Record number of cruise passengers for Helsinki, Kiel

The Port of Helsinki reached a new high of 478,000 cruise ship passengers in 2017, with more than a quarter (26 per cent) originating from North America.

Communications Manager Eeva Hietanen said the record passenger numbers represent a 17 per cent increase in the Finnish capital during 2016 and a 9.5 per cent increase over 2015, which was the previous highest.

One quarter of passengers came from Germany, with the United Kingdom (10 per cent), Canada (six per cent), and Spain (five per cent) providing a substantial proportion of patronage.

It mirrors the growth in sea traffic from January to September, which increased 12.7 per cent to 10.5 million tonnes of cargo.

Of this, 5.5 million tonnes was imports (up 13.2 per cent), and 5.0 million tonnes of exports (up 11.5 per cent).

Unitised cargo, transported in sea containers, trucks and trailers,  is the largest cargo type at the Port of Helsinki.

Meanwhile, passenger numbers at the German port of Kiel rose to 513,500 as gross tonnage exceeded 10 million gross tonnes.

Port Managing Director Dr Dirk Claus said 29 ships performed 143 calls to reach the record, which was up from 485,200 in 2016.

The 2018 season opens on April 8, with 150 calls already scheduled.

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