Monday, August 8, 2022 - 15:36 by riga
The lucky one is Tanja Cassandra Karina Bittner from Weiherhammer, Bavaria, who left for a Baltic Sea cruise from the port of Kiel with her husband Christian and 8-year-old son Paul. The family has arrived at Riga on the morning of Sunday, August 7, on board COSTA FASCINOSA of the Italian cruise company Costa Cruises.
Tanja and Christian are active travelers, still this is the first time they both visit Riga. Their interest in the history and unique architecture of the Baltic States inspired them to go on this cruise.
Yesterday, the mayor of Riga Mārtiņš Staķis, the Chairman of the Freeport of Riga Board Viesturs Zeps, the FRA CEO Ansis Zeltiņš welcomed the 10 millionth passenger at the port, as well as the group DA GAMBA, who greeted the guests of Riga with a fantastic concert right at the berth. The 10 millionth passenger and her family also had their own special evening program, which was arranged as a surprise gift by the Freeport of Riga Authority.
“All evening I felt like in a fairy tale! We will definitely come back to Riga again,” said Tanja after the festive dinner at the historical House of the Blackheads. The family really liked Riga - during the sightseeing tour they visited the Old Riga, the Central market and enjoyed the local cuisine.
The ships of the Italian cruise company Costa Cruises entered Riga for the first time in 2005, since then 8 different COSTA cruise ships have called our port 52 times, providing an opportunity to visit Riga for almost 145 thousand passengers.
“It is always a great pleasure to be in the beautiful Riga and an honor to witness this important milestone for Riga Port. This city is very well appreciated destination and part of the reason why our Guests, especially German, choose their Costa cruise in the North Europe. We are extremely happy that the 10th million passenger at Riga Port is travelling with us on the Costa Fascinosa. Congratulations to Riga Port for this incredible achievement and we are looking forward to being back again in the Latvian capital” stated Captain Mario Moretta, Captain of the Costa Fascinosa.
It is expected that more around 80 000 foreign tourists will come to Riga on cruise ships this season. For 7 months, 63 cruise ship calls have already been registered in the port of Riga, carrying 42,880 passengers to Riga, most of them from Germany (18.4 thousand) and the USA (9.7 thousand), as well as from Great Britain, Sweden and Canada.
Since 2000, about 8,200 passenger ship calls have been registered in the port of Riga, the majority of them - about 6,600 - were the regular passenger liners’ calls, while 1,600 of them were cruise ships’ calls. Approximately 88% (~8.8 million) of all guests arriving by sea were ferry passengers, while 12% (~1.2 million) were cruise passengers from a total of more than 124 countries.
During these years, more than 200 different cruise ships have visited Riga. The leader in terms of registered calls is the cruise ship VIKING CINDERELLA, which called the port 73 times between 2004 and 2013, with a total of 120 thousand passengers visiting Riga.
A record number of cruise ship calls - more than 100 - is expected in the port of Riga during 2022 cruise season, which will exceed the results of the last completed 2019 cruise season by a quarter. Of these vessels, 13 ships are visiting us for the first time this season, and around 20 cruise ships have stayed or will stay in Riga for more than one day. The last arrivals of cruise ships this season are scheduled for October this year.
VOYAGER OF THE SEAS, which visited Riga for the first time this year, was the largest cruise ship in terms of GT or the total capacity of the vessel (138194 GT, 311 m), while the largest ship in terms of length was CELEBRITY SILHOUETTE (319 m), which visited Riga in 2017. COSTA PACIFICA is the leader in terms of the number of passengers carried at one time with 3523 passengers on board; the ship has called the port of Riga 37 times since 2011, carrying 115.7 thousand passengers.