(4:20 p.m. GMT) -- CruiseCopenhagen has revealed that Denmark is expected to receive over 1 million cruise passengers for the first time in 2017 -- a 21.4 percent increase on last year, which saw 866,048 passengers visit the country.
Denmark is expected to receive a total of 491 cruise ships visits this year -- compared with 407 cruise calls and an estimated €92 million contribution to the country's economy in 2016.
This follows news revealed this week that the number of Europeans cruising in Europe increased by 3.4 percent in 2016 -- despite the geopolitical challenges of last year -- with Germany hitting the 2 million mark and making it the largest market in Europe. While the U.K. has also seen significant growth, with a record 1.9 million Brits taking an ocean or river cruise in 2016 -- up by 100,000 on 2015.
Copenhagen will receive the majority of the country's calls with an estimated 850,000 cruise passengers expected to hit the city during the cruise season.
Claus Bødker, Director of CruiseCopenhagen, said: "Working together with our partners and the cruise lines to achieve these increased passenger figures -- combined with the extremely positive results established in our 2016 Passenger and Crew Satisfaction Survey -- makes us proud that our efforts in striving to offer a truly memorable cruise experience, are proving so fruitful."
Copenhagen is a popular call on Northern Europe and Baltic Sea cruises, with CruiseCopenhagen also representing other major ports in Denmark, among them Aalborg, Aarhus, Fredericia and Skagen.
--by Kerry Spencer, Editor, U.K.