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.

Cruise season peaks at the Port of Kiel with four ships at once
Caption: MSC Fantasia entering Port of Kiel - Image courtesy of Port of Kiel

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.

Port of Kiel
Caption: Port of Kiel - Image courtesy of Tom Koerber

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.

 Ship  out of  ETA  Terminal  Ets  bound for 
 AIDAvita  Aarhus  08:00  Sartorikai  18:00  Newcastle
 AIDAluna  Stavanger  08:00  Ostseekai  18:00  Bergen
 MSC Fantasia  Stavanger  10:00  Ostuferhafen  18:00  Copenhagen
 Zuiderdam  Copenhagen  11:00  Ostseekai  21:00  Tallinn
 Stena Scandinavica  Gothenburg  09:15  Schwedenkai  17:45  Gothenburg
 Color Magic  Oslo  10:00  Norwegenkai  14:00  Oslo 
 Regina Seaways  Klaipeda  16:00  Ostuferhafen  20:00  Klaipeda

The SEEHAFEN KIEL operates Kiel’s commercial port on behalf of the Schleswig-Holstein state capital of Kiel, of which it is a 100% subsidiary company. Kiel has two berths available for very big cruise ships at the Ostseekai Cruise Terminal, which is in close proximity to Kiel’s city centre. Smaller ships can be accommodated in addition at the Norwegenkai, the Schwedenkai and at Sartorikai. Cruise ships of more than 300 metre length, carrying up to 4,000 passengers can be handled at Berth No. 1 in the Ostuferhafen. During this year’s cruise season, 142 calls have been registered by 28 different cruise ships. For the very first time, more than half a million cruise ship passengers are expected.

Source: Port of Kiel