Koper to Hit 100,000 Cruise Guest Mark

In Slovenia, Koper is expecting an 83 ship call season, accounting for 100,000 cruise passengers.

According to Bojan Babic, cruise terminal director, it is continued growth, up 40 percent from 2017, with another 10 percent uptick predicted for 2019, with 85 calls on the books and 110,000 guests.

“We have a new cruise line in Koper this summer,” said Babic. “That is TUI Cruises, which has six calls scheduled with the Mein Schiff 2.

“We try to keep in touch with the cruise lines to follow the trends in the Mediterranean and especially the Adriatic,” he continued. “We have connected our port with the national tourism board and the local tourism organization to promote Slovenia with one voice.”

Next March, the 930-passenger 2015-built Viking Star kicks off the Koper season on a 10-night Adratic sailing from Venice to Athens. Later in the year, the Pacific Princess, sailing a 12-night Civitavecchia to Venice cruise, calls on Koper on November 21, and marks the last ship of the season in the port.

“Slovenia can offer a variety of things for every kind of passenger,” added Babic. “We are still a new cruise destination; between Italy and Croatia, with Slovenia on an itinerary it is definitely added value for passengers. We are adding shore-excursion product on an annual basis.”

Babic said he is not competing against other ports, with one dedicated pier and enough demand at the moment.

“The Adriatic is growing, and we have a lot of new small ports, which is important for long-term growth and development.”

Koper’s cruise terminal is within walking distance to Tito’s square, where guests can find a cathedral, the Venetian Praetorian Palace and Loggia from 13th century as well as old town cafes and restaurants.

The port has two quays, one dedicated to cruises and one that serves as mixed use, and can take ships up to 350 meters in length. Water depth is 10 meters for the cruise pier.

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