“AIDAcara” Opens Kiel’s 2015 Cruise Shipping Season
Kiel’s 2015 cruise shipping season gets under way on Easter Saturday, April 4th.
That’s when the first ocean-going cruise ship of the year, “AIDAcara”, ties up at the Ostseekai Terminal after calling at Lisbon, Le Havre and Dover. During the coming season Kiel expects a total of 127 calls by 23 different luxury cruise liners, many of them very big ships of more than 250 m in length. The Managing Director of the Port of Kiel (SEEHAFEN KIEL GmbH & Co. KG) Dr. Dirk Claus said: “The trend towards ever bigger cruise ships continues. Even though the number of calls may remain at about the same level as last year, the total number of passengers and the overall tonnage will increase significantly”, he added. Terminal capacity was increased once again last year with the introduction of the cruise ship Berth 1 in the Ostuferhafen. Three very big cruise ships can now berth and exchange passengers at the same time. In addition, small ships can be dealt with at the Norwegenkai and Schwedenkai terminals as well as at the Sartorikai.
All the cruise shipping companies which operate on the German market call at the Port of Kiel. The company with the most calls this year is AIDA Cruises which will, for the first time, station two of its ships – “AIDAcara” and “AIDAluna” - in Kiel for the whole season. The most frequent caller will be “MSC Orchestra” with 20 cruises. The biggest ship of the season will be the “Costa Pacifica”, weighing in at 114,000 GT.
“About two thirds of all this year’s cruise ship calls will be made by the ships of just four shipping companies – AIDA, Costa, MSC and TUI Cruises” - said Dirk Claus. “We are particularly well booked on Saturdays, when most of the cruises begin”, he added. On a total of twelve days there will be three, sometimes even four - cruise ships berthed in the port, in addition to the Baltic ferry ships. The biggest number of cruises will begin at the Ostseekai Terminal. But Berth 1 in the Ostuferhafen will also host 19 visits. Dirk Claus said: “Our new Berth 1 is already being well received. A great many car parking slots are now available for passengers directly at the berth and are bookable through Port Parking”. In addition, Port Parking is also being extended directly on the Ostseekai Passenger Terminal.
Highlight of the 2015 Kiel cruise shipping season will be the naming of “Mein Schiff 4” on June 5th at the Ostseekai Terminal. “We are looking forward to an unusual event which will be attended by a lot of spectators”, said Dirk Claus.
“The naming of “Mein Schiff 4” also underscores the existing bonds of partnership that have existed for many years between the shipping company and the port”. Anyone who would like an advance peep at the TUI Cruises newbuilding, can do this on Ascension Day on May 14th when “Mein Schiff 4” will enter the Kiel Fiord for the very first time.
Twelve cruise ships are expected to attend the big Kieler Woche maritime event from June 20th to the 28th , among them “Sea Cloud 2”, “Astor” or “Amadea”. There will also be an opportunity to meet Cunard Line’s “Queen Elizabeth” once again. She will visit the Kiel Fiord twice – on July 11th and August 20th. A particularly large number of international travellers are expected on board the Holland-America-Line cruise ship “Eurodam” which has notified Kiel of eight calls this season. That season will, this year, close particularly late and in fact not until December 19th. On that day, the third Saturday in Advent, the Phoenix Seereisen cruise ship “Albatros” will visit Kiel.