Representatives of 13 Baltic ports have met to exchange experience and prepare for the resumption of cruising in 2021. This was announced by the Baltic Ports Organization in a press release.
The ports represented at the meeting were Copenhagen Malmö Port, Gdynia, Gothenburg, HaminaKotka, Helsinki, Kiel, Klaipeda, Roenne, Rostock, Riga, Stockholm, St. Petersburg, and Tallinn.
Ensuring the health of the passengers and crews and the implementation of all the necessary safety rules were the key items on the meeting agenda.
Some other points made were preparations to handle passengers with restrictions in force, safety rules and protocols for port personnel – including virus testing procedures for passengers, temperature scanning and logistic solutions, cooperation with cruise lines to make implementation easier and approving plans with the responsible authorities.
According to cruise managers, the aforementioned approval process remains rather slow, the organization wrote.
“Baltic ports urge the national authorities to actively cooperate with the industry in order to speed up the process as the cruise season is fast approaching,” Baltic Ports Organization wrote.
The organization stated that 2020 was a difficult year for Baltic ports, with many having received “a few or none calls at all,” while only a few – like Kiel and Gothenburg – managed to continue operating.
“A complete halt of the cruise business hasn’t been witnessed in the past 30 years,” the Baltic Ports Organization wrote.
The Secretary General of the Baltic Ports Organization, Bogdan Ołdakowski, said that the cruise ports are ready to work together to “ensure that ports and other stakeholders involved in the cruise business comply with all mandatory procedures.”
“In these uncertain times, the return of cruise vessels and passengers to the Baltic is a common goal for every member of the Baltic cruise industry. That said, it is paramount to achieve this goal without compromising the health of the passengers and crews and to respect all safety rules,” he said.
The next meeting between the ports’ representatives will take place in April 2021.