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Record Summer for Helsinki's Cruise Scene

November 20, 2009 By: Jena Tesse Fox

This year, 263 international cruise ships arrived in Helsinki, bringing approximately 360,000 passengers to Finland's capital. The number of passengers equalled last year’s record, when an annual increase of 100,000 passengers was recorded over 2007.
“The cruise industry does not seem to have been overly affected by the recession,” said Cruise Network Manager Tuija Aavikko. "The outlook for next season is excellent, as we have already received over 200 reservations. In 2010 we expect to equal or exceed this year’s performance."
The 2009 cruise ship season in Helsinki began on May 3 and ended on September 28. Up to five cruise ships called on Helsinki during the busiest days. Visitors from the U.S. continued to represent the largest nationality, accounting for approximately 22 percent of the total. The share of visitors from Europe is growing with each year, however, with 19 percent passengers representing the UK and 17 percent Germany. The next biggest nationalities represented Spain, Italy and Canada. Last summer’s cruise passengers represented 148 different countries. 
Visiting cruise ships switched passengers once in Helsinki. During these days between 3,000 and 4,000 passengers used the Hernesaari cruise ship terminal, and traffic between Hernesaari and Helsinki-Vantaa Airport was extremely busy. The Tourist & Convention Bureau’s team of Helsinki Helpers was on hand to serve arriving passengers at the Hernesaari cruise ship terminal, which was used by the majority of cruise ships. Other cruise ships moored in the South Harbour.

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