Arnt Moller Pedersen, general manager of cruise and ferries at Copenhagen Malmo PortCopenhagen Malmo Port is on pace to break its own traffic record in 2011, according to Arnt Moller Pedersen, general manager of cruise and ferries at the port.

Pedersen told Cruise Industry News in an exclusive interview, a day before the Cruise Baltic conference, that 360 calls are scheduled for 2011, including 160 turnarounds, accounting for 750,000 passengers. Norwegian Cruise Line adds another 18 calls, as they move a ship into the Danish port and out of England for the 2011 Baltic season.

Copenhagen has the space to accommodate up to nine ships on a busy summer day, using a variety of piers.

The port takes requests up to three years in advance, and will place ships in berths this December for the 2011 season.

“The lines have their wish lists and we place ships in places so we can utilize our piers most efficiently,”  added Pedersen. “We guarantee berths two years out.”

For 2012, some 270 calls are already scheduled.

Meanwhile, Pedersen also oversees the cruise business in Malmo. “It’s a smaller, cozy place,” he said. “And we’ve seen some demand there lately, there is an international airport and flights are considerably cheaper, especially for charters.”

Infrastructure Upgrades

A summer day with cruise ships everywhere in the port of Copenhagen.A major new pier for cruise ships is coming on schedule as planned for 2013. The new infrastructure upgrade will allow space for an additional three large cruise ships along a 1,100 meter quay, according to Pedersen, at a cost of 400 million Danish Kroner.

A bold plan is on tap for the year 2020, which includes moving the entire cargo operation of the port and major changes to the cruise product.

Changes in the present include a simple yet effective free internet network for crew members onboard ships. Pedersen said the cost was minimal compared to the effect it had in the ports reputation among crew members.

The port has also come up with an alert system, available per subscription on its website, aimed towards taxi drivers. Upon signing up a subscriber will get a SMS (text message) alert the night before a ship comes in, and when the arrival is.

“This year we’ve added that for the taxi companies, and we’ve communicated when the peak hours are,” Pedersen continued. “For a 3,000 passenger ship, we may need 500 or 600 taxis.”

The port also added greeters this past season that pass out maps and answer questions. On top of that are blue lines painted on the ground, leading to town and transportation hubs, making a clear way out of the port and adapted from hospitals, Pedersen said, noting that about 50 percent of passengers on transit calls do not participate in shore excursions.

Keeping Up

With new infrastructure and growing numbers, Pedersen faces the task of continuing the success.

“We won the Princess Cruises award for best turnaround port in the world in 2009,” Pedersen commented. “We’re very proud of that because those ships go everywhere.

“After each call we do a survey with the ship and the agent to see how we performed and how we can perform better.

“After each season we bring in the main people on our team and come up with a report on what we are going to do better next year.”

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