• Cruise passengers in Helsinki (c) Visit Helsinki

Locals important to how cruise visitors experience Helsinki


This summer Helsinki expects to receive around 420,000 international cruise visitors. Each visitor is expected to spend on average 65 euros in Helsinki, generating total tourism income of almost 28 million euros. Nearly all cruise ship passengers disembark in Helsinki and have been very impressed by how friendly the locals are.

The European 2014 Cruise Passenger and Crew Survey was carried out in summer 2014 to find out more about how cruise visitors spend their time and money while in Helsinki, as well as to gauge their overall satisfaction. According to the study, 91 percent of respondents said that Helsinki had lived up to expectations, while more than half reported that Helsinki had exceeded their expectations. They were particularly impressed by the friendliness of local residents, no less than 99 percent saying they were satisfied in this regard.

This demonstrates how local residents play an extremely important role in how cruise visitors experience Helsinki. It is very much up to us locals whether they decide to visit Helsinki again in the future and whether they recommend Helsinki to others,” says Pihla Väänänen, Cruise Manager at Visit Helsinki.

Cruise visitors were also very satisfied with the service-mindedness of local shop assistants and shopping in general, as well as in the quality of public transport and their reception at the harbour. Throughout the summer season Visit Helsinki’s team of mobile tourist information advisors, the Helsinki Helpers, are on hand to greet passengers as they disembark from the cruise ships.

Almost all cruise ship passengers, 96 percent, disembark in Helsinki to see the city, either with a guided tour or by themselves. The corresponding figure for Europe as a whole is just 82 percent (2011). Cruise visitors spend on average 4.5 hours on land. More than half pay for guided tours to see the sights.

The biggest source market for cruise visitors to Helsinki is Germany. In 2014 the number of German cruise visitors increased by 7 percent compared to the previous year. The next biggest source markets are the USA, Great Britain, Spain and Canada.

Visit Helsinki coordinates the Helsinki Cruise Network (HCN), which works towards increasing the competitiveness of Helsinki and Finland in the Baltic Sea cruise market, promoting cooperation among partners, improving local services for cruise visitors and marketing them to cruise operators and visitors. HCN has over 50 partners, including local attractions, restaurants, shops, programme service companies, tour operators and other tourism industry professionals. The City of Helsinki is also active in the Cruise Baltic Project alongside 26 other cruise destinations in the Baltic Sea.

* The European 2014 Cruise Passenger and Crew Survey was carried out by G.P. Wild among 1498 international cruise visitors and 489 crew members on 16 May, 19 May, 28 May, 17 June, 10 July and 2 August 2014. The previous such survey was carried out in 2011.

Further information:
Pihla Väänänen, Cruise Manager, Visit Helsinki, pihla.vaananen@hel.fi, t. +358 9 310 33553

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Updated 09/06/2015