Kiel, May 19, 2009: the four biggest cruise ships ever to berth in the Port of Kiel are expected to call this week. The new TUI Cruises liner “Mein Schiff” started it all off on Monday May 18th. “MSC Orchestra” was expected at the Ostseekai Cruise Terminal on Wednesday, “Costa Magica” on Thursday and “Eurodam” on Friday. Dirk Claus, Managing Director of the Port of Kiel (SEEHAFEN KIEL GmbH & Co. KG) said “the new Ostseekai is one of the most efficient cruise shipping terminals in northern Europe. State-of-the-art terminal infrastructure and service courtesy are the foundations on which our first-class ship handling is built. This is what makes Kiel currently the most popular cruise shipping port on the German coast.

Actually, Kiel expects a total of twelve arrivals by eight different cruise ships during this week – in addition to the regular ferries operating on Scandinavia and Baltic services. The highpoint, as far as passenger totals is concerned, comes on Wednesday May 20 when “Mein Schiff”, “Princess Daphne” and “Delphin” will all be in the city’s Stadthafen at the same time as well as the “MSC Orchestra”. Commented Dirk Claus “a trip to the Port of Kiel is well worth it this week. It’s not every day you can see so many big ships”. On May 21st, Ascension Day, the biggest cruise ship of the season, the “Costa Magica” will be on display at the Ostseekai, along with one of the ships of the cruise shipping company MSC.

To cope with up to 9,000 passengers at the Ostseekai inside just a few hours, the terminal building was expanded to include two new luggage halls in time for the opening of the season. Now available are more than 7,500 square metres of covered terminal area. The waiting area has been almost doubled in size. Up to 500 additional seats, a café with a lounge, a newspaper shop and a tourist information desk have all contributed to comfort while big banners and numerous plants have created a pleasant atmosphere. Up to 30 counters guarantee a speedy check-in. An additional entrance has been created for crews. Commented Dirk Claus “we stress quality. The idea is for Kiel to give travellers a good send-off on their holidays”, he said. This year 20 different ships will leave Kiel on 117 cruises. Up to the end of the season in September, well over 200,000 travellers will check in and out.

The Port of Kiel operates the commercial port on behalf of the Schleswig-Holstein state capital of Kiel and is a 100% subsidiary company of the City. Kiel boasts three passenger terminals for cruise ships – Ostseekai, Norwegenkai and Schwedenkai – all in attractive city centre locations. In addition, ship berths are available at the Sartorikai and at Bollhörnkai-Süd. Inside just five years, and with the support of the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein, Kiel has invested well over 60 million Euros in the expansion of terminal facilities in the city’s Stadthafen.

Cruise ship technical data
Ship    Tonnage Length  Passengers    
„Mein Schiff“   76,500 GT       264 m   1,900 Passengers      
„MSC Orchestra“ 92,400 GT       294 m   2,550 Passengers      
„Costa Magica“  102,600 GT      278 m   2,700 Passengers      
„Eurodam“       86,000 GT       285 m   2,000 Passengers