On September 10 the new passenger port in St. Petersburg, the first in Russia able to accommodate the new generation of large ships, was inaugurated, with the 2,114-passenger Costa Mediterranea making the first call.
Situated on the western side of Vasiljevskiy Island, the port is near the old town and a convenient gateway to the main attractions of the city. Scheduled for completion by 2010, it is expected to be the largest cruise and ferry industry project in the world, with seven berths, three cruise terminals and one ferry terminal. The new port will be able to handle 12,000 passengers a day and 1.2 million passengers a year.
The project will also incorporate business centers, exhibition halls, “A” class residential development and other facilities. St. Petersburg has seen cruise volume rise from 163,000 in 2003 to an estimated 400,000 in 2008.