Riga, the capital of Latvia, has welcomed its 10 millionth guest since the Freeport of Riga was first established in 2000. The lucky guest and her family were aboard Costa Cruises’ Costa Fascinosa, and were treated to celebratory festivities and exclusive greetings from the city’s mayor and other local authorities.
10 Millionth Guest Celebrated in Style
Riga, which itself has a metro population of just over one million residents, has welcomed and entertained more than 10 million guests in 20 years. The lucky 10 millionth guest – Tanja Cassandra Karina Bittner from Weiherhammer, Germany – arrived aboard Costa Fascinosa on Sunday, August 7, 2022.
Bittner was traveling with her husband and 8-year-old son on the Concordia-class vessel, sailing a Northern Europe itinerary that included other amazing ports such as Stockholm, Helsinki, and Tallin.
Both active travelers, Bittner and her husband enjoy history and architecture, which inspired them to explore this Baltic itinerary.
As the honored 10 millionth guest, Bittner, along with her husband and son, was treated to a special evening program, arranged as a surprise gift by the Freeport of Riga Authority. The program included a dinner highlighting local cuisine at the historical House of the Blackheads, a private sightseeing tour, and a festive concert on the dock.
“All evening I felt like in a fairy tale! We will definitely come back to Riga again,” said Bittner.
Costa Cruises has been visiting Riga since 2005, with various ships calling on the charming port a total of 52 times in the past 15 years, bringing more than 140,000 visitors to the city.
“It is always a great pleasure to be in the beautiful Riga and an honor to witness this important milestone for Riga Port,” said Captain Mario Moretta, captain of Costa Fascinosa.
“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.”
Visitors From Many Nations and Cruise Lines
Over the years, Riga’s popularity as a cruise destination has grown. While the majority of the city’s visitors arrive via local and regional passenger ferries, roughly 1.2 million guests have arrived via cruise ships.
More than 120 cruise ships have visited Riga since 2000, with Royal Caribbean International’s Voyager of the Seas as the largest ship to have called on the port to date. Guests have come from many countries, including Germany, the United States, Great Britain, Sweden, and Canada.
So far in 2022, more than 60 cruise ship calls have already been registered in Riga, bringing nearly 43,000 guests to the city.
A total of more than 100 visits are schedule this year, a dramatic increase from past years that may be due in part to the cancelation of St. Petersburg calls in the region, with Riga serving as an alternative port of call on many itineraries.
Cruise lines calling on Riga this year include not only Costa Cruises, but also Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line, TUI Cruises, P&O Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Oceania Cruises, MSC Cruises, and more.
When visiting the port, cruise guests can enjoy an array of shore tours to explore local culture, including visiting a local farm, browsing the diverse Central Market, guided tours of amazing architecture, photo highlight tours, and more.