The cruise ship “Viking Sky” sailed into the Kiel Fiord on her maiden visit to Kiel early on Tuesday morning escorted by a water fountain display from a local tug. The ship’s arrival also marks the ninth and final occasion this season on which a cruise ship has visited the port for the first time.
Nicole Claus, Cruise Shipping Director of the PORT OF KIEL said “The high number of maiden calls underscores the fact that Kiel, in addition to its function as a base port for cruise shipping, is also being utilised more and more as a jumping-off point for day trips ashore. International cruise ship travellers are increasingly discovering Schleswig-Holstein as a holiday destination in its own right.”
This year Kiel has already been visited by the cruise shipping companies Cunard, Fred Olsen, HAL, Ponant, Pullmantur, P&O and Saga as part of ongoing cruises. Available to the more than 900 mainly English-speaking passengers of “Viking Sky” are trips ranging from city tours in Kiel itself and also in the Hanse city of Lübeck to panorama journeys through the scenic region known as Holstein Switzerland and excursions to the seaside spa resort of Laboe.
While the passengers of “Viking Sky” were on their land excursions, the Operations Director of the PORT OF KIEL Jörg Demuth welcomed the ship’s captain Robert Bamberg at a reception on board and presented him with the traditional commemorative plaque awarded by the Schleswig-Holstein federal state capital Kiel to ships visiting the port for the first time. Jörg Demuth: “We are delighted that Viking Ocean Cruises has taken our port into consideration in its route planning. Schleswig-Holstein and the federal state capital have much to offer travel-lers as tourist destinations and we look forward to their visits.” The “Viking Sky” is on an elev-en-day Scandinavian cruise which began on September 25th in the Danish capital Copenha-gen. The ship reached the Kiel Fiord via Fredericia after first calling at Gothenburg, Oslo and Skagen. At the end of a day in Kiel the “Viking Sky” was heading for the locks at Kiel-Holtenau prior to passing through the Kiel Canal during the night with Hamburg as her destination. The northern Europe cruise ends on October 6th in Amsterdam, before the ship sails on to the Mediterranean.
“Viking Sky” is 228 m long and of 47,800 GT. She went into service just last year. Viking Ocean Cruises, like Spanish operator Pullmantur Cruises, is among new customers whose ships are calling at Kiel for the first time this year. In addition to “Viking Sky”, sister ship “Viking Sun” has already visited Kiel’s Ostseekai this year. During next year’s season the operator plans three visits to Kiel. The “Viking Sky” will be the first to call again at the Ostseekai – on March 27th.
Maiden ship calls to Kiel in 2018:
1. 06.04.2018 BOUDICCA, Fred. Olsen
2. 27.04.2018 MEIN SCHIFF 1, TUI
3. 28.04.2018 MSC PREZIOSA, MSC
4. 04.05.2018 ZENITH, Pullmantur
5. 17.05.2018 SAGA SAPPHIRE, Saga Cruises
6. 03.07.2018 VIKING SUN, Viking
7. 17.07.2018 QUEEN VICTORIA, Cunard
8. 11.09.2018 AURORA, P&O Cruises
9. 02.10.2018 VIKING SKY, Viking
The SEEHAFEN KIEL GmbH & Co. KG (PORT OF KIEL) operates Kiel’s commercial port on be-half of the federal state capital of Kiel, of which it is a 100% subsidiary. Kiel has three modern passenger terminals which are located in the immediate proximity of the city centre at the Ost-seekai, Norwegenkai and Schwedenkai. In addition, cruise ships can tie up at Berth 1 in the Ostuferhafen. During the 2018 season, Kiel expects 166 visits by 33 different cruise ships. By the end of the season on October 28th, some 600,000 cruise ship passengers are expected to have boarded or disembarked.