KLAIPEDA – Klaipeda is set up this year's cruise season on Friday, with the number of cruise ship calls expected to fall to 44, a third less than last year, due to the geopolitical situation in the region and rising travel prices, Romena Savickiene, director of the port city's tourism and culture information center, said on Tuesday.
The situation is similar in other Baltic Sea ports, whose proximity to Russia scares away travelers, according to Savickiene.
"The geopolitical situation is one of the main reasons, which is very evident not only here, but also in the whole Baltic region, especially in Latvia and Estonia," the director said, noting that "Estonia used to have 300 (ship calls), and now it has around a hundred".
"The war situation has an impact, because one cruise visits several ports whose neighbors are not something to be happy about," she said.
This season's first cruise ship, the Bahamas-flagged Hamburg, is expected to dock at Klaipeda's Cruise Ship Terminal on Friday morning.
The season is scheduled to close on September 17.
Klaipeda welcomed 61 cruise ships and almost 47,000 passengers during the 2022 season, which opened on April 11 and closed on October 8. Due to the pandemic, only two cruise ships visited the port in 2021 and none in 2020.