The visit of the 253-metre AIDAmar on Friday, 27 October, marked the symbolic closing of the summer season of cruise ship calls in Gdynia. Here is an overview of this year’s successes and promising prospects for the coming seasons.
This year’s season was exceptionally successful. The Port of Gdynia hosted an impressive number of tourists – 90,000 and 30,000 ship crew members over several months. The ships were as much as 90 per cent full, and the average number of passengers per ship was around 2,500. These impressive achievements demonstrate Gdynia’s growing popularity as a cruise ship destination.
Adam Hoppe, deputy head of the Commercial Department at the Port of Gdynia Authority, emphasises that the cruise market is regaining strength after cruises stopped due to pandemics and geopolitical turmoil. Ship occupancy rates have reached an impressive 90 per cent, marking a record number of tourists, surpassing even the pre-pandemic period.
Although the number of cruise ship visits to the Port of Gdynia this year was 36, which is lower than the previous year due to the withdrawal of Russian routes from the cruise schedule, it should be noted that significantly more passengers visited the port. The rebound of the cruise market has had an impact on the better filling of ships. Last year, it ranged from 40 to 90 per cent, with an average of only 1,400 people per ship.
Cruise ship visits to the Port of Gdynia benefit the port and the city’s residents. Ship passengers go ashore and visit local attractions, restaurants and shops, which supports the local economy. In addition, visits by these impressive vessels are celebrated by both residents and ship crews.
The upcoming cruise ship season promises to be just as promising. More calls have been reported than in the previous year, anticipating even more visits. However, as recent years have shown, the cruise industry is dynamic, and the situation may change. The Port of Gdynia is looking forward to another exciting seasonal challenge.
The AIDAmar vessel, a visitor to the port not for the first time, is attracting attention with its impressive size and luxurious amenities. The vessel, built in 2012 at the German Meyer Werft shipyard, offers 1,097 cabins, most with balconies. On board are numerous restaurants, bars, a 4D cinema, boutiques, casinos, swimming pools, a spa, a library and much more. AIDAmar even has its brewery. In addition, humanoid robots are involved in passenger service to ensure guests’ comfort on board.
The 2023 season proved incredibly successful, and the forecast for the future seems even more promising.