Cruisers in Croatia Drop 90% Compared to Last Year

Daniela Rogulj



August 9, 2020 – Last year, there were 272 cruisers in Croatia – and thanks to COVID-19, only 15 have been recorded in the country in 2020. 

Slobodna Dalmacija reports that this time of year, our coastal cities typically feature swarms of tourists, and monster cruisers are parked in and around our ports, adding to the crowds and pushing the city’s capacity to the brim.

However, it only took one coronavirus pandemic to change it all; and while there are tourists today, there are no cruisers in sight. 

There have been no cruise ship tourists in Croatia for months, as cruisers came to a halt in March. The Central Bureau of Statistics on Friday published data on foreign cruise ships in the first half of the year, stating that there have been no cruisers on the Croatian coast for months because the COVID-19 pandemic introduced measures to ban the entry of international cruises, which directly affected the number of foreign cruise ships in Croatian seaports in March and their absence in April, May and June 2020.

From January to June, six foreign cruisers sailed into Croatian seaports, making 15 trips  – five in January, seven in February and three in March. Last year, in the first half of the year, there were 54 cruisers in Croatian waters, which made 272 trips. There were 3737 passengers on cruisers in Croatian ports this year, and most of them, 2809, was in January. In total, these cruisers were in Croatia for 47 days. In the first half of last year, there were a total of 409,238 passengers on cruise ships, making 554 trip days, and most passengers were counted in June, or 162,000 of them.

The CBS states that due to the pandemic, from January to June this year, the number of foreign cruise ships in Croatian seaports decreased by 88.9 percent compared to the same period last year. In the first six months of this year, foreign cruise ships decreased by 94.5 percent, and the number of days spent on the Croatian Adriatic decreased by 91.5 percent compared to the same period in 2019. The number of passengers on these ships compared to in 2019 was lower by 99.1 percent.

Of the 15 cruises of foreign ships this year, 12 flew the flag of Malta, while the largest number of passengers, 2,690, arrived on ships flying the flag of Italy. The majority of these cruises this year, 73 percent of them, were realized in Dubrovnik-Neretva County, while the rest were in Istria County.

Some believe that Venice and Dubrovnik will not see a quick return of cruisers, as cruise companies suffer huge losses.

In the first quarter of this year alone, Carnival, the largest cruise company, had more than $4 billion in losses due to an 85 percent drop in revenue over the same period last year. Carnival has already borrowed more than six billion dollars and announced that it would sell four cruisers to cover its minuses and costs, which exceed $600 million a month.

The second quarter will not be easier for Carnival and other companies in the business. Some companies have announced they could re-arrange travel in mid-September, others cite November, though everything is still uncertain, as the coronavirus continues to spread. 

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