Cruise ships return to the port of Riga
On Tuesday, August 17, the ship MS AMERA of the German travel agency and cruise ship operator Phoenix Reisen arrived with 556 passengers in the port of Riga.
Welcoming the ship's crew with their first visit to Riga, the Chairman of the Board of the Freeport of Riga Viesturs Zeps and CEO of the Freeport of Riga Ansis Zeltins solemnly presented the coat of arms of the Port of Riga to the ship's second captain Vitaly Materynsky.
MS AMERA arrived in Riga from the port of Visby and went on to Tallinn, then to St. Petersburg, Helsinki and several other Baltic ports. This sea cruise started on August 13 in the port of Bremerhaven, Germany, and will last until August 25.
All passengers on board are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Germans travellers are represented the most on this sea cruise, but there are also nationals of Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, Croatia, Belgium, Italy and Luxembourg. In Riga, cruise ship passengers spent several hours going on bus tours prepared by the tour operator.
The nine-deck cruise ship is 205 m long, 29 m wide, and has 4 elevators. The ship has a large area of restaurants and cafes, fitness, spa and beauty centers, swimming pools, as well as facilities for various shows and cultural events.
With the aim to comply with security standards to reduce the risk of Covid-19 virus spread, for the purpose of gradual resumption of cruise ship calls in the port of Riga, the Freeport of Riga Authority in cooperation with the Latvian State Border Guard, SEMS and SPKC has developed a “Management Plan to Mitigate Covid-19 Virus Spreading Risk“. Further on, all cruise ships arriving in Riga, shall comply with the said plan. The Plan provides for the rapid exchange of information, preventive measures and a harmonized operational algorithm for all parties involved in standard and various risk level situations. The Management Plan has been prepared in compliance with the regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia, based on the guidelines Covid-19: EU Guidance for Cruise Ship Operations, and taking into account the recommendations of leading organizations and associations in the international cruise and maritime transport sector regarding the implementation of safe cruise transportation.
“Since the beginning of the Covid-19 global pandemic, the cruise industry, together with the world's leading health organizations, has been working hard to develop a sustainable concept that would make cruise tourism the safest way to travel, also from an epidemiological point of view. The cruise ships are equipped with state-of-the-art ventilation systems, constant disinfection of rooms and surfaces is being provided, regular temperature measurements and even laboratories for Covid-19 tests are available on board. Prior to boarding, both crew members and passengers shall present appropriate Covid-19 certificates. Regular tests, at least once a week, are mandatory for passengers and crew members who have not been fully vaccinated or had contracted Covid-19. Cruise ships are ready for situations when Covid-19 or any other infection is being detected on board: a sufficient number of cabins are provided for self-isolation and / or quarantine,” said Ilze Nelis, cruise specialist of the “Riga Passenger Port”.
It has already been reported that on the morning of August 8, the ship MV Artania, which was the first cruise ship, arrived in the port of Riga after a break of almost a year and a half caused by the global Covid-19 pandemic, also bringing half a thousand tourists from Europe to Riga.
This season, several more cruise ship visits are planned in the port of Riga, as long as the epidemiological situation in Europe allows.