Lithuania's Klaipėda port doesn't fear competition of Kaliningrad cruise terminal
Lithuania's Klaipėda port does not fear possible competition after opening of a new cruise terminal in the Russian Kaliningrad port in 2020.
Arvydas Vaitkus, top executive of the Klaipėda port, says that the Lithuanian port was one of the leaders in the region, therefore, the Kaliningrad terminal would not be a problem.
"The Klaipėda port has jumped to the leading position among Riga, Gdansk, Gdynia and Gothenburg ports in terms of the volume of cruise navigation over the past nine years. Both the number of vessels and the number of tourists coming from the ships is growing dynamically. (…) I believe that (the Kaliningrad terminal) will not have an impact for 5-10 years. The city of Klaipėda has its specifics, and specifics is the focal point," Vaitkus told BNS.
In his words, fees from cruise vessels make around 1.5 percent of the Klaipėda port's revenue, therefore, changes on the market will not have a major effect on the port's finances.
According to data provided by Russia's transport news portal seanews.ru, construction of around 103-million-euro cruise terminal was started in Kaliningrad at the beginning of this year. The project is headed by Russia's federal sea and river transport agency Rosmorrechflot.
Russia's tourism news portal ratanews.ru said the first vessels should dock at the terminal in 2020. According to the report, the terminal should accommodate the 120-million-euro cruise vessel to be purchased by the St. Petersburg port next year that will sail in the Baltic Sea and the North Sea.
Vaitkus said the vessel might also dock in Lithuania.
This year, 64 cruise vessels should arrive in Klaipėda, up from 63 vessels in 2017, bringing 80,000 tourists, an increase from 74,700 year-on-year.