Germany's Port Kiel records busiest cruise season ever

   November 12, 2023 ,   Cruise Industry

The conclusion of this year's cruise season for the Port of Kiel in Germany was marked by the arrival of AIDAnova on November 4.

Since April, the port has witnessed a total of 215 ship calls from 26 shipping companies, making it the busiest season on record with 1,174 million cruise passengers for 2023. As the cruise business in Kiel continues to gain importance, 5 winter calls are scheduled for December, and 4 cruise ships are expected at the beginning of 2024.

Looking ahead to the 2024 season, the Port of Kiel anticipates a robust season, comparable to the cruise season in 2019, featuring both familiar vessels and new additions from various shipping companies.

The port has been actively focusing on providing shore-side electricity to cruise ships, with particular emphasis on sustainability. Although the shore power facilities were utilized by around 50 cruise calls for integration tests or regular supply, there were instances of operational challenges, such as technical defects in shore power equipment and delays in integration processes.

The Port of Kiel remains at the forefront of adopting environmentally friendly practices. In September, a new shore power facility was opened at the Ostuferhafen, expanding the capacity to provide shore power to two cruise ships simultaneously. The port is also making strides in alternative fuels, with LNG bunkering for large vessels like AIDAnova and MSC Euribia since June.

Kiel, a popular turnaround port, welcomed a diverse range of ships this season, including the inaugural visit of Disney Dream from DCL/Disney Cruise Line. The central geographical location, attractive excursion destinations, accessible city center terminals, modern infrastructure, and comprehensive environmental strategy contribute to Kiel's favorable position as a cruise port.

Looking forward, the port is poised for continued success, with both established and new cruise vessels expected to homeport in Kiel in the upcoming seasons.