’s waterfront and waterways launched by Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn in May 2011. To reconnect New Yorkers and visitors to the water and reclaim New York City’s standing as a premier waterfront city, the plan will transform the City’s waterfront with new parks, new industrial activities and new housing, and it will capitalize on the City’s waterways to promote water-borne transportation, recreation, maritime activity and natural habitats. The plan has two components: a three-year action agenda comprised of 130 funded projects, including the development of more than 50 acres of new waterfront parks, creation of 14 new waterfront esplanades and introduction of new commuter ferry service; and the Vision 2020: New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, a framework for the City’s 520 miles of shoreline for the next decade and beyond. The 130 action agenda projects are expected to create 13,000 construction jobs and at least 3,400 permanent maritime and industrial jobs It is the first citywide plan for the waterfront in nearly two decades and the first ever comprehensive plan for the waterways themselves.

Martin Ahlberg appointed as new Director of the Baltic Sea Tourism Commission

Martin Ahlberg has been appointed as new Director of the Baltic Sea Tourism Commission (BTC). He succeeds Thomas Mielke who left the industry for new challenges. BTC is an international organisation for market-oriented companies and tourist organizations in the Baltic Sea Region – a fast growing tourist destination today! The goal is to increase the region’s attractiveness, and BTC initiates a process of renewal through new networks and partnerships. BTC’s operative function and administration will be run by FIN-S Marketing & Communication at Snickarbacken 2 in Stockholm, BTC said in a statement. 

 

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