Kiel now has a third berth for big cruise ships. During a ceremony in the Ostuferhafen on Sunday morning June 9th the new Berth 1 cruise ship handling facility was officially opened just after the arrival of Holland America Line’s “Eurodam”.
On the gangway to the ship a ribbon was cut to officially mark the authorisation and start of cruise ship handling operations at the new berth. It was cut jointly by Ralph Müller-Beck, State Secretary in the Schleswig Holstein Ministry of Economic Affairs, Employment, Transport and Technology, Dr Susanne Gaschke, Lord Mayor of the Federal State Capital of Kiel, Dr Dirk Claus, Managing director of the Port of Kiel (SEEHAFEN KIEL GmbH & Co KG) and Captain Henk Keijer.
Dirk Claus said “The addition of the Ostuferhafen to the number of berths offered to cruise ships in Kiel provides a valuable new capacity reserve, particularly whenever our cruise ship terminal Ostseekai is in use. We gain the additional flexibility we need and create development prospects for the future. Kiel now has a total of three berths available for the handling of very big cruise ships, as well as other berths for smaller ships.”
Berth 1 in the Ostuferhafen was revamped this spring to make it possible to handle very big cruise ships. A water depth of 10m was created along the entire 400 metre quayside and parts of the seabed were also reinforced. On the quayside itself, extensive fendering was installed which is suitable for passenger ships. Passengers board or leave their ship via a new gangway. The facility has been adapted to meet the requirements of the ISPS Code on port safety. The renovation of Berth 1 is part of a EUR 5.4 million Ostuferhafen development project aimed at expanding freight and logistic capacity and creating a big berth for cruise ships. The development was funded by the German Government and supported by the Federal state of Schleswig Holstein.
During a reception on board this morning, State Secretary Müller-Beck handed over the authorisation certificate to Port head Dirk Claus. “This third cruise shipping berth is of major importance to the Port of Kiel because ships carrying up to 4,000 passengers can be handled here”, he said. “We are creating the infrastructure conditions which will enable us to be a part of cruise tourism growth in northern Europe”, he added.
Holland America Line’s “Eurodam” is making a stopover in the Port of Kiel for shore excursions as part of a ten-day Baltic cruise which starts and ends in Copenhagen. Well over 2,000 international passengers are on board and many of them are going on interesting excursions ashore ranging from bike rides along the Kiel Fiord to trips as far as the north German metropolis of Hamburg. Among the favourites are scenic excursions to the lake and forest region known as Holstein Switzerland, sightseeing tours of Lübeck and Kiel as well as visits to the U-Boot monument in Laboe. “As a tourist destination and because of its closeness to Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein has a lot to offer”, said Dirk Claus.
“The Ostuferhafen in Kiel is an almost ideal stepping-off point for international cruise ship passengers who want to visit northern Germany”, he added. In future however Berth 1 will not only be used for stopover cruise ship visits but will also be made available as a cruise turnaround facility. A part of the hall adjacent to the berth will be converted for luggage handling and a modern pavilion with plenty of light will be built onto the front as a waiting area for passengers. Planning has already been commissioned and construction will begin next year with completion scheduled for the start of the cruise shipping season in 2015.
Press Release, June 10, 2013