Cruise season peaks with four ships at once. More than 23,000 ship passengers expected on Saturday at Kiel
Kiel is expecting a quadruple climax to its cruise shipping season on Saturday, August 12th, when four cruise ships will arrive in the port at the same time, in addition to the Baltic ferries of Color Line, Stena Line and DFDS. In the wake of the “AIDAvita” and “AIDAluna”, the “MSC Fantasia” and the “Zuiderdam“ of Holland America Line will berth on Saturday morning.
Within just a few hours of that more than 23,000 passengers will disembark from ships or go on board. Dr. Dirk Claus, Managing Director of the PORT OF KIEL (SEEHAFEN KIEL GmbH & Co. KG) said:
“We are all well-prepared and look forward to both passengers and ships. Along with all our partners – from agencies to Customs – we can guarantee that processing will be smooth.”
Drawing particular attention on Saturday will be “MSC Fantasia”, the biggest cruise ship to call at the Ostuferhafen so far. “MSC Fantasia” and the AIDA ships are carrying out passenger turnrounds in Kiel while the cruise ship “Zuiderdam” is visiting the port as part of an ongoing cruise.
According to current plans, the first passengers to arrive will be those of the “AIDAvita” and the “AIDAvita”. Those two ships will pass Kiel’s beacon light at around 06:30 and berth at the Ostseekai and the Sartorikai respectively at about 08:00. “MSC Fantasia” will arrive a little later at the Ostuferhafen from Stavanger. The passengers of all three ships are ending Norwegian cruises in Kiel.
At 11:00 the “Zuiderdam” will tie up at the Ostseekai’s northernmost berth. About 2,000 passengers on that ship will get an opportunity to take part in excursions ashore on Saturday. Available are trips to a local region of hills and lakes known as Holstein Switzerland and to the Hanse city of Lübeck and the seaside spa resort of Laboe. A range of tours to the north German metropolis of Hamburg are also on the programme.
“The cruise ships are of particular touristic and economic significance for Kiel and the region”, said Dirk Claus. “This year ferry and cruise ship passengers are expected to generate spending in excess of about € 50 million in the Schleswig-Holstein capital”, he added.
Once all the passengers are back on board, the ships provisioned and the luggage stowed, the new cruises can begin. After the departure of the ferry “Stena Scandinavia”, the cruise ships will leave in quick succession at about 18:00. The “AIDAluna” sails for the Danish capital Copenhagen while “AIDAvita” will head for the British Isles and a first stop in Newcastle.
Dirk Claus said: “The departure of the big ships is always an impressive sight drawing many onlookers to the Kiel Fiord. A visit to the port is always worthwhile.”
The departure of the DFDS ferry “Regina Seaways” at about 20:00 will be followed by that of the last cruise ship of the day – the “Zuiderdam” – which will leave its berth around 21:00 bound for Tallinn in Estonia.