The cruise season in Gothenburg will get under way over the Easter weekend. During the next few months, 60,000 tourists are expected to arrive by cruise ship to discover the sights of the city. There will be 44 visits by cruise ships to the Port of Gothenburg this year. The Aida Cara, which berthed at Frihamnen on Good Friday was the first arrival for the season.

Aida Cara's arrival marks the beginning of the cruise season at the Port of Gothenburg. Yesterday, on Good Friday, this 193-metre long cruise ship berthed at Frihamnen at the Port of Gothenburg. On board, there are 1,200 German tourists, eager to explore the city and all it has to offer.

Cruise Season Gets Under Way In Gothenburg

Cruise vessel Aida Cara will mark the beginning of the cruise season at the Port of Gothenburg.

“We are extremely pleased that the season is about to start as it is a true sign of spring. Thanks to many years of marketing together with Göteborg & Co we have succeeded in putting Gothenburg firmly on the map among the cruise lines,” said Jill Söderwall, Vice President Cruise at Gothenburg Port Authority.

One of the high points of the season will be the visit by Norwegian Getaway. With 4,000 guests, she will in passenger terms be the largest cruise ship ever to visit the Port of Gothenburg. Other ships that will attract particular attention include the new Mein Schiff 6, which is currently being built and is due to be launched in Hamburg in May.

A total of 44 cruise ships, carrying 60,000 passengers, are scheduled to visit Gothenburg this year compared with 34 last year.

Trendy port city

Prominent international travel guides rank Gothenburg highly and describe it as a trendy, vibrant port city with a multitude of things to see and do.

“There’s a great deal of scope to increase cruise tourism in Gothenburg. We have noticed that the average age of the cruise tourists who visit the city is falling and they want to make their own way around, not just in the city but also in the nearby countryside. Gothenburg is ideal in terms of size to fit in both during a visit,” said Petra Gamerdinger, Cruise Manager at Göteborg & Co.

The visitors come mainly from Germany, the United Kingdom, the USA and Italy. On average, each cruise tourist spends 700 kronor per person on food, shopping and excursions during their visit. This year cruise tourism is expected to generate revenue of almost 42 million kronor in the tourism sector.

The cruise season will end on October 9. After that, there will be two Christmas calls in December.

The beautiful and historic Amerikaskjulet comes back to life as a passenger terminal.

Final year at Frihamnen

2017 will be the final year for cruise ships at Frihamnen. The area will be part of a major urban development scheme with the construction of homes and offices, forcing the present cruise terminal to find a new location.

The new central cruise terminal will be at Stigbergskajen in Masthugget. The quay and part of the terminal building, Amerikaskjulet, are currently being restored and will be ready to welcome ships from spring 2018. The revived name of the terminal will be America Cruise Terminal.

The location is perfect for cruise tourism as it is within easy walking distance of the cosy, inviting districts of Majorna, Linné and Haga, and just a short journey by public transport or chartered bus into the city centre. Cruise tourists can look forward to a first-rate reception when the beautiful and historic Amerikaskjulet comes back to life as a passenger terminal,” said Jill Söderwall.

Fact file: visits by cruise ships in 2017

  • First: Aida Cara, 193 metres long, 1,200 passengers
  • Largest: Norwegian Getaway, 325 metres long, 4,000 passengers
  • Newest: Mein Schiff 6, currently being built and due to be launched in Hamburg in May, 293 metres long, 2,500 passengers

For details of all the cruise ships that are due to call at the port in 2017 see here.

Cruise tourism in Gothenburg

Gothenburg Port Authority and Göteborg & Co have been working actively since 2008 to market Gothenburg as a cruise destination. The number of cruise ships has increased significantly with a record high in 2014 when 73 ships visited the port, bringing more than 100,000 guests into the city. There has been a slight downturn since then, due largely to keen competition from other ports, particularly in Denmark.

Number of calls to Gothenburg by cruise ships, 2002 – 2017:

2002 – 5 calls, 2,400 passengers
2003 – 13 calls, 5,500 passengers
2004 – 18 calls, 14,200 passengers
2005 – 20 calls, 12,700 passengers
2006 – 18 calls, 11,300 passengers
2007 – 23 calls, 11,400 passengers
2008 – 18 calls, 12,400 passengers
2009 – 34 calls, 36,000 passengers
2010 – 41 calls, 51,700 passengers
2011 – 52 calls, 64,000 passengers
2012 – 62 calls, 70,000 passengers
2013 – 39 calls, 40,000 passengers
2014 – 73 calls, 108,000 passengers
2015 – 52 calls, 100,000 passengers
2016 ­- 34 calls, 56,000 passengers
2017 – 44 calls, 60,000 passengers

Source: Port of Gothenburg