Tallinn – welcoming cruise guests sustainably
“In our business development plan, we place heavy emphasis on following UN Sustainable Development Goals, EU and Estonian climate targets, and the sustainability commitments of the cruise industry,” says Sirle Arro, head of marketing, Port of Tallinn.
A key challenge for all stakeholders in the cruise industry is to devise a sustainable model that combines the industry’s positive economic effects with careful attention to environmental concerns. This is especially important in the Baltic Sea because it is considered to be one of the most vulnerable ecosystems in the world. Another pressing challenge is to ease the impact of tourism at peak periods on the daily lives of local people.
Incentives for operators.
Port of Tallinn is a pioneer among EU ports in providing incentives for ships to reduce emissions and sort waste. Since 2019, ships participating in the Environmental Ship Index (ESI) in working towards reducing air emissions may apply for up to 8% discount on tonnage fees.
By 2014, Port of Tallinn had already introduced differentiated port fees for cruise vessels sorting their waste. Lower waste fees apply to cruise ships collecting garbage separately by type when at least one type of recyclable garbage (excluding mixed domestic waste) listed in MARPOL Annex V (garbage) is discharged.
New state-of-the-art terminal.
Tallinn attracts visitors to its unique Hanseatic old town, just a short walk from the port, which has drawn increasing interest from cruise operators and passengers over the years
To offer our guests and operators the best possible reception, a new, multifunctional and environmentally friendly cruise terminal will be opened in 2021.
“The new terminal enables us to meet the safety expectations of the new era and allows to fulfil the requirements of the health protocols of the cruise lines,” marks Ingrid Berezin, cruise manager of Port of Tallinn.
This new terminal will also serve as a gateway to Tallinn and open the seafront to guests and local residents alike. Both the interior and exterior design will be environmentally friendly: the building will be heated by sea power and will draw energy from solar panels. LED lighting, a temperature-controlled ventilation system and a natural smoke and heat extraction system will be installed. The terminal will use energy-efficient, ecological and sustainable solutions, suited to the Nordic climate and allowing the building to operate outside the cruise season – for events, concerts and conferences.
Seeking harmony between industry and community.
Cruise tourism has a positive impact on the local economy. New ideas must therefore be introduced in a dialogue with local citizens in order to find long-term sustainable solutions that recognise the cruise industry’s positive economic impact without harming local lives. This means opening up new horizons for visitors, at the same time preserving or improving a destination, by finding a balance that cares for the local environment, economy and culture.
Port of Tallinn has turned to the Estonian Academy of Arts for academic input on the dignified and sustainable management and presentation of Tallinn’s Old Town as a UNESCO World Heritage site. This will ensure further development of Port of Tallinn passenger line business.
Together with the City of Tallinn, we have implemented the cooperative project “Attractive walkway between the port and the city”, to encourage shore excursion companies to organise more walking tours instead of using buses. The project also aims to attract cruise tourists to visit attractions other than the Old Town.
The Port of Tallinn is consistently contributing to its business and development activities to lessen the negative effect of port activities on the environment. "We want to sustainably work and develop together with our partners now in the difficult times and in the future, and we are confident that our future success depends directly on following the principles of sustainable development," said both Sirle Arro and Ingrid Berezin.
For the 2021 cruise season Port of Tallinn has put together the Sustainable and Safe Port promise. You can find it on Port of Tallinn website https://www.ts.ee/en/rules-rates/