Activists delay cruise ship departures in Kiel harbor with kayak blockade

   July 8, 2024 ,   Accidents

Opponents of cruise tourism blocked the ships Mein Schiff 7 and AIDAbella at Kiel Ostseehafen Quay on Sunday, July 7th, using kayaks, causing a 2-hour delay for the AIDAbella. The protesters circled the bows of the ships, disrupting their schedules.

Police intervened by encircling the kayaks and forcing them to dock, where 9 activists were arrested for identification. An investigation was launched against them for suspected coercion.

The action group "Smash Cruise Shit" organized the protest to highlight the climate impact of cruise tourism, poor working conditions onboard, and "existing colonial exploitation." Their statement explained these motivations in a press release.

AIDA's AIDAbella, scheduled to depart for a Norway roundtrip at 06:00 p.m., was delayed by ~2 hours. TUI's Mein Schiff 7 was set to depart at 9 PM, and its schedule remained unaffected by the protest.

Activists claimed that some protesters were on the power plant roof during the blockade. This demonstration was part of a series of actions organized by the European Cruise Activist Network (ECAN). 4 additional individuals were temporarily detained and released after identification.

The cruise industry in Kiel continues to grow, with increasing passenger numbers each year. An activist stated in a press release:

"We've had enough! These floating hotels and their filth are always right in the middle of the city."

A similar protest occurred at Kiel harbor on June 1.