Kiel expects 168 cruise ship visits in 2018
Last year Kiel was visited on 143 separate occasions (147 in 2016) by 29 different cruise ships with a total gross tonnage of more than 10 million – an increase of 7.5 % over the previous year. For the first time ever more than half a million travellers boarded or left cruise ships in 2017 – 513,500 to be exact, an increase of 6 %.
That makes last year Kiel’s most successful cruise shipping year ever. “This year” said Dirk Claus, the Managing Director of the PORT OF KIEL (SEEHAFEN KIEL GmbH & Co. KG), “We want to again surpass the already outstanding results in the cruise shipping sector”.
To date 168 visits to Kiel by 32 different cruise ships have been registered. Total gross tonnage will increase to 11.4 million and the number of passengers could reach 600,000. The season begins on April 6th with the arrival of the Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines ship “Boudicca”.
The most frequent visitors this year will be the ships of AIDA/Costa, TUI Cruises and MSC, with AIDA calling at the port no fewer than 63 times with five ships. The biggest cruise ship this season will be the “MSC Preziosa” of 139,000 GT, which can be seen for the first time in the Kiel Fiord on April 28th.
The highlights of the season will be the presentation of TUI Cruises’ latest ship the “Mein Schiff 1” on April 27th and the maiden visits of seven further ships. Among them is Cunard Line’s “Queen Victoria”, which will tie up at the Ostseekai on July 17th.
Dirk Claus said “I am very pleased that we have been able to add two new customers this year – the U.S. shipping company Viking Ocean Cruises and the Spanish shipping company Pullmantur Cruises.”
Fourteen visits are expected during this year’s Kieler Woche sailing regatta between the 16th and 24th of June, two of them by river cruise ships. From an operational point of view however the focus of attention will be the twelve dates on which three or even more ocean going cruise ships are expected in the port. The numerical highlight will be on August 11th when five cruise ships will be in Kiel at the same time.
“Kiel is among the leading cruise ship departure and destination ports in northern Europe”, said Dirk Claus. ”We want to consolidate this position by continuing to invest in our facilities.”
In late summer work is starting on the construction of a second terminal building at the Ostseekai. With this, Kiel will create the quality capacity to accept even bigger ships with more passengers in future. Planned is a 4,000 m² two-storey building which will be of contemporary design and complement the existing structure in both form and function. It will open at the start of the 2019 season.