The 2011 cruise-shipping season in Kiel ended today with a visit by the AIDAcara.

The port was visited 120 times this year by nineteen different ocean-going luxury liners. Some 375,000 cruise ship passengers embarked or disembarked in the port. Compared to last year, this is another 10% increase. Dr Dirk Claus, Managing Director of the Port of Kiel said: “We are looking at a successful season. Although there were slightly fewer ship calls this year compared to last, the number of passengers continued to rise. The trend towards ever bigger cruise ships in the Baltic continues to grow."

The average size of cruise ships calling at Kiel in the 2011 season was 65,000 GT for the first time - five times more than the average cruise ship size ten years ago. “We will adapt our terminal capacities to the rising demand and we will have a third berth ready for big cruise ships in Kiel by the 2013 season”, said Dirk Claus.

This year’s cruise shipping season can be seen as a particularly multi-faceted one. The high point was the naming of the AIDAsol at the start of April which attracted 50,000 onlookers.

The most frequent guests on the Kiel Fiord this year have been the ships of MSC Cruises, which berthed at the Ostseekai 36 times. The biggest ship to visit Kiel this year was the 114,500-ton Costa Pacifica, while the 7,500-ton Vistamar was the smallest of the ocean-going cruise ship visitors. 

131 calls by 24 different cruise ships have been registered for the coming year to date.

Dirk Claus added: “The rising number of cruise ships is the first indication that our marketing efforts, particularly in the stop-over sector, are bearing fruit."

The 2012 season opens on March 31 and will run until the middle of October. In addition, a cruise ship will visit Kiel in December for the first time ever as part of an Advent cruise. In 2012 Kiel will also welcome a string of cruise ships which will be visiting the Kiel Fiord for the first time. Among them will be the Queen Elizabeth, making her Kiel debut on July 24. During the Kieler Woche, being held from June 16 to 24,

Kiel will host twelve cruise ships as well as the Star Flyer. Current registration data indicates that on six occasions during the coming season three cruise ships will visit Kiel at the same time.