For the first time ever, two big cruise ships of the respected Holland America Line (HAL) have called at the Port of Kiel together. About 3,500 mainly American passengers used the visit, on Thursday June 11th, for day excursions, most of them in the state of Schleswig-Holstein or to Hamburg. Dirk Claus, Managing Director of the Port of Kiel (SEEHAFEN KIEL GmbH & Co. KG) said “Kiel is known mainly as a port where cruise ships switch passengers, but it is now also gaining in importance as a tourist destination”. Transit guests currently account for about 15% of all cruise passengers in the port and that figure is expected to rise. “So I am delighted that we have succeeded, thanks to the good co-operation with the firm of Sartori & Berger, in attracting the Holland America Line to Kiel”, Claus added.

Kiel offers attractive land excursions to North German tourist sights, ranging from regional panorama and city tours to cycle and SuperSail-RIB-boat excursions and trips to Hamburg and to the Hansa city of Lüneberg. “Tour organisers Sartori & Berger and E-L-S have a wide and well-organised programme”, said Dirk Claus. “Our international guests can discover, in the most pleasant way possible, that the North German holiday region has much to offer. Kiel’s port is a good place to start and whether passengers visit Kiel and its surrounding areas, the Hansa cities or the metropolis of Hamburg, I am certain that many of them will return in the years to come.”

The first of the two HAL cruise ships to call on June 11th, the 86,000 GT, 285 metre-long “Eurodam”, arrived at the Ostseekai at about 6 a.m.. She was followed about an hour later by the 60,000 GT, 238 metre-long “Rotterdam”. Both received the traditional water-fountain welcome from the fire-fighting ship “Kiel” before being escorted to their berths. Kiel Lord Mayor Angelika Volquartz passed on the greetings of the federal state capital at a reception on board “Rotterdam” while Dirk Claus presented a first-call commemorative plaque to Captain Henrik Krombeen. Spectators on land enjoyed an extra special sight early evening when the two luxury liners cast off together at 5 p.m. and set sail for their next stop, Copenhagen.

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 city centre locations. This year, 117 calls have been booked by 20 different ships. By the time the season ends, as many as 250,000 passengers will have joined or left a cruise ship in Kiel.