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Growth in Tallinna Sadam passenger numbers driven by cruise tourists

TALLINN – The number of passengers served by the state-owned Estonian port company Tallinna Sadam hit a record  10.6 million last year, driven mainly by higher cruise passenger numbers, the port company said.

"During the summer cruise season, cruise ships called in Tallinn on a total of 339 occasions and brought 635,068 passengers here, which is 28 calls and over 70,000 passengers more than in 2017. Cruise passengers made up 6 percent of the total number of passengers served during the year. Travelers to and from Finland numbered 8.83 million last year, about the same as in 2017. People traveling on the Tallinn-Stockholm route numbered 1.03 million and those traveling on the Tallinn-St. Petersburg route 85,000," Margus Vihman, the company's chief commercial officer and member of the management board, said. 

"At the end of the year we completed a new passenger statistics application which gives us interesting information about both the nationality of the passengers passing through the port as well as their age and gender. The application reads data starting from April  2018," the CCO said.

Vihman said that according to the data made available by the new app, of all the passengers who passed through the port from April to December, Finnish nationals made up 42 percent, Estonian nationals 24 percent, German nationals 5 percent, US nationals 3.5 percent and Sedish nationals 2.8 percent.

Men aged 35-39 made up the biggest individual age and gender segment.

The most popular vessel in 2018 was the Tallink ship Megastar sailing between Tallinn and Helsinki, which carried 2.067 million passengers. Eckero Line's Finlandia was in second place with 1.860 million passengers, Tallink's Star third with 1.754 million passengers and Viking Line's Viking XPRS fourth with 1.743 million passengers. Also the ferries in places two to four ply the Tallinn-Helsinki route.

Tallink's market share in the total number of passengers was 57 percent, Viking Line's 18 percent, Eckero Line's 18 percent and Moby SPL's 1 percent. 

Passenger ships called in ports of Tallinna Sadam on 5,898 occasions during the year.

In 2018, the annual cargo volume of Tallinna Sadam totaled 20.6 million tons, increasing by 7.4 percent compared to the previous year, mainly due to liquid bulk and ro-ro. The number of passengers increased by 0.6 percent year-on-year, reaching an all-time high  of 10.6 million passengers.

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