“The Kieler Woche regatta – an international top sailing event and at the same time the biggest summer festival in northern Europe – is setting new standards and attracting in-creasing numbers of cruise ships”. The comment comes from Dr Dirk Claus, Managing Director of the Port of Kiel (SEEHAFEN KIEL GmbH & Co. KG).
This year for the first time, a record sixteen cruise ships have berthed in the port of Kiel during the festival, which is being held from June 21st to June 29th. Three of them – the “MSC Orchestra”, the “Braemar” and the “Adonia”, along with an inland river cruise ship – were joining the big Windjammer Parade, which is the maritime highlight of the Kieler Woche and was being held on Saturday June 28th. Led by the German Navy’s sail train-ing ship “Gorch Fock”, hundreds of ships were transforming the Kiel Fiord into a sea of white sail for a few hours. It was all getting under way at 11 a.m. when the first of seven groups of ships were sailing from the Stadthafen close to the City Centre through the Kiel Fiord and out into the Bay of Kiel.
Among the ships leading the different groups out were the four-masted Russian barque “Kruzenshtern”, the three-masted Polish full-rigger “Dar Mlodziezy” and Holland’s “Gulden Leuww”. The biggest windjammer in this year’s parade is the 106 m long cruise sailing ship “Sea Cloud 11” of 3,849 GT, which was joining the queue straight away to lead out the fourth group of ships.
The P&O Cruises cruise ship “Adonia”, which arrived in Kiel on Friday afternoon (June 27th) from Southampton in England, was making her first visit to Kiel. She had spent the day passing through the Kiel Canal and was welcomed on arrival in the Kiel Fiord by a flotilla of sailing ships. After the “Adonia” berthed at the Norwegenkai Passenger Terminal, her mainly English-speaking passengers had an opportunity to immerse themselves in the atmosphere of the Kieler Woche. The event is an occasion for international contacts and the cruise ships that visit Kiel berth, literally, right in the heart of it. For passengers it is one highlight of the cruise experience.
During an on-board reception on Saturday morning, Port Managing Director Dirk Claus welcomed Captain David Box to Kiel as the representative of the “Adonia” and her passengers and crew and presented him with the Port of Kiel’s commemorative ‘First Call’ plaque. The 30,000 GT ship, which is 180 m long, is carrying 700 passengers and is on a 17-day Baltic cruise which will also take her to Tallinn, St Petersburg, Stockholm and Copenhagen.
The Kieler Woche is the world’s biggest sport sailing event and is held in conjunction with northern Europe’s biggest summer festival. Every year more than 5,000 sailing enthusiasts spend the last full week in June at the Olympia Centre in Kiel-Schilksee, taking part in boat races ranging from single-handed dinghies to ocean-going yachts and in regatta races on the Kiel Fiord. During the nine days of the Kieler Woche, the Schleswig-Holstein state capital of Kiel welcomes more than three million visi-tors to the city on the fiord from all over the world. They also enjoy the maritime flair of the many stage shows and special events in the city. The maritime highlight of the Kieler Woche is the Wind-jammer Parade held on the second Saturday of the festivities. Every year more than 100,000 people experience this traditional parade of tall ships and old-time sailing vessels.
The SEEHAFEN KIEL GmbH & Co. KG operates Kiel’s commercial port on behalf of the Schleswig-Holstein state capital of Kiel, of which it is a 100% subsidiary company. In close proximity to the city centre Kiel boasts three modern passenger terminals for ferry and cruise ships at the Ostseekai, Nor-wegenkai and Schwedenkai. In addition, cruise ships can berth in the Ostuferhafen.