Kiel's 2014 Cruise Shipping Season Ends
Expanded terminal capacities created at Berth 1
This year’s cruise shipping season in Kiel closes on the evening of October 18 when the AIDAcara sets sail for the Canary Islands. Dr. Dirk Claus, the Managing Director of the Port of Kiel (SEEHAFEN KIEL GmbH & Co KG), said, “We can look back on a season full of highlights and one which has also been marked by the inauguration of our fifth terminal berth for cruise ships.” The new passenger pavilion at the Berth 1 cruise shipping facility in the Ostuferhafen was officially inaugurated at the start of June when the 114,000 GT, 290 m long Costa Pacifica berthed there. At the same time two further big cruise ships – the 265 m long, 77,000 GT Mein Schiff 1 and the 285 m long, 86,000 GT Eurodam – berthed at the Ostseekai Terminal. The Norwegenkai and the Schwedenkai passenger terminals are also able to handle ships of up to 200 m in length. A new attraction at the Ostseekai Terminal is the “Seafarers’ Lounge” run by the German Missions to Seamen. It was opened in July and is exclusively available for the crews of ships calling at Kiel.
Overall, 25 individual cruise ships called at Kiel a total of 127 times this year, compared to 128 calls in 2013. Utilising the terminal facilities to embark or disembark were 354,000 cruise ship passengers. The most frequent visitors were passengers aboard the ships of cruise shipping companies AIDA, Costa, MSC and TUI Cruises, which called at Kiel a total of 75 times. In addition, Kiel was once again the base port for nearly all the German market cruise shipping companies as well as a port of call for international shipping companies offering day trips ashore, such as Holland American Lines. Highlights of the season included the introduction of TUI Cruises’ newbuilding Mein Schiff 3 and the first call by Hapag Lloyd Cruises’ Europa 2. During the Kieler Woche sailing regatta the port saw no fewer than sixteen visits by cruise ships. Among them was Fred Olsen’s Braemar as well as first-time visitor Adonia from P & O Cruises, which could be admired along with Sea Cloud 2 when both joined the big windjammer parade on the Kiel Fiord.
“The new cruise shipping Berth 1 has already been tried, tested and well received,” said Dirk Claus. “In the coming year 17 calls are already planned for the facility,” he added. Even if the overall number of calls in 2015 remains the same as this year, which appears likely, the average size of visiting ships is clearly rising. The total tonnage of cruise ships calling at Kiel in 2015 will increase to more than 8.1 million GT. That’s a rise of 14%. For the first time Kiel will welcome two ships from AIDA Cruises - AIDAcara and AIDAluna - for regular passenger exchange. Highlight of the coming season will be the inauguration of the latest newbuilding to join TUI Cruises: Mein Schiff will be named at the Ostseekai on June 5, 2015. In addition, Cunard Line’s Queen Elizabeth will visit the Kiel Fiord for the first time - calling not just once but twice in the coming season. From an operational point of view, a lot of attention will be given to the four occasions next year on which a quartet of luxury cruise ships will berth at Kiel terminals at the same time – and that’s as well as regular ferries of Color Line, Stena Line and DFDS Seaways. Next season opens on April 4, 2015 when the AIDAcara arrives back in Kiel.