STA, 28 July 2019 - The passenger terminal at Koper, Slovenia's sole maritime port, welcomed 55,000 cruise line passengers by Friday this year with more than 109,000 expected to arrive at the port by the end of the season.
Most of the passengers come on high-end cruise liners, most of which sail in from Venice, as well as from Croatian ports such as Rijeka, Zadar, Split, Dubrovnik or even Korčula.
The city authorities told the STA that three cruise liners were due to dock at the Koper port this weekend.
The Celebrity Infinity arrived in the port for the first time on Friday carrying 2,000 passengers and 1,000 crew members. The ship was due to return as early as Sunday, following the Celebrity Constellation on Saturday.
By the end of the season 71 cruise liner arrivals are expected with a total of more than 106,000 passengers on board, so the port may even trump the boom year of 2010, when it welcomed more than 109,000 passengers on board of 78 ships.
The biggest this season are the Mein Schiff 6 and the Koningsdam, each carrying 2,500 passengers. The former is scheduled to visit Koper four times and the latter three times.
Most of the cruise liners arrive in June, July, September and October. Some estimates are that Koper could receive between 180,000 and 200,000 passengers a year in the coming years, but these should be distributed evenly throughout the year.
Many of the cruise line passengers stay in the town to explore the historic centre, or take a trip to some other coastal town, or even the rural Istria with a wine fountain in Marezige one popular draw.
There is also high demand for visits to Lipica, the home of the white Lipizzan horse, the Postojna Cave, the alpine lakeside resort of Bled or the capital Ljubljana.