The cruise ship industry in Bulgaria has reported a record number of early bookings for 2015, according to the Bulgarian Cruise Society, an industry association.
More than 10 000 Bulgarians have made reservations as 2014 heads towards a close, and this figure does not include under-18s travelling in cabins with their parents, a media statement by the association said.
The number of reservations in November is surprising because promotional offers for cruises customarily start only at the end of December, continuing to March.
After the close of the summer season of 2014, Bulgaria’s Port of Bourgas on the Black Sea said that more than 42 000 tourists had visited in the previous six months, with 26 cruise ships docking at the port.
Port Bougas had begun active preparations for the next season, which is expected to start on April 24 2015, the port’s media office said.
Varna, Bulgaria’s main Black Sea city, also has seen an increase in cruise ship business.
Over the past five years, there was an average of just more than 21 visits by cruise ships to Varna a year, but in 2014, there were 36.
In all, more than 21 000 cruise ships passengers visited Varna in 2014.
The main reason for the increase in the number of cruise ships visiting Bulgarian ports was the crisis in Ukraine.