2020 was set to be a record year for the port of Goteborg (Gothenburg, Sweden) in terms of calls and passengers with 80+ calls originally planned.
However, everything was put on a hold after the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In September the season slowly returned to life at America Cruise Terminal, Gothenburg with the arrival of liners from Germany.
In August, when EMSA (European Maritime Safety Agency) presented its guidelines for the restart of the cruise industry in the European Union, the work with planning took off. Since Swedish ports have not been closed, there were no particular guidelines from Swedish authorities about cruise ship calls, except for the general guidelines for Swedes and tourists visiting the country.
Instead, the Swedish seaports Helsingborg, Malmo, Stockholm, Visby and Goteborg collaborated on creating a COVID-19 Port Management Plan, based on EMSA guidelines. The plan was sent out to agents and cruise lines so that they could come back with feedback.
In late August, Gothenburg port was contacted by Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, which was planning to call at the port in September. The port and the cruise line exchanged protocols and plans to make sure both would operate on the same level.
The port discussed the plan with the Disease Control & Prevention Center in the County of Vastra Gotaland, which was satisfied with the protective measures taken by the cruise line and the port.
At the beginning of September, Gothenburg's people had the chance to see the first cruise vessel, Hanseatic Inspiration, for almost a year arrive at the cruise port.
Since it was the first call of the ship, a plaque exchange ceremony was held onboard. Hanseatic Inspiration stayed overnight and left early the next morning to sail to the archipelago north of Gothenburg prior to sailing back to Hamburg.
More calls were planned in October and this time ms Europa 2 arrived with a larger number of passengers. There were 6 calls from Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.
TUI Cruises has also been a frequent visitor to the port of Gothenburg during its September and October ‘blue cruises.’ On 5 calls by Mein Schiff 2, visits were made to the archipelago surrounding the port city and to just outside the Nya Alvsborg fortress, which protected Goteborg from the Danish people.