Viking Gabriella will visit the Port of HaminaKotka for the first time this July
Finland’s Port of HaminaKotka has made more berthing space available for cruise ships to enable it to accommodate the expected rise in calls once cruising resumes fully in the Baltic region.
Since the start of 2021, Port of HaminaKotka has opened up the Hamina port area for cruise lines and has already received bookings for upcoming seasons, particularly those planning to sail to or from St Petersburg in Russia.
Cruise vessels of any size can also berth in Kotka city centre, where a project is being carried out to enable Port of HaminaKotka to provide improved port reception facilities and terminal services to cater for turnaround cruises or calls from ferries from early 2022. The city is also redeveloping the old port area into a space with restaurants, a park, an event venue, and more.
Ships can also dock in Mussalo, which means that Port of HaminaKotka can host a total of three cruise vessels per day.
“The Port of HaminaKotka is the only port in Finland other than Helsinki that can serve all sizes of cruise ships,” said Petra Cranston, project manager for cruise business at the Port of HaminaKotka. “The demand in the eastern part of the Baltic Sea is very high due to the limited capacity of suitable berths. Also, the logistics are perfect.”
Prior to the pandemic, Port of HaminaKotka was scheduled to welcome around 45,000 cruise guests in 2021. Dependent on the pandemic, the port operator still expects a “record high season”. One of the vessels calling this summer will be Viking Line’s Viking Gabriella, which will be making a maiden visit in July.
“We’ve been visited by international cruise ships before, but Gabriella is the first big Finnish cruise ship,” said Kimmo Naski, CEO of Port of HaminaKotka. “It’s a great honour for us that Viking Line’s vessel will berth in our port and having such an uplifting visit in these exceptional times is especially welcome.”
Kaj Takolander, sales director at Viking Line, said: “This is a unique opportunity for both local residents and passengers. Residents will be able to see Gabriella close up while passengers will be able to visit these ports on a Finnish cruise vessel. We are really enthusiastic about our new Finnish destinations. After a long winter, I think people need a change in their everyday lives and a change of scenery. A cruise to other destinations in Finland is a very safe alternative.”
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