Bronze plaque marks Ostseekai anniversary visit

The MSC Fantasia arrived at the Ostseekai from St Petersburg in Russia early on Saturday, September 2nd for what is the 350th visit by an MSC cruise ship to the port of Kiel.

Marking the anniversary, the ship’s captain, Guiseppe Galano was welcomed to the Schleswig-Holstein state capital by Nicole Claus, who is the Cruise Shipping Director of the PORT OF KIEL.

Caption: Cruise ship MSC Fantasia in the port of Kiel - Image courtesy of Port of Kiel

“With 350 visits to the port under its belt, MSC is the cruise shipping company which has been our most frequent caller to date”, Nicole Claus said, adding “the company and the port have been closely linked for many years and we would like to further expand that partnership.”

Afterwards Captain Galano and Nicole Claus unveiled a bronze plaque on Kiel’s Cruise Ship Walk of Fame to commemorate the anniversary visit. The Walk of Fame honours shipping companies and events which are of special significance for Kiel as a cruise shipping location.

Caption: Cruise ship MSC Fantasia in the port of Kiel - Image courtesy of Port of Kiel

MSC cruise ships have been calling at the port of Kiel regularly for twelve years. Rhapsody was the first.The ship called on the 4th of September 2005, before the shipping company elevated Kiel to base port status in 2006. Since then Kiel has been a constituent part of the company’s northern Europe route planning and has to date been visited by nine different MSC cruise ships.

The 138,000 GT MSC Fantasia, which is 333 m long, is the biggest ship to have Kiel as its base port this year. The cruise liner has already undertaken 18 cruises from Kiel this season. Three more were to follow up to the season finale on September 16th, when the ship heads for the Mediterranean.

The northern Europe cruises, already undertaken and still to be undertaken by MSC Fantasia,  involve not only the major cities of the Baltic on the route Kiel, Copenhagen, Stockholm,Tallinn/Helsinki, St Petersburg and Kiel, but also the Norwegian fiords on the route Kiel, Copenhagen, Geiranger, Flåm, Stavanger  and Kiel.

Nicole Claus said: “Because of its geographical location, Kiel is particularly attractive as the starting point for so-called butterfly cruises. The combination of Baltic and Norwegian routes is a very interesting option”, she added.

Caption: Guiseppe Galano and Nicole Claus - Bronze plaque marks Ostseekai anniversary visit - Image courtesy of Port of Kiel

Kiel is at one and the same time a cruise turnaround port and a tourist destination. International cruise ship passengers who board in Copenhagen can enjoy day excursions ashore from the port of Kiel into the surrounding region and to the Hanse city of Lübeck and the north German metropolis of Hamburg. To date 1.3 million passengers have embarked or disembarked from an MSC cruise ship in Kiel. In the coming year, MSC will return to Kiel at the end of April with the MSC Preziosa.

MSC-Cruise ships  in Kiel:

 Cruise ship  Ship visits in  No. of Kiel calls
 MSC Rhapsody  2005, 2007  4
 MSC Lirica  2006, 2007, 2008, 2012  51
 MSC Opera  2007, 2008, 2009, 2010  55
 MSC Orchestra  2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015  93
 MSC Poesia  2010, 2011, 2012, 2013  69
 MSC Magnifica  2012  15
 MSC Musica  2013, 2016  41
 MSC Sinfonia  2015  3
 MSC Fantasia  Including Sep. 2nd 2017  19
     Total: 350

The SEEHAFEN KIEL GmbH & Co. KG operates Kiel’s commercial port on behalf of the Schleswig-Holstein state capital of Kiel. Three terminals for ferry and cruise ships are available in Kiel at the Ostseekai, Norwegenkai and Schwedenkai and all are in close proximity to the city centre. In addition, especially large ships are able to tie up at the Berth 1 cruise ship terminal in the Ostuferhafen. This year, Kiel is being visited 142 times by 28 different ships and is one of the most popular cruise shipping ports in Germany. By the end of this year’s season, half a million cruise ship passengers are expected to have visited the port, in addition to about 1.6 million ferry ship passengers.

Source: Port of Kiel