STA, 26 July 2020 - The Covid-19 pandemic has dealt a huge blow to the Koper port's passenger terminal, as cruise line operators have been postponing planned voyages. The first cruise ship is due in Koper on 30 August.
The first planned arrival this season is Marella Explorer, the cruise ship operated by Marella Cruises which has a capacity for 1,900 passengers and 900 crew members.
A further 14 passenger ship arrivals are scheduled in Koper until 22 November. However, the port operator Luka Koper says the shipping companies remain cautious. Nor will the ships be fully booked.
Luka Koper had initially planned to open the passenger season in early April with 61 arrivals originally announced by cruise ship operators until the end of the year.
This comes after more than 115,000 passengers arrived in Koper last year on 72 ships, an all-time high.
The port follows a strict nationally-coordinated coronavirus protocol with detailed procedures prescribed for the event of an infectious disease being discovered on a ship.
The incoming ships need to submit their health declaration to the Maritime Administration even before their arrival. If an infection is suspected, the procedure is taken over by an epidemiologist from the National Institute of Public Health who decides whether the ship can enter the port, and gives instructions to everyone involved.