AIDAsol in HamburgThe new AIDAsol was the first ship to call at Hamburg’s new cruise terminal in Altona on April 1.

The AIDAsol docked at around 8:00 a.m., escorted by water sprays from a fire boat. In line with traditions, Jörg Pollmann, captain of the port, presented an admiralty plaque to Captain Detlef Harms of the AIDAsol. The AIDAcara docked just 2 km upstream on the same day, at the Hamburg Cruise Center HafenCity. Both ships left at around 8:00 p.m. The AIDAcara headed for the West Atlantic coast, while the AIDAsol set course for Kiel, where she will be christened.

“The cruise terminal in Altona is urgently needed,” said Gerd Drossel, managing director of the Hamburg Cruise Center. “We expect 119 calls in the 2011 cruise season, an increase of 14.4 percent over the previous year.”

The steadily growing size of ships will also see the total number of passengers passing the 300 000 mark. “With double-digit growth also expected for 2012, we can realistically expect 400 000 passengers next year, and you may see us passing the half a million threshold by 2015,” continued Drossel.

The official inauguration of the Hamburg Cruise Center Altona is planned to include an open day on Sunday, 5 June 2011. All Hamburg residents are cordially invited to get to know the cruise terminal at close quarters from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.