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Author: Elizabeth Robinson/Tuesday, September 5, 2017/Categories: News, Ports and destinations
MSC Fantasia arrived at the Port of Kiel’s Ostseekai berth from St Petersburg in Russia on 2 September, marking MSC Cruises’ 350th visit to the German port.
To mark the anniversary, the port’s cruise shipping director Nicole Claus welcomed the ship’s captain Guiseppe Galano. Together, Galano and Claus unveiled a bronze plaque on Kiel’s Cruise Ship Walk of Fame, which honours shipping companies and events that are of special significance for Kiel as a cruise shipping location.
MSC’s cruise ships have been regularly calling at the port of Kiel for twelve years, after the first vessel visited on 4 September 2005. The company began using Kiel as a base port in 2006 and since then, the city has been a constituent part of the company’s northern Europe route planning. To date, nine different MSC cruise ships have visited Kiel, while 1.3 million passengers have embarked or disembarked from an MSC cruise ship in the city.
“With 350 visits to the port under its belt, MSC is the cruise shipping company which has been our most frequent caller to date,” said Claus.
MSC Fantasia has already undertaken 18 cruises from Kiel this season. Three more are to follow up to the season finale on 16 September, when the ship heads for the Mediterranean. These northern Europe cruises take guests to Baltic destinations including Copenhagen, Denmark; Stockholm, Sweden; Tallinn, Estonia; Helsinki, Finland; St Petersburg. The ship also sails from Kiel to Copenhagen and the Norwegian fjords in Geiranger, Flåm and Stavanger.
International cruise ship passengers who board in Copenhagen can enjoy day excursions ashore from the port of Kiel into the surrounding region and to the Hanse city of Lübeck and the north German metropolis of Hamburg.
“Because of its geographical location, Kiel is particularly attractive as the starting point for so-called butterfly cruises,” said Claus. “The combination of Baltic and Norwegian routes is a very interesting option.”
This year, Kiel will host 142 calls from 28 different ships, which will bring around half a million cruise ship passengers to the port. In addition, about 1.6 million ferry passengers will pass through the port.
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