BREAKTHROUGH IN THE TOURIST DIRECTION. Cruise liners of world`s famous tour operators return to port of Odesa

Category: Cruise news
Published on Tuesday, 12 February 2019 11:57
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According to Igor Tkachuk, General Manager of Odesa Sea Port Authority, this year, at the end of January, two foreign travel companies confirmed applications for their vessels to visit Odesa in 2019. On May 10, the liner AEGEAN ODYSSEY will open the cruise navigation in the port (length —145 m, passenger capacity — 380 people, flag — Malta). Six months later, on October 30, the motor ship AMERA (length — 205 m, passenger capacity — 800 people, flag — Bahamas) will enter the sea capital of Ukraine. These vessels belong to the Greek company Aegean Experience Maritime Co Ltd and the German Phoenix Reisen.

 

‘The world`s famous tour operators Phoenix Reisen, Azamara, Crystal Cruises and others include Odesa in their cruise itineraries with calling at the Black Sea,’ I. Tkachuk stated. ‘Besides the “first fruit” of this season, we already have 9 applications for ship calls in 2020, 3 for the 2021 and 1 for the 2022.’

 

This breakthrough in the tourist direction was contributed primarily by stabilization of the political situation in Ukraine, the success of our partners — shipping companies, which had organized a series of Dnieper cruises between Kyiv and Odesa for foreign tourists last year. Finally, the representatives of Odesa sea port played an important role in the work of “MedCruise”, the world's largest association of cruise business entities...

 

As General Manager of Odesa Sea Port Authority said further, the 3-year Black Sea Ports Joint Action Plan for the restore of cruise shipping in the region had been adopted at the initiative of the Odesa delegation at the 52nd General Assembly of MedCruise, which had been held in Malta last May. Under the plan, the first session of the international “MedCruise” Black Sea Working Group Meeting was held in Odesa in October 2018. Airon Diaz Pastor, the President of “MedCruise”, presented an updated marketing platform to push the interests of the Black Sea ports forward the global sea tourism market.

 

‘Even during the most unfavorable years, when white steamers stopped entering the Black Sea at all for obvious reasons, we and our partners from Constanta, Burgas and Varna were participating in “MedCruise” activities constantly,’ I. Tkachuk noted. ‘We use the discussion sites of this authoritative association to inform cruise lines about the real situations in our countries, hospitality, safety of the tourists on our streets, improvement of the coastal cruise infrastructure in our ports and so on.’ And still, this work is in progress. On February 22, the second meeting of the international working group will take place in Constanta, Romania, where port of Odessa will also offer its vision of organizing domestic cruises on the Black Sea. Today, this niche is not filled, those operators who take risk to book this first will get good competitive advantages...’

 

I. Tkachuk added that in 2018, port Authority intensified efforts to update the infrastructure of Odesa Passenger Terminal, ‘for the terminal to be capable of fulfilling its functions for servicing coastal and international passenger lines at any moment.’

 

For that purpose, the air-conditioning systems of the main hall were reconstructed, ramps for disabled people were equipped, closets were repaired, the first-aid post was reopened and the mother and child room was open. In accordance with international standards, signs will be installed at all facilities in the near future.

 

Appendix

Statistics of visiting the Odesa port by the passenger liners under a foreign flag before and after the Russian annexation of the Ukrainian Crimea and the start of hostilities in the Donbas (according to Odesa Sea Port Authority):

2007 year - 69 ship calls,

2008 - 75 s/ c,

2009 - 58 s/ c,

2010 - 72 s/ c,

2011 - 74 s/ c,

2012 - 80 s/ c,

2013 - 106 s/ c.

 

In 2010-2013, the global operator MSC Cruises has implemented a pilot project of cruises from Odesa to Venice. In 2013, Black & Baltic Seas cruise organized 14 Black Sea cruises along the itinerary Odesa-Sevastopol-Theodosia-Yalta-Anapa-Sochi.

2014 - 28 s/ c,

2015 - 13 s/ c,

2016 - 5 s/ c,

2017 - 1 s/ c,

2018 - 0 s/ c.

 

Press Service of Odesa Sea Port Authority