The Port of Helsinki fears that a plan by the Finnish government to increase fairway dues by 12% from the beginning of 2012 will hit hard cruise calls to the city.
"We have done quite a bit of work to get fairway dues for cruise ships to a moderate level. And then comes this! We have made calculations about the effects of the cost (increase) and we inform the Ministry all the time. Obviously, we think that the negative effect will not be as minor one," Eeva Hietanen, head of communications and cruise development at the Port of Helsinki, told Cruise Business Online.
The port expects 270 cruise calls with a total of 370,000 passengers this year, which is broadly speaking line with the figures of 2010. Fairway dues are a tax levied by the government on ships using Finland's waterways. It is charged for each visit. The Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications has included the 12% increased of the due as part of the government's 2012 draft budget.