Copenhagen already has 361 cruise calls booked for next year, compared to 304 this year. The season ended on Wednesday, with the Marco Polo being the final caller. Of the 304 calls, 135 were turnarounds. Total passenger numbers were 530,000, meaning increased sales for restaurants, hotels and shops, according to Ole Andersen, chairman of the Cruise Copenhagen Network and sales and marketing director of Wonderful Copenhagen.

Next year’s traffic is expected to generate an estimated DKK 1 billion in revenue for the city. The trend is also for larger ships which will bring more passengers.

“Whereas the rest of the tourist trade is going through a difficult period, we are seeing increasing interest in visitors coming to Copenhagen on a cruise,” Andersen said in a prepared statement. “We have also seen good support from the city in general,” he said. “That means that we can give tourists a unique welcome also in the future. The most important thing is to make sure that all the guests feel that they have received a very special welcome in Copenhagen.”

“We are very well prepared for all the new ships coming and can handle the increased workload together with our partners, ships' agents and agencies arranging excursions around the region,” said Arnt Moeller Pedersen, general manager of the Copenhagen Malmoe Port. “We are also looking forward to accommodating the increased growth when we open our new cruise ship facilities in the northern part of the harbor (Nordhavnen) in 2013. Together with Langelinie, they will be the preferred places to dock.”

The cruise ship segment of tourism has now reached a dimension equivalent to a large event in the city every weekend, he said. Between 15,000 and 45,000 tourists arrive by sea every weekend during the high season. And they expect to find things to see and do.

And more families are visiting Copenhagen on cruises, with Disney Cruises coming here for the first time this year. Disney, which has a historical partnership with Tivoli, was met by the Tivoli Boys Guard on the pier, and the ship's passengers were given an extra special time in the Gardens. With the new family segment as well as the other growth, Tivoli sees a large potential in working proactively with the city's cruise ship network. “We believe strongly in the cruise ship segment and will therefore be strengthening our commitment in this area,” commented Frans Fossing, deputy director of sales for Tivoli.