Cruise Gate Hamburg (CGH) ended the 2017 cruise season with yet another record result. 197 ships carrying 810,000 passengers visited Hamburg. This is an increase in passenger numbers of over 10% compared with the previous year (2016: 170 calls and 722,000 passengers).
“Over the past years the cruise industry has become an important economic factor for the city,” says Sacha Rougier, Managing Director of CGH. “There is a reason why Hamburg is known for having the most eventful city port in the world. It is a great location to stage cruise events such as the Cruise Days or the Harbour’s Birthday which ten ships came to celebrate this year. Every year the events draw thousands of visitors to the Hanseatic city. Other spectator magnets are the spectacular ship christenings, sail-out parades and maiden calls. On top, there are the cruise ships themselves that stage evening and other events in the Port of Hamburg.” And Rougier reveals something else, “From 2018 we will welcome a new cruise line here. We are delighted that Viking Cruises will send not one but two luxury liners to Hamburg, namely the Viking Sun and Viking Sky.”
Next year CGH expects to see another record growth compared to 2017. All in all, 220 ships with some 880,000 passengers (26 cruise lines, 50 ships) are projected to visit Hamburg in 2018, which is all set to become another record-breaking year both in terms of calls and passengers.
Jens Meier, CEO of Hamburg Port Authority (HPA), is also pleased with what has been achieved in terms of sustainability. “The shore power station in Altona, which is unique in the world, successfully started regular operations at the beginning of the season. Cruise ships mooring there can now be supplied with zero-emission eco-power,” says Meier. In the 2017 cruise season 30% of the ships that called at the Port of Hamburg used alternative energy such as shore power or LNG (liquefied natural gas). “Hamburg wants to promote the use of environmentally friendly power, which is why we came up with new discounts on the port fee and an additional environmental component to reward clean ships.”
Hamburg’s two major cruise line customers will also point the way in the 2018 season. Aida Cruises will continue to support Hamburg‘s pioneering projects regarding the use of alternative energy sources in the Port of Hamburg. Three of the altogether eight AIDA Cruises ships that are scheduled to call in Hamburg in 2018 – the AIDAsol, AIDAperla and AIDAnova – either rely on green shore power from the local grid or electricity generated from zero-emission liquefied natural gas.
MSC Cruises, too, will send a second ship to Hamburg in the coming season. Besides the MSC Preziosa the MSC Meraviglia, a new mega-liner, will visit Hamburg from the spring of 2018 onwards. The all- weather ship can accommodate over 5,700 guests, making it the biggest newbuilding ever to have been launched by a European cruise line. TUI Cruises has repeatedly pointed the way and will do so again in May 2018 when the Mein Schiff 1 will be christened in Hamburg.
In 2018 cruise fans can look forward to maiden calls by a total of ten ships: the Asuka 2, AIDAperla, AIDAnova, Mein Schiff 1, MSC Meraviglia, Navigator of the Seas, Seabourn Ovation, Viking Sun and Viking Sky.