Warnemunde stretched its cruise season to a new record with the Black Watch calling from Nov. 30 to Dec. 1. “This is the first time we have been able to welcome a cruise ship at such a late time of year,” said Ulrich Bauermeister, managing director of the Rostock-Warnemunde port..

“There is still a lot of potential here. It would be nice if the business community and we were to succeed in bringing more passenger vessels to Warnemünde during autumn and winter. By thus extending the season we would achieve a better annual utilization of the facilities. This would also be of considerable benefit to the local business community.”

With 181 port calls by 40 ocean cruise ships and 300,000 passengers, the port of Rostock-Warnemünde ranks at the top of all the German cruise ports in 2012. Twenty-five cruise operators included this southern Baltic cruise port in their itineraries as their homeport or port of call with excursions to the Hanseatic City, the holiday region of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the German capital, Berlin.

The cruise passengers were composed of 90,000 Germans, 66,000 Americans, 30,000 Brits, 21,000 Spaniards, 17,000 Canadians, 10,000 Italians and 66,000 from 134 other nations.

The port also reported about 2 million ferry passengers.

Conducting a survey of local and regional business this year, Warnemunde also reported that the financial impact of more than 2 million seagoing visitors was about 71 million euro.

395 local and regional businesses were surveyed extensively between June and October 2012. Two-thirds of these businesses stated that they were making sales with cruise and ferry passengers. The benefit derived is especially great for transport businesses such as bus and taxi operators with around 19 percent of their total sales made from the passengers, but also for gas stations with a 12 % share of their turnover. In the catering industry, in food and beverage establishments and hotels, the average shares of turnover by ferry and cruise passengers were 4.2 percent, 3.5 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively. In those sectors the highest sales were achieved in the city center of Rostock, in west Rostock and in the Baltic sea resort of Warnemunde. Lower sales were achieved by cultural and leisure services, with an average share in turnover of two percent.

According to the port, the companies making sales with cruise and ferry passengers take special measures to reach out to that target group. They accept credit cards, they provide language training for their staff to enable them to communicate with the guests and they provide information leaflets in several languages.

The share in total turnover of all surveyed businesses achieved through maritime tourists is on average 4.9 percent. The shops and the hotel and food and beverage outlets in Rostock alone achieve annual sales of around 55 million euro. According to the survey another 11 million euro were turned over through transport, cultural and leisure services in Rostock and another 5 million euro in the area surrounding Rostock.

'The turnover generated by ferry and cruise tourists is markedly high at around EUR 71 million or 13.5 percent of the total tourist-generated revenue of around EUR 523 million in Rostock.