The Passenger port of St. Petersburg “Marine Façade” plans to serve more than 460,000 passengers in year 2016
According to the information from A. Panfilov, the port serviced 482,000 passengers in navigation season 2015. Thus, in the current season, the decrease in passenger traffic could reach 4.6%.
According to the approved schedule, in 2016 the Marine Façade will see 218 calls of vessels, said A. Panfilov, and this is by 2.3% less compared to the year 2015.
A. Panfilov said, that the decreasing in passenger numbers and ship calls in 2016 is due to the cyclical nature of the various cruise destinations and doesn’t a mean of reducing demand in this area. According this, in navigation season of 2017 "Marine façade" expects a significant increase in the number of ship calls compared to 2016 – by 20% up to 260 units.
Summer navigation season of 2016 will be opened at Passenger Port of Saint-Petersburg «Marine Façade» on May 5 with the call of MSC Musica, cruise operator S.A., which will arrive at St. Petersburg with more than 2,500 tourists. The season will closed on October 11 with the call of AIDAmar, owned by Carnival Corporation.
In 2106 year, 12 vessels will enter the port «Marine Façade» for the first time, and among them, two sailing boats – Sea Cloud 2 and Wind Surf.
Rimma Sachunova, Deputy Chairman of Saint-Petersburg’s Tourism Committee said, that for the Saint -Petersburg Administration the development of sea ferries tourism is one of the priorities in the development, because the ferries provide year-round navigation compare cruise ships, which has navigation, limited by the warm season.
Rimma Sachunova noted that, in General, the flow of tourists arriving to St. Petersburg by sea, remained stable over the past three years, despite the difficult geopolitical situation.
At the same time, Rimma Sachunova said, that Saint Petersburg has a lot of untapped potential in attracting tourists arriving on cruise vessels and ferries, as "not all foreigners are aware of the possibility of visa-free stay in St. Petersburg". Cruise and ferry passengers may stay in the territory of the Russian Federation for 72 hours without visa if they arrive in Saint-Petersburg on board a vessel as part of a tour group.
The priority for the Saint-Petersburg’s Tourism Committee remains the Asian market. So, according to Rimma Sachunova, over the past period of 2016 the number of tourists from China in St. Petersburg has increased by 50% compared to the same period in 2015. She noted, that taking into account the dynamics of the tourist flow from Asian countries in the first months of 2016 to the end of the year, we can expect to visit Saint Petersburg 2.9 million foreign tourists, and total number of tourists can be 6.7-6.8 million people. In year 2015, the Saint Petersburg was visited by more than 6.5 million tourists.
A. Panfilov reported, that in 2015 the largest number of passengers arrived in "Marine facade" for cruise ships, was from Germany – 27% of the total, followed by tourists from USA (17%), the third – from UK (11%), followed by Spain (6%) and Canada (4%).