2022 brings new challenges to the Baltic Sea region

Although several countries in the Baltic Sea region are now open for cruise calls and the annual market review from Cruise Baltic had positive predictions for 2022, the circumstances are yet again uncertain. The western world, and the countries in the Baltic Sea region, in particular, holds its breath while the situation between Russia and Ukraine is escalating.

Several countries in the Baltic Sea region are open for cruise guests, and with almost 2800 expected calls this year, the predictions for 2022 in the new edition of the Cruise Baltic Market Review are positive. Despite the positive prospects, Cruise Baltic admits that it will be difficult to know what to expect this year with the escalation between Russia and Ukraine. The cruise network sends their thoughts to Ukraine.

“Our thoughts are with the Ukrainian people and we are once again facing uncertain times ahead. We had hoped that 2022 would show us what the new normal would be like, but it will most likely not be the case with this tragic situation. However, if the COVID-19 situation taught us one thing, it’s how well the cruise industry manages pressure and difficulties,” says Claus Bødker, Director of Cruise Baltic.

During a typical cruise year in the Baltic Sea region, the ports welcome more than 2000 cruise calls – on good years, this number exceeds 2500 calls. If 2022 meets the expectations of almost 2800 calls, it will be the first cruise year closer to normal since the start of the pandemic.

Despite the ongoing  pandemic and the following restrictions, the Baltic Sea region welcomed 648 cruise calls and almost 1 million cruise guests in 2021. The options regarding cruise destinations were limited, and the cruise ports in Sweden received nearly half of all cruise calls.

The cruise lines are currently expecting to stick to their itineraries for 2022, with the exception of calls in St. Petersburg.