Trondheim Building on Homeport Potential

Mein Schiff 6 on her trek north to Trondheim

“This year we are expecting to break all our records in both cruise calls and number of passengers,” said Maria Kühnl, coordinator of the Trondheim Cruise Network Mid-Norway.

“Additionally we have the pleasure of receiving overnight calls for the first time, and we have increased our off-season calls,” she added.

The port is expecting eight overnight calls, and there are also turnarounds from Pullmantur Cruises in the height of the summer season. The Spanish brand is back after a short hiatus as the local airport was renovated. That project is completed, and the runway is now long enough to accommodate Pullmantur’s airlift.

Overall, a record year is bringing some 165,000 cruise passengers to Trondheim. In total, some 93 cruise visits are expected, representing a doubling in calls and a 77 percent increase in cruise passengers for 2018.

Among the highlights was the biggest ship to call ever, the MSC Meraviglia, which made its inaugural visit on Norway’s National Day (May 17).

“It was an exceptional experience for the guests on board MSC Meraviglia,” said Kuhnl. “On the other side it has its challenges on the logistics like organizing tours and steering the guests through the overcrowded city. We will have no trouble doing it all over again for AIDAsol and Hamburg in 2019.”

The Trondheim Cruise Network Mid-Norway brings together key public and private companies that are involved in the port’s cruise business, creating a strategy and vision for the cruise industry in Trondheim. Among the initiatives has been to improve welcome facilities for guests pierside.

“We have locals in traditional costume that welcome the guests at every call in the morning and hand out free maps of the city,” Kühnl, said. “First calls are greeted with local musicians playing for an hour at the berth and we distribute free local chocolates to the guests. We try to have music at berth for at least 30 percent of all calls, but definitely on a first call.

“Last year we have added 13 new excursions to our existing program,” Kühnl continued. “This year we are working on promoting a completely new cruise destination within our region of Trøndelag.”

Kühnl said that Trondheim can be a perfect homeport, located in the heart of Norway and allowing ships to head north or south, and being able to accommodate big turnaround operations.

Port projects include enlarging the bus parking area within the ISPS zone, adding around five new spaces. There are also plans for a new bollard.

“We hope to increase calls in off season which means that more cruise lines see the perks of calling in the winter,” said Kühnl. “We would like to see more excursions sold without getting pressured to cut down in delivering quality products and guides. At the same time, we hope to increase the amount spent by the independent guests in town.”

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