In 2019, a total of 60,000 cruise passengers visited the port of Rijeka, according to data from the commercial department of the Croatian port provided by Captain Rajko Jurman. Rijeka is committed to this segment and its growth next year given that the city has been named European Capital of Culture for 2020. “It will be a one-year celebration with special events that will take place throughout the city,” Jurman said.
Main objective: more than 40% cruise passengers
According to Jurman, the goal of the port authority is to increase the number of cruise visitors by 40 percent by 2020, when the city will welcome 89,000 visitors. Jurman said Rijeka is only 194 nautical miles from Venice, fitting well on the itineraries that leave the Italian port. In Jurman’s opinion, one of the advantages of the city of Rijeka as a cruise stopover is that “it is less crowded than many other Mediterranean destinations, which offers a better experience for guests.” “Itinerary planners are challenged to obtain new interesting and exciting destinations, so we expect an increase in the number of cruise visitors,” Jurman continued. “Our approach is to offer a positive experience for cruise ship visitors and continue our work to communicate what makes Rijeka unique in the industry,” he added.
The new cruise terminal in Zadar: bets for a new cruiser profile
On the 24th April of this year Zadar has inaugurated a new cruise terminal in the port. The President of the Republic of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, attended the event, along with more than 200 distinguished guests. That terminal was the inaugural act of a new cruise season in which it is expected to reach a number of passengers that will exceed 180,000, according to Robert Škifić, general manager of the port. This has been moved by Global Ports Holding, the world’s largest independent cruise port operator, which operates the Zadar cruise port since September 2018.
The new Zadar terminal building extends over 18,000 square meters and is divided into two floors. Emre Sayin, CEO of Global Ports Holding, explained that “last year we were very pleased when Zadar Cruise Port joined our global network of 15 cruise ports. The opening of the new passenger terminal marks the next step in the development of Zadar as an exciting and important cruise destination. We are delighted to work closely with Zadar officials and the Croatian government in this effort. We look forward to bringing our operational and commercial experience to Zadar. “
Škifić said he was focused on a sustainable business model and that the transfer of the port outside the highly congested peninsula was key to that. “The port itself has unique characteristics,” he said. “It is only 3.5 kilometers from the city center, close enough, but far enough to provide relief to crowds and excessive traffic.”
Zadar was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2017, which also helped build the profile of the Croatian city. “As for the requirements of green ports, we not only meet them in terms of waste management, but also promote the use of electric bicycles and scooters,” Škifić said. “In addition, we have been seriously considering the use of alternative fuels. We are also focused on complying with the necessary requirements for the safe supply of ships with LNG.” We see Zadar as a fairly successful exchange port, attractive also for ships in transit “He added.