Making the most of Copenhagen’s maritime legacy

Claus Bødker from CruiseCopenhagen speaks with Elly Yates-Roberts about the city’s port expansion, the reasons behind its cruise success and how the industry can transform itself for the better

Making the most of Copenhagen’s maritime legacy
Passengers visiting the Danish capital can see the city’s sites undisturbed from the water on canal tours (Image: Astrid Maria Rasmussen)

Denmark’s capital city Copenhagen is famous for its maritime history. Its name comes from the Danish for ‘harbour’ and one of its main attractions is the Little Mermaid, the eponymous character from Danish author Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale. This legacy has continued into the present day and over 868,000 cruise guests visited the city in 2018. To keep these seafaring guests coming back, the ports in the city and the surrounding area are working to expand their tourism offerings.

In the capital, cruise guests can continue their water-based excursions on canal tours of the city where they can spy sights such as the Opera House, the Black Diamond library and Christianshavn, and visit the beautiful Nyhavn and idyllic canals.

“In Denmark as a whole, we have seen a significant increase in the number of new and innovative shore excursions,” says Claus Bødker, director of CruiseCopenhagen. “The Port of Fredericia, for example, offers bridge walking tours on the Little Belt railway bridge. It is one of the only places outside Australia where visitors can do this, so it enables European adrenaline junkies to get their thrills a little closer to home.”

According to Bødker, another highlight is the new visitor centre at the Hammershus Castle ruins on the northern tip of the island of Bornholm. Designed by Christoffer Harlang in collaboration with Arkitema Architects, the centre gives visitors a spectacular view of the ocean and the castle, which has the largest medieval ruins in Northern Europe.

To further improve the cruise passenger experience, the Port of Copenhagen is in the process of building a fourth cruise terminal. “The construction is currently going to plan and is expected to be ready for inauguration in 2021,” says Bødker. “At over 10,000 square metres across two floors, the terminal will be used for the largest turnaround vessels and will offer access to cruise ships via two elevated gangways.”

Almost half of Copenhagen’s cruise guests come to the city to start or end their cruise experience, largely because it is easily accessible. “We have the largest airport in Scandinavia and airlines offer a number of long-haul routes,” Bødker explains. “The city centre can also be easily accessed by taxi or metro, and the port has great transport links too, particularly with buses and taxis.”

To help accommodate the hundreds of thousands of cruise guests who visit each year, Comfort Hotel will open a property in Copenhagen in 2020. “Located at the airport, the hotel is ideally positioned for those beginning or ending their cruise in the Danish capital,” says Bødker. “We are also proud to welcome porcelain manufacturer Royal Copenhagen to the network this year. Guests visiting the cities of Aarhus and Copenhagen will have exclusive access to the prestigious retailer.”

This article was first published in the 2019 issue of Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.

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Elly Yates-Roberts
By Elly Yates-Roberts
30 January 2020

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