As another summer draws near, another cruise season beings in the Ports of Stockholm. This weekend, both of the Scandinavian capital city’s ports will receive the first of over 100 international cruise ships scheduled to visit over the next several months.
For years, Stockholm, Sweden, has been a beloved port of call for cruisers exploring the Baltics and Scandinavia for its clean, beautiful architecture, the rich history championed in venues like the Royal Palace, the Vasa Museum, and the ABBA Museum, as well as the unforgettable journey to and from the port through the archipelago.
On Saturday, April 15, the latest wave of eager tourists will start to arrive.
Cruise Ships Return to Ports of Stockholm
Authorities at the Ports of Stockholm report that the 2023 international cruising season will begin with the arrival of the Fred Olsen-operated cruise ship Bolette in the Port of Nynäshamn on Saturday.
She will be followed by the AIDAmar, operated by the Carnival-owned German cruise line AIDA, which will moor in Stockholm’s city-central Stadsgården quay.
These two ships are the first of 126 cruise ships scheduled to make berth in either port between now and the end of October. But that total is still half of the normal annual amount, as the ongoing developments in Ukraine have a negative effect on Baltic and Northern Europe cruises.
“Despite the tough world situation, Ports of Stockholm has the greatest number of cruise ship bookings of all the Swedish ports. During a normal year cruise passengers spend more than SEK 600 million in the Stockholm region, which means a lot for the tourist industry,” said Johan Wallén, Marketing and Sales Manager at Ports of Stockholm.
While the rest of the cruise industry appears to have recovered from the debilitating lockdowns and restrictions brought about during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Northern Baltic Sea–specifically ports of call such as Stockholm, Helsinki, and Tallinn.
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These ports have trailed behind, most likely due to heightened concerns from would-be passengers who see the region’s close proximity to the Russian Federation and the ongoing unrest in Eastern Europe.
In conjunction with Cruise Baltic and Cruise Europe, Ports of Stockholm is investing and planning to revitalize its tourism with the goal of increasing the annual cruise ship calls to 300.
Ports of Stockholm Sets Environmental Goals
The Ports of Stockholm is also setting bold environmental improvements by developing onshore power connection facilities.
Recently completing one of two planned with grant funding provided from the EU as well as to ports in Copenhagen/Malmö, Aarhus, and Helsinki, these facilities are designed to alleviate each ship’s need to run their auxiliary engines while docked continuously.
Soon to be available at two berths in Stadsgården quay, the facilities will help significantly reduce cruise ship emissions.
“In Stockholm, we have high environmental goals and work systematically with important sustainability issues in collaboration with our customers and other ports. One such collaboration concerns the sustainable management of solid and liquid waste from the ships,” explains Jens Holm, Chair of the Board at Ports of Stockholm.
“Onshore power facilities for cruise ships are not common in Europe, but will lead to reduced emission of air pollutants from the ships,” Holm added.
The Ports of Stockholm remain a destination for scores of international cruise lines, including but not limited to Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, AIDA, TUI, Costa, and MSC.