The number of passengers through the Port of Tallinn harbors hit a record of 8.84 million people

Last year the number passengers passing through the harbors of the Port of Tallinn reached a record of 8.84 million, i.e., 4.3 per cent more than in 2011. The Port of Tallinn expects the number of passengers to exceed nine million in the year ahead.

The ships of the Tallinn-Helsinki line carried 7.26 million people last year, which is four per cent more than the year before. The number of the passengers of the Tallinn-Stockholm line reached 949,882 people, which is two per cent more than in 2011.

The number of the passengers of the Saint Petersburg line launched in the spring of 2011 saw an increase of over 60 per cent and amounted to a total of 184,353 people. The number of cruise tourists to have visited the ports of Tallinn and Saaremaa with 441,624 passengers stayed on the same level as it had been the year before.

According to Sirle Arro, head of Marketing and Communication Department of the Port of Tallinn, the port expects the number of passengers to increase this year as well. “According to our forecast, the number of passengers to pass through our harbors this year will be much higher than nine million people,” says Arro. “We expect the Helsinki and Saint Petersburg lines to make the largest contribution to the increase in passenger numbers.”

Eckerö Line’s new ship Finlandia put into service on the last day of the past year and Eckerö Line’s decision to keep the Nordlandia vessel used so far in operation are also to contribute to the expected increase in passenger numbers on the Helsinki line. Tallink’s decision to replace the Baltic Princess cruising between Tallinn and Helsinki now with a larger vessel Silja Europa at the end of January will also have a positive impact. “There will be even more news concerning the Finnish destination this year,” adds Arro.

The Port of Tallinn also sees growth prospects for the Saint Petersburg line in the increase of the number of tourists from Russia as well as those passengers whose journey starts from Tallinn. “A ship journey gives foreigners an excellent opportunity to visit one of the most popular East European destinations through Tallinn without a visa and spend 72 hours there, so this city is also very attractive for Estonian tourists,” says Arro.

As far as shipping companies are concerned, Tallink provided its services to 5.47 million people in 2012, which is 62 per cent of the total number of passengers. Viking Line with almost 1.83 million passengers (21 per cent share), Eckerö Line with 921,151 passengers (10 per cent) and St.Peterline with 184,353 passengers (two per cent) follow. The number of cruise passengers last year amounted to 441,624 people, i.e., five per cent.

In December 2012 AS Tallinna Sadam provided its services to 695,816 passengers, which is 4.2 per cent more than the year before. Tallink held 64 per cent of passengers in December whereas Viking line, Eckerö Line and St.Peterline followed with 22, 11 and 2 per cent respectively. Cruise line provided one per cent of all passengers in December.

In December passenger ships arrived to the harbors of the Port of Tallinn 398 times, and the number of ship arrivals during the whole year 2012 was 5,277.