With 161 calls by 33 ocean-going ships from 24 different cruise lines, the port of Rostock-Warnemünde is headed for a new record year, according to port officials. Around 250.000 passengers from around the world, creating half a million passenger movements by boarding and disembarking, are expected to pay day visits.

“'Never before has a German port been included so many times in the itinerary planning of cruise lines as Warnemünde for the year 2011,” said Ulrich Bauermeister, managing director of Hafen-Entwicklungsgesellschaft Rostock, which has operated and developed the cruise port since 2002.

The 2011 starts April 20 with the arrival of the Marco Polo and is expected to also end with a call by the same ship on Oct. 2.

Of the 161 calls of ships confirmed so far, 50 will do full or partial turnarounds, embarking and disembarking all or some of their passengers in Warnemünde.

For the first time, Rostock-based AIDA Cruises will offer a total of 21 Baltic cruises with two of its ships, the AIDAsol and the AIDAblu, sailing from Warnemünde. U.S.-based Norwegian Cruise Line and the Italian shipping company Costa plan partial turnarounds.

The calendar for 2011 lists two quadruple port calls on May 24 and August 4 as well as 13 triple port calls. Six vessels will be first-time visitors: AIDAsol, Empress, Marina, Azura, Wind Spirit and Vision of the Seas.

The most frequent guests in Rostock's seaside resort will be the Empress (18 times) of Pullmantur Cruises, AIDAsol (16 times), Norwegian Sun (15 times), Costa Atlantica (14 times) and Emerald Princess (11 times).

“We will not just remain Germany's most popular destination for cruise tourists from all over the world in 2011, and we do not just have the greatest variety of passenger vessels, we will also be able to offer the largest number of calls by cruise ships at any German cruise port in the coming year,” said Bauermeister.