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Ports & destinations

Hamburg and Oslo ports agree to cooperate in cruise sector

On a delegation visit from the Maritime Department in the Port of Oslo to Hamburg on the 7 – 8 June, the cruise port representatives of both cities agreed upon a leisure partnership. “The idea came due to more and more German passengers cruising from Hamburg to Norway and back”, stated Gerd Drossel, managing director Hamburg Cruise Center.

The German passenger volume in Norwegian ports increased from 2009 to 2010 by 22 % from 116,000 to 142,000. In 2011 the Norwegian ports counted a total cruise passenger volume of about 457,000, of which 32% were Germans (2011: 151,000), followed by 23% English cruise passengers. While until 2008 the English source market had the biggest market share, today the German market is the most important market represented in Norwegian ports, having a huge future potential. The Norwegian fjords are so far the second most visited cruise area for German passengers after the west Mediterranean.

Cruise ships out of Hamburg with destination Norway call ports such as Bergen and Stavanger, but mainly going directly to Oslo. The capital of Norway is a very popular port of call for German passengers.  Shore excursions are going to Holmenkollen Ski Jump, to the Vigeland Sculpture Park, to the Maritime Museum etc. The Munch Museum and the new Opera House “floating” in the water are among the must-see-attractions. With the blue and the greenand the city in between the German cruise passengers enjoy positive experiences in Oslo. Approximately 100 000 German cruise passengers visited Oslo in 2011and this is by far the highest number from one nationality, said Margrethe Austad, marketing manager Cruise, Port of Oslo.

Both cruise ports Oslo and Hamburg play a significant role within the cruise business. Hamburg is for instance the second biggest cruise port in Germany passenger wise and the entire Hamburg economy ultimately benefits from the cruise industry. This is the fact for Oslo as well. With about 320 000 cruise passengers spending in average €100 each, the economic benefit of cruise ships to Oslo is significant. In cooperation both delegations further agreed onsharing knowledge, when it comes for example to future cruise port infrastructure developments or topics such as destination marketing expertise.

“During our two days visit in Hamburg, we got the chance to learn more about the work and structure of the Hamburg Cruise Center association and simply can name it as a Best Practice example marketing wise”, stated Austad. There is definitely something for Oslo to learn from the network in Hamburg.

“We visited the new cruise terminal in Altona and I must say, this is exactly as we wish to build in Oslo. We are in the planning process now. It is very interesting to see what Hamburg has done to attract more cruise vessels and give them thebest conditions, said Paal Waage, Harbour Master in the Port of Oslo.

The cruise port Hamburg, ideally situated on the North Sea, is the perfect hub tocruise to Norway but also to the West Coast of Europe, which represents also a unique cruise destination with ports like Amsterdam, Antwerp, Dover, Le Havre,Santander, Vigo and Lisbon. Those cruise ports cooperate together with Hamburgin a powerful international marketing organization, called the Atlantic Alliance, Hamburg Cruise Center said.

Pilots' strike in Oslo turns many ships to Gothenburg

Last week, striking pilots brought Oslofjorden to a standstill. The cruise ships that were scheduled to visit Oslofjorden are now searching for new ports of call. To date, the Port of Gothenburg has received four new cruise ships and eight more are underway.

A pilots' strike in Oslofjorden has caused major disruptions for cruise traffic in Oslofjorden. Several of the cruise ships that were due to visit destinations in Oslofjorden have chosen Gothenburg instead.

"This is an indication that Gothenburg is a good alternative as a cruise destination and it gives us a chance to present the port and the city to cruise companies that haven't been here before," said Sara Eriksson, who is responsible for cruise operations at Göteborg & Co.

Four new cruise ships have already called at the Port of Gothenburg and a further eight are expected over the next two weeks. Around 22,000 cruise tourists will have the opportunity to experience Gothenburg.

"Several vessels have announced their arrival and we are doing everything we can to take care of the cruise ships in the region. It is of course positive that we have the capacity to receive several new calls at such short notice," said Jill Söderwall, head of cruise operations at the Port of Gothenburg.

The Port of Gothenburg has two cruise terminals, one in the centrally located Free Port and one at Arendal, beside the Volvo Museum, for the very largest cruise vessels that are too tall to sail under the Älvsborg Bridge. At Arendal, the guests are welcomed at a completely new cruise terminal.

Jill Södervall continues: "The passengers' first experience when they disembark is an extremely important part of their overall impression of their visit to Gothenburg. The new terminal gives everyone who works at the quayside an excellent basis for providing a warm welcome."

Norwegian Cruise Line unveils "Cabanas on the Cay" on Great Stirrup Cay

Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that "Cabanas on the Cay," exclusive private cabanas with VIP service and amenities, are now available on Great Stirrup Cay, the line's 250-acre private island in the Bahamas. The launch of "Cabanas on the Cay" marks another significant addition to the island as part of the $25 million dollar enhancement project.

Located to the west of the island's main beach, these perfectly-appointed private Cabanas boast exclusive service and amenities to provide guests with the ultimate island escape and total relaxation. Available for $249 per day, each Cabana accommodates up to six guests and is fully furnished with lounge chairs, tables, cooler, beach towels and a shower. Cabana rental also includes a $50 food and beverage credit; up to six all-day passes to the Hippo Waterslide, a $120 value; and one large float, a $25 value; for guests to enjoy during their time on the island.

Guests who reserve one of the 10 "Cabanas on the Cay" will enjoy priority tender service to the island and, upon arrival to their private cabana, will receive six complimentary bottles of water and a refreshing fruit basket. As they relax on one of the comfortable lounge chairs, guests will have the opportunity to use their $50 food and beverage credit towards pre-ordered "Cabanas on the Cay" food and beverage selections.

Norwegian has prepared an exclusive menu for Cabana guests consisting of delicious seafood, charcuterie, sushi and fruit platters. Guests who choose to dine at the Island's BBQ can use their credit towards one of the many beverage packages available exclusively for Cabana guests, or towards other beverage purchases on the island.

Each of the 10 Cabanas on the Cay are available on a first-come-first-serve basis and can be pre-booked as a shore excursion on or through the Shore Excursion Desk on board.

Norwegian was the first cruise line to offer an uninhabited tropical island experience exclusively for its guests. Great Stirrup Cay offers magnificent white sand beaches, majestic palms and calm, pristine waters where an abundance of colorful marine life inhabits the surrounding coral reefs. Activities on the island include snorkeling; Waverunner(r) tour; eco boat tour; kayaking; parasailing; shopping at the straw market; and more.

Norwegian Sky makes year-round stops at Great Stirrup Cay on her three and four-day cruises from Miami. Norwegian Gem visits Great Stirrup Cay during her seven-day Bahamas & Florida itinerary from New York. Beginning in October, Norwegian Jewel will also stop at Great Stirrup Cay on her seven-day Bahamas & Florida cruises from New York. Norwegian Pearl will also visit Great Stirrup Cay this winter on her seven-day Western Caribbean itinerary from Miami. Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian's newest ship launching next spring, will visit Great Stirrup Cay on seven-day cruises from New York to Bahamas & Florida beginning in mid-October 2013.

Seven ships due at Hamburg Cruise Days in August

Hamburg Cruise Days, which will run from 17 to 19 August, will bring seven cruise liners to Hamburg. This will be a second major event of its kind this year as earlier this spring the port’s 823th birthday brought similar kind of nuber of cruise liners to the River Elbe.

The August event will be taking place on an area that stretches over several kilometers along the Elbe River – on water and on land. The stars of the Hamburg Cruise Days will be AIDAluna AIDAmar. both belonging to AIDA Cruises: Deutschland of Peter Deilmann; Astor of Trans Ocean Cruises: Columbus 2 of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises;  MSC Lirica of MSC Cruises, and Queen Mary 2 of Cunard. Hamburg maintains a particularly close relationship with the Cunard ship, ever since its initial call in 2004, Hamburg Cruise Centre said in a statement.

“Hamburg is one of Europe’s hotspots for cruise liners. More and more visitors are lured to the North German city, the port of call for 164 cruise ships annually, with a total of more than 400,000 passengers,” Hamburg Cruise Centre said. 

Port of Portland: Cruise calls bring bonus to local business

This year 10 cruise liners will call into Portland, with the first two already having visited the Port at the beginning of May. Portland may be the only UK port of call on many of the cruise calls itineraries, which means that passengers may only be carrying Euros. Ian McQuade, General Manager (Commercial), said: "Local businesses are advised that many cruise passengers may ask to pay for items using their Euros; if people are willing to accept this currency it will greatly benefit our visitors on the day."

This years cruise calls will bring an additional 10,000 visitors to the area. Portland Port will be providing passengers with a complimentary shuttle bus service into Weymouth, where it is hoped that local shops, restaurants and general entertainment facilities will accept the Euro on the day of the influx of tourists.

A variety of retail outlets in Weymouth Town Centre have so far benefited from the influx of cruise passengers. From buying shoes and cosmetics to purchasing souvenirs, the foreign visitors have bought about an increase in shop sales on the day of their call at Portland. Sarah Walton, Assistant Manager of Clarks in Weymouth said: "We noticed a higher influx of customers on the day of the cruise calls and it most definitely resulted in an increased turnover on the day. We will certainly be welcoming more cruise passengers to the shop in the coming months."

Suzanne Logan, Manager of Reiker in Weymouth said: "The day of the cruise calls resulted in some phenomenal takings. It was great to serve people of all different nationalities. The more cruise calls the better."

The remaining eight cruise calls for 2012 will call into the Port between June and September. Ian added: "2012 sees the biggest cruise season to date at the Port and 2013 is set to be even better. With such big numbers of cruise guests hopefully local shops will continue to notice an increase in their sales on the days a cruise ship is in port."