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Australia and Asia cruise boom and “The Costa Concordia Effect” hits numbers at Baltic Sea ports

November 23, 2013 Cruise No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Jorgen Rudbeck writing in ShippingWatch www.shippingwatch.com this week says that after many years with double-digit growth rates the Baltic Sea cruise market looks set to decline in 2014.

With the cruise business accounting for approx. 13 to 15 percent of Copenhagen Malmo Port’s revenue, COO Cruise and Ferries, Arnt Møller Pedersen also says that the decline will not be insignificant.

Copenhagen Cruise Port

Copenhagen Cruise Port

You can read the whole article by at http://shippingwatch.com/secure/Ports/article6258881.ece#ixzz2lDs6a7it  with Mr Pedersen telling  ShippingWatch that he predicts a 5 to 10 percent decline in guests and calls in 2014.

He adds that in 2013 356 cruise ships called in Copenhagen Malmo Port, and a total of 840,000 guests visited Copenhagen and Malmo, but next year the entire Baltic Sea region will feel the effect of several factors weighing down the combined cruise market.

In addition, the general financial crisis has now entered the new build market, where there’s only 5-6 new cruise ships built per year, compared to 10 before, and beyond that, a lot of the tonnage is going to the Far East and Australia where there’s a considerable growth in cruise shipping.

He also believes that they will be affected by what he calls “The Concordia Effect”, which he describes as the fact that cruise ship Costa Concordia is no longer sailing guests around in the Mediterranean, which has resulted in a lack of tonnage in the Mediterranean.

He says that following the accident, two ships have been pulled from operation in the Baltic to comply with Costa’s commitments in the Mediterranean, adding that it makes sense for shipowners to pull ships from northern Europe, where they only sail for five months, to deploy them in the Mediterranean where ships sail all year round.

He does qualify his comments saying that though there are several reasons for the decline in 2014, it will only be a small spill in the total cruise market, adding, “Even though we’re looking at a decline, this will only be small ripple on the water in the long run, and we expect the number of guests and calls to increase again already by 2015.”

Mr Pedersen adds the brief growth rate slowdown coincides with the cruise capacity expansion, where 1,100 meters of new berth in Copenhagen will come into use in 2014, as well as the fact that the port’s employees will be able to use the three new terminal buildings next year, where the increasingly bigger ships can check cruise guests in and out.

He says, “Of course one could say that this coincides somewhat unfortunately, that we’re starting to use the new facilities at a time when things aren’t improving, but it makes great sense in the long run, that we’ll be able to handle the bigger ships even more efficiently.”

Material credit: www.shippingwatch.com

Image Credit: Cruise Copenhagen

John Alwyn-Jones, Cruise Editor and Correspondent

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