Important news for Dubrovnik came at the start of the week as the Dubrovnik Port Authority confirmed the first major cruise ship to visit Dubrovnik this year will be the MSC Orchestra on the 11th of June, as reported by Dubrovacki Vjesnik.
Question of Sustainability and Pandemic Woes
Cruise ships bring in well over half a million tourists each year to Dubrovnik, making it one of the busiest cruise ship ports of the Mediterranean. With the city’s infrastructure strained under the pressure of all the guests visiting during a typical summer season, many have raised a question of whether these numbers are sustainable. With cruise ship guests having very limited time during which to visit the city, the financial effect of their visits is a thing of controversy in the „Pearl of the Adriatic“.
The past 12 months have been anything but typical. This is very true for Dubrovnik’s tourism sector as well. The driving force of Dubrovnik’s economy has ground to a halt during 2020 and the voices screaming for sustainability are very much silent at the beginning of another extremely uncertain tourism season. With this in mind, it is easy to see why the news about the arrival of MSC ship is hailed almost universally as a good thing.
Beginning of Dubrovnik’s Bounce Back?
After the initial arrival on June 11th, there are 35 more visits to Dubrovnik planned by MSC in the 2021 season by the company’s ships MSC Orchestra and MSC Splendida. According to the official website, MSC Orchestra has a maximum capacity of 3013 passengers, while MSC Splendida can hold an impressive 4363 passengers. Even if the maximum capacity is reduced due to COVID-related measures, it is clear these numbers look very promising for a destination hit by a pandemic drop in revenue more severely than the rest of the Croatian coast.
According to the General Manager of Dubrovnik’s Port Authority Blaz Pezo, there are several other cruise companies that will be confirming their Dubrovnik arrivals very soon. Many in the tourism industry are crossing their fingers in hope of seeing the sector bounce back during the summer. At the same time, some Dubrovnik locals and guests were happy with clear roads and city streets free of excessive crowds last summer.
Maybe this year the city will get close to the perfect balance of tourists bringing in revenue and people being able to enjoy the city.
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