The Freeport of Riga Aims to Double the Number of Cruise Ship Calls

By ,   March 2, 2019 ,   Cruise Industry

The Green Cruise Port - Sustainable Development of Cruise Port Locations project has completed an action plan for cruise ports in the Baltic Sea, including options for the port of Riga in Latvia. 

The project was funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Its purpose was to unite Baltic Sea cruise ports in order to enable them to jointly examine: "sustainable port infrastructure development, environmentally friendly passenger land transport links with ports and the environmental and economic impact of cruise passenger sightseeing on port cities."

According to market trends, the number of cruise guests worldwide might increase by another third by 2030. The Freeport of Riga is now aiming to almost double the number of passenger and cruise ship visits. The port handled a total of 75,000 cruise passengers last year and plans to increase their number to nearly 160,000 by 2030.

Port of Riga (Latvia)

Despite that, the existing cruise terminal infrastructure is still insufficient. Riga's Passenger Terminal boasts a good location, but the surrounding area and pier's length are limiting factors. Krievu Island terminal, that is currently used for cruise vessels during peak periods, is not good for development as it's a long distance from the center of the city and is an unattractive environment.

However, new opportunities are provided as cargo handling is moving from the historical center, making space available for tourists. A more than 600 meters long pier and access roads and infrastructure are vacated in Andrejsala and Ekportosta. The Andrejsala site is a good one to create "a sustainable cruise terminal complying with the most demanding environmental standards."