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March 13, 2017
New focus for Cruise Baltic Strategy 2017-19

Speaking at a press reception held at Hilton Marina Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Cruise Baltic Director, Claus Bødker said: “I believe the new Cruise Baltic Strategy reflects the maturity of the network. We have implemented some very solid work over the last 12 years and now is the time to use this strong platform and take the next step by continuing to be innovative in many aspects, such as sustainability, new markets and improved business intelligence”.

He continued: “We have retained our strategic partner relationships with Scandic Hotels and Emirates and I am proud to know that all our 29 partners continue to support our ambitions. We will continue to spread knowledge about the Baltic Sea Region destinations amongst travel agents worldwide. We will also maintain healthy relationships with cruise lines and other partners in the industry to deliver exceptional cruise experiences, which is actually our Strategy mission. Moreover, we have identified the crew as an important target group and will be focusing on their well-being when calling at our destinations.”

There are several exciting new aspects on this very ambitious new Cruise Baltic strategy:
- A new Branding process underlining the uniqueness of the region and aiming at making the Baltic region even more attractive for cruising;
- An investment to further strengthen the cooperation with Chinese and German travel agents to sell the Baltic cruise product, including material in their native language and presence at key- trade shows;
- Promoting an extension of the season;
- Making the region more interesting for first-time cruisers;
- Focusing on sustainability by opening the dialogue on how to improve the economic and social benefits of cruising for the Baltic destinations and on how to work globally to minimize the environmental impact of the industry in the region.

Claus Bødker underlines: “We have agreed that strengthening our Branding of the Baltic and concentrating efforts on supporting Sustainability in the region are key to the future success of our activities.”

Cruise Baltic’s overall Strategy - targeting the markets of Australia, Canada, Germany, Spain, France, the US, the UK and China - to be implemented over the next three years, will focus on three specific goals:
- promoting the Baltic Sea Region as an integrated cruise destination
- connecting the Cruise Baltic partners with key industry players
- creating value through knowledge sharing and education

Cruise Baltic is a network of cruise destinations in the Baltic Sea offering easy access to 10 countries on a string with an ‘ocean of adventures’. The network - founded in 2004 with 12 destinations - has now grown in 2017 to 29 destinations.
For further information:
Cruise Baltic Director - Claus Bødker, tel: mobile: +45 6120 9674; email:; visit:
Press Contact: Jill Faulds, tel: + 44 (0) 1795 536446; mobile: +44 (0) 7831 235181; email:
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March 13, 2017
Cruise Baltic Market Review 2017 - Results Revealed

13 March, 2017, Fort Lauderdale: Network Cruise Baltic has used the industry platform of Seatrade Cruise Global to announce the comprehensive results of its Market Review 2017.

The analysis, conducted amongst all the Cruise Baltic destinations (29) – including, for full accuracy purposes, data from additional destinations St Petersburg, Kiel and Riga – reports on 2016 actual results and those expected for 2017.

The figures presented in the Market Review are based on a collection of data from amongst ports in the Baltic Sea region as of December 2016 and present an updated view of the developments in the cruise sector in the Baltic Sea Region. A summary of 2016 includes:
• the total number of passenger movements has increased by 1.2% (compared to 2015), totalling 4,333,529 pax
• the total number of calls was unchanged
• the total number of turnarounds has increased by 14.1%

From 2000 - 2016 figures:
- the number of passengers visiting the Cruise Baltic destinations has increased by an average annual rate of 9.9% - from 1.1 million in 2000 to more than 4.3 million in 2016.
- The number of calls increased by an average annual rate of 2.7% per year - from 1,479 in 2000, to 2,163 in 2016.
- The number of turnarounds increased by an average annual rate of 9.6% per year - from 106 in 2000 to 460* in 2016. (*turnaround numbers from Kiel and Lübeck-Travemunde unavailable for parts of the period and therefore are not included in this average annual growth rate calculation)

The Top 5 ports
- most passenger visits in 2016: Rostock saw the highest growth rate of 14% with 553,000 passengers compared to 485,000 in 2015; Copenhagen, the largest port in terms of passengers has also increased with rates of 9.3% from 2015 to 2016 = 740,000; Stockholm experienced a decrease of 5,7% to 500.000 passengers.
- The number of calls in 2016 increased in three of the top five ports. Rostock increased the most by 14%; then Copenhagen by 9.3%; Kiel by 5,8 %. The number of calls decreased in Stockholm by 5,7% and in St. Petersburg by 4 %.
- The Top 5 ports amounted to 1,136 calls out of the total 2,163 in 2016, accounting for 52% of all calls.
- in 2016 Copenhagen was once again the largest turnaround port with 139, marking an increase of 11% compared to 2015; Rostock and Kiel both experienced an increase of 12,6% and 15.3% respectively; Kiel grew by 15.3% to 136 turns.

In 2017 turnaround expectations will increase in three of the ports: by 35% for Stockholm, by 9.4% for Copenhagen and by 4.7% for Rostock while Kiel experience a decrease in turn by -5.9%.

In the larger ports, with between 50 - 199 calls - comprising Rostock, Kiel, Oslo, Klaipeda, Riga and Kristiansand – growth of passenger numbers continued at 7.9% in 2016, from 1,339,881 passengers in 2015 to 1,445,662 in 2016. In total the ports had 591 calls in 2016 and will increase in 2017 by 2.2% to 604 calls.

Those ports with between 25 - 49 calls – comprising Visby, Gdansk, Gothenburg and Aarhus – an increase of 2.5% in passenger numbers has been experienced. The passenger numbers in this segment are expected to increase by 21.4% by 2017. Between them the four destinations had 138 calls in 2016, looking to increase by no less than 40.6% in 2017 to 194 calls.

Overall the passenger figures in the ports with 0-24 calls decreased by -17.2% in 2016, however, with great variation within the group of 17. However, four of the destinations - Karlskrona, Helsingborg, Kalmar and Elsinore – each grew more than 100% in 2016. For 2017 overall passenger figures are expected to grow by 90.7% and calls in this segment is expected to increase by 70.4% to 196 calls.

Looking ahead to a record 2017:
- Passengers to the Cruise Baltic destinations: the number is expected to increase by 13.0% compared to 2016 with an increase of no less than 561,972 pax to a total of 4.895.501 pax.
- The number of calls to Cruise Baltic ports: an increase of 15.2% is anticipated, expecting 2,492 calls.
- The number of turnarounds: an increase of 3.7% is expected, from 460 in 2016 to an estimated 477 in 2017.
- Top five ports - positive passenger expectations for 2017 – Stockholm, St Petersburg and Copenhagen will grow (34%, 17.5% and 14.9%); Rostock will remain stable, while only Kiel is expecting a decrease of -13.5%. In fact, St. Petersburg, Rostock, Copenhagen and Stockholm are expected to receive its highest number of cruise guests ever.

Says Claus Bødker, Cruise Baltic Director: “I believe 2017 will prove to be a particularly significant and positive year for our Baltic Sea destinations – we are expecting the highest number of cruise guests and the highest number of turnarounds with several ports achieving record high numbers. We are committed to offering the many guests a truly great experience, with added value; and we are dedicated to bringing more ‘industry firsts’ to the marketplace in order to match the competition from the new, emerging cruise destinations.”

For viewing the Cruise Baltic Market Review 2017, go to link:

Cruise Baltic is a network of cruise destinations in the Baltic Sea offering easy access to 10 countries on a string with an ‘ocean of adventures’. The network - founded in 2004 with 12 destinations - has now grown in 2016 to 29 destinations.

For further information: Cruise Baltic Director - Claus Bødker, tel: mobile: +45 6120 9674;
Press Contact: Jill Faulds, tel: + 44 (0) 1795 536446; mobile: +44 (0) 7831 235181;
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March 03, 2017
Denmark’s Port of Aalborg ready to meet new PRF environmental requirements
Cruise vessels can discharge black and grey water in an environmentally-friendly manner when calling at the Port of Aalborg.

Cruise Baltic destination partner, the Port of Aalborg is the only CO2-neutral port in Denmark; and now another large investment is on its way, which will be to the benefit of both the environment and the cruise lines.

In collaboration with the municipality of Aalborg, the Port of Aalborg is set to make its largest investment in the cruise business, since constructing the Royal Cruise Berth at the city centre in 2011.

From 2018, cruise vessels will be able to discharge both black and grey water through a connection at the pier and directly into the public sewage system. The waste water will be processed at the local waste water treatment plant. The facility will be able to receive an unlimited volume, with a rate of about 100-150 cubic metres per hour.

Says Cruise Baltic Director, Claus Bodker: “We welcome the news of this significant investment being made by the Port of Aalborg, which is an essential initiative for the future success of the environment in the Baltic Sea Region.”

The facilities will be in line with the IMO/HELCOM regulations for cruise vessels in the Baltics that will apply to new vessels from 2019 and to all existing vessels from 2021.

The investment is in line with the environment strategy of the Port of Aalborg.

  • “We want to be the market leader in the supply of environmentally sustainable logistics services and facilities, properties and infrastructure in the port. We will ensure that the business areas achieve international standards in terms of sustainability and local environmental cooperation,”
    Claus Holstein, CEO at the Port of Aalborg, said.

During recent years, the Port of Aalborg has experienced a large increase in cruise tourism, and the new investment is set to support that growth.

  • “We will make it even more attractive for the cruise lines to choose the Port of Aalborg as their destination. We offer the guests completely unique experiences in the coziest city of Denmark and with the new investment, we also make it easier for the cruise lines to meet the international environmental requirements,”
    says Michael Rosenkilde Lund, Cruise Manager at the Port of Aalborg.

In 2016, Aalborg hosted 21 cruise calls and 2017 will prove another record year for Aalborg with 36 cruise vessels calling at the port.

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February 28, 2017
Denmark's Aarhus hosts first Cruise Baltic Network Meeting of 2017
Aarhus, Denmark’s second largest city and significant port – one of Northern Europe’s largest – has this month hosted the first Cruise Baltic meeting of 2017, attended by over 50 delegates, representing 25 partner destinations from the Baltic Sea Region and Scandic Hotels.

The 2-day meeting took place at the Scandic Aarhus City hotel, when delegates from both port and tourism organisations were welcomed by Cruise Baltic Director, Claus Bødker and his marketing team. He said: “Our programme for the meeting has been enhanced by the participation from guests representing six cruise lines – Frédérique Patry, Silversea; Ann-Kristin Johansson, AIDA; Sarah Schramm, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises; Michael Schulze, Phoenix Reisen; Stephanie Kirsch, TUI Cruises; and Bruce Krumrine and Melanie Lewis, Princess Cruises.”

Day 1 of the Agenda focused on a presentation by Claus Bødker on the proposed Cruise Baltic Strategy 2017-2019, which was discussed and approved by all the partners, details of which will be announced next month at Seatrade Cruise Global in Fort Lauderdale; and additionally a session on sustainability at Baltic Seacruise ports and destinations.

Day 2’s programme featured a workshop on the joint project with Princess Cruises, which will continue in 2017; and planning details announced of two cruise line familiarisation trips to take place in June this year: one to Lübeck-Travemünde, Rostock, Malmo, Helsingborg and Elsinore – the other to Oslo, Arendal, Kristiansand, Klaipeda, Tallinn and Saaremaa.

The 2-day programme also included individual meetings taking place between the cruise line executives and the respective destinations; and delegates enjoyed a leisurely evening spent at Aarhus Street Food and an interesting excursion to the Old Town Museum and Port.

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Cruise Baltic Meeting Aarhus 2017
October 26, 2016
An Industry First -­ A Regional Cruise Tourism Dialogue For The Baltic
This month Director of Cruise Baltic, Claus Bødker, was among a targeted group of participants representing cruise lines, CLIA and major ports and destinations, who attended the first Regional Dialogue for the Baltic, organised by the EU Commission.

Held at the Scandic Copenhagen, this one-­‐day Baltic workshop on cruise tourism followed the launch at a conference in Brussels in March 2015 of the first Pan-­‐European cruise dialogue, held in the framework of action 3 of the European Strategy for more Growth and Jobs in Coastal and Maritime Tourism.

October 2015 saw the first regional Mediterranean dialogue taking place in Italy. The Baltic will now continue this approach to foster solutions for cruise tourism at regional level and will bring stakeholders closer together in a common effort for a more sustainable and competitive sector in the Baltic.

Christos Economou from the EU Commission began proceedings with an opening statement; and of particular relevance, Claus Bødker, Cruise Baltic, in his address to the audience, made mention that the Baltic Sea generates 1.4 billion Euros in direct revenues and that the cruise industry generates no less than 12,000 jobs in the region.

The Workshop Agenda featured three roundtable discussions on:
  • promotion of cruise tourism in the Baltic, how to guarantee an integrated cruise tourism offer in destinations, tools and tricks for destination promotion
  • sustainable destination management, integration of ports with port cities, cruise tourism impact on local communities
  • promotion of the environmental sustainability of cruise tourism in the Baltic by best practice sharing

A general session followed to assess the results of the roundtable discussions, looking to evaluate the respective commitments undertaken and identifying better ways to achieve them. Conclusions reached included: confirming the need to promote integrated solutions based on a comprehensive dialogue and collaboration between all major participants -­‐ the cruise operators ports, destinations and local stakeholders; and at all times underlining the fundamental business value aspect of a clean coastal and maritime environment.

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September 22, 2016
Baltic Sea Region hosts Successful Summer Season Familiarisation Trips
The Summer of 2016 has seen the successful completion of two cruise line familiarisation trips to Denmark, Finland, Poland and Sweden, co-ordinated by network Cruise Baltic during August.

Invited cruise line senior executives – specialists in itinerary planning and shore excursion purchasing – joined on the trips with representatives from network Cruise Baltic and the host destinations (port and tourism).

• The first Baltic Sea Region itinerary in August was hosted by: Stockholm and Karlskrona, Sweden; Aarhus, Aalborg, Copenhagen, Fredericia and Skagen, Denmark; and Gdansk, Poland.

Cruise line participants were: Emma Bean, Thomson Cruises, Product and Planning Manager; Rosalind Marshall, Saga, Shore Excursions and Purchasing Executive; and Christian Ceplak , Viking Cruises, Senior Manager Land Operations Ocean.

• Followed closely by the second trip to Finland, from Gothenburg, Sweden to Helsinki, Finland, visiting Turku, Mariehamn, Kemi and Kotka.

Cruise line participants were: Martin Lister, Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines, Itinerary & Experience Development Manager; Rosalind Marshall, Saga, Shore Excursions and Purchasing Executive; and Claire Spriggs, Thomson Cruises, Product & Planning Executive.

Says Cruise Baltic Director, Claus Bødker: “We so appreciate all the effort by our destination partners, which is involved in co-ordinating these fam trips. I believe they prove invaluable - particularly in terms of knowledge sharing – for both myself and my team at Cruise Baltic and, of course, more importantly, our cruise line guests, who invested the time in joining us. The programme of visits at the destinations was varied and informative. From the positive responses received from the cruise lines, we will certainly be planning more of these trips in the future”.

PHOTO CAPTION: Pictured from left to right in Helsinki: Martin Lister, Fred Olsen Line; The local guide; Jenny Taipale, VisitHelsinki; Antti Pulkinnen, Port of Helsinki; Claire Spriggs, Thomson Cruises
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About Cruise Baltic

Cruise Baltic is a business-to-business network of cruise destinations in the Baltic Sea. Together we provide easy access - for cruise lines and their guests – to 10 countries on a string and an ocean of adventures. We have the know-how, the experience and the passion to add value for all guests.

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