The first ocean-going cruise ship of the year, AIDAcara, is about to kick off Kiel’s 2015 cruise shipping season. The cruise ship is set to get under way on Easter Saturday, April 4th.
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 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,” Managing Director of the Port of Kiel Dr. Dirk Claus said.
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, the port data shows.
“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 Claus.
Highlights of the 2015 Kiel cruise shipping season include the naming of TUI Cruises newbuilding Mein Schiff 4, schedule to take place on June 5th at the Ostseekai Terminal.