GREEN CRUISE PORT - Sustainable Development of Cruise Port Locations

March 2016 -
February 2019

3. Transport 3.4 Clean shipping


In the Interreg project Green Cruise Ports, eight major cruise ports at the Baltic Sea lifted sustainability up on their agenda and committed themselves to decoupling growth from negative environmental impact of port and vessel operations; they jointly established an action plan for more sustainable investments over the next ten years.

The Opportunity

The cruise shipping sector in the Baltic Sea region has grown enormously in the last decade. From 2001 to 2013 cruise ship calls (visits by a cruise ship at a port) grew by a total of 59 % (1,601 to 2,552), and passenger visits increased by over 260 % (1.2 million to 4.4 million). Cruise tourism is expected to continue growing in the Baltic Sea region. Meeting the fast growing demand and the associated environmental requirements in the cruise sector in a strategic, sustainable manner is necessary. Because the “cruise product” is transnational by its nature, only a joint planning process of ports in the region will have lasting results.


Eight ports and two cruise lines explore green solutions together

In the project, the port authorities of eight large cruise ports in the Baltic Sea region joined forces, namely Hamburg (Germany), Rostock (Germany), Klaipeda (Lithuania), Riga (Latvia), Tallinn (Estonia), Helsinki (Finland), Bergen (Norway) and Esbjerg (Denmark) for an ambitious approach towards green cruise ports. The port authority RosMorPort which operates the ports of St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad (Russia) contributed as well. Together with the cruise lines AIDA and TUI as well as researchers from the Maritime Institute in Gdansk they looked into smart solutions for greener cruise ports in terms of sustainable energy supply and innovative emission reduction, cruise terminal buildings and innovative reception facilities and maritime and landside cruise terminal traffic links and published a series of thematic studies in each of those fields. A study on "Sustainable energetic solutions for the cruise terminal building in Northern climate" laid the fundament for an engineer-layout of a smart cruise terminal building at the Port of Tallinn. The new terminal was built 2019.

A common vision and an action plan for green cruise tourism by 2030

To bring all the experience and ambitions together, the ports established a joint vision: To decouple growth in the Baltic Sea region cruise port industry from negative sustainability, and especially environmental impacts that result from port and vessel operations. In order to pursue this vision, the ports and cruise lines developed a Green Cruise Port Action Plan 2030 with specific goals for its realization. The Action Plan serves as an important tool and source of reference for ports, cruise lines, policy and others striving for a high level of sustainability. In 2017, the Baltic Sea Forum awarded the project the Baltic Sea Clean Maritime Award in the category “Infrastructure”. EUR 1.93 million of support from the European Union were used to initiate change in the cruise industry towards a green, low-carbon Europe in the Interreg project Green Cruise Ports. 

Project Stories


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Project manager

Hamburg Port Authority

Ingo Fehrs

+4 940 428 473 019

Legal representative

Hamburg Port Authority

Björn Pistol

+4940 42847 5216

Financial manager

HPC Hamburg Port Consulting GmbH

Madlen Kroh

494 074 008 118

Communication manager

Wissenschaft & Praxis marine

Hans-Ulrich Wolff

494 087 080 206