Port of Kiel reports busiest ever cruise season

The German port welcomed over one million cruise passengers in 2023

Port of Kiel reports busiest ever cruise season

Port of Kiel

Port of Kiel has reported the 2023 cruise season as its busiest ever

By Laura Hyde |

The Port of Kiel in northern Germany has reported its busiest ever cruise season, with 1,174,000 cruise passengers visiting during 2023. Five calls are expected in December 2023 and four in early 2024, as cruise business is becoming increasingly important in Kiel in the winter months too. 

The departure of AIDAnova on 4 November 2023 marked the end of the main cruise season at the port. There were a total of 215 calls from 26 companies since the season began in April 2023. Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Dream called at the port for the first time in 2023, and MSC Euribia, which was only christened in May 2023, started its first season from Kiel and is also expected in 2024 and 2025. 

“We are closing the 2023 season with a good result,” said Dirk Claus, managing director of port operator Seehafen Kiel. “The development in the tourism industry shows a clear trend towards the cruise sector, which was also evident in Kiel this season. The port of Kiel has a positive outlook for the 2024 season. A busy season at the same level as the 2019 cruise season is expected, with many well-known vessels but also some new shipping companies.” 

The port’s shore power facilities were used during around 50 cruise calls in 2023. And Kiel became one of the first German ports to allow cruise ships to be refuelled with alternative fuels. Both AIDAnova and MSC Euribia have regularly bunkered LNG in the port.  

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