The 2023 holiday season is bringing plenty of joy to the Port of Hamburg since the facility will mark cruise passenger milestones when an AIDA Cruises’ ship delivers record numbers of turnaround guests.
Two holiday cruises will exceed earlier records, and officials at Cruise Gate Hamburg, a unit of the port authority, vow the process will be streamlined and efficient for all guests.
Two consecutive turnaround sailings by AIDA Cruises’ AIDAnova will set new cruise guest records at Hamburg’s cruise terminals. The ship’s Christmas cruise, departing on December 22, 2023, and her New Year cruise, leaving on December 29, 2023, will bring record numbers of guests to the port per turnaround day.
AIDAnova, a 183,858-gross ton ship that accommodates 5,200 in double occupancy and has a total capacity of 6,654 guests, has been home-ported in Hamburg since November 11, 2023.
For the holiday cruises, port officials will handle record numbers of disembarking and embarking passengers, along with nearly 9,000 pieces of luggage and tons of food and beverage supplies for each cruise.
“Our well-practiced processes at the terminal and the excellent co-operation of all parties involved make it possible to ensure efficient luggage services and smooth provisioning operations even on extremely busy turnaround days such as these. We want our guests to have the very best experience here, and we will do our utmost to make sure that they can set off on their Christmas holiday cruise carefree and relaxed,” said Simone Maraschi, Managing Director of Cruise Gate Hamburg.
Cruise guests will transit the Hamburg port using the Steinwerder cruise terminal, the newest of the port’s terminals that opened in 2015. The facility can process up to 8,000 guests per call.
This winter marks the first time AIDAnova has home-ported in Hamburg. The ship, which entered service in 2018, will operate 26 voyages to the Western Mediterranean and Scandinavia, and the Norwegian fjords on an alternating weekly schedule.
“We are delighted to see so many guests wanting to spend Christmas and the New Year with us. Since 2016 when we launched our AIDAprima we, in conjunction with the city and CGH, the terminal operator, have been putting a lot of effort into making Hamburg a year-round destination,” said Felix Eichhorn, President of AIDA Cruises.
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About half of all cruise ships that call at Hamburg are from the AIDA Cruises’ fleet, noted Eichhorn, who said the cruise line is one of the key drivers of tourism in Hanseatic destinations.
AIDAnova is powered by liquified natural gas (LNG) and can hook into the shoreside electrical system available at the Steinwerder terminal. A second terminal at the port of Hamburg, Altona, also provides shoreside power to ships equipped to use it.
The record-breaking turnaround days that the Port of Hamburg is preparing for this week follows another milestone from November 2023, when the port welcomed its one-millionth cruise passenger.
The record-breaker was aboard MSC Cruises’ MSC Euribia, which was docked at the Steinwerder terminal on November 12, 2023. Throughout the full 2023 season, the port expects to welcome 280 ship calls.
Looking ahead, several ships will make inaugural visits to Hamburg, including Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Dream, set to call on September 3, 2024. Cunard’s new-build Queen Anne, which debuts in spring 2024, will offer Hamburg and Southampton, UK, as departure ports for her first world cruise in January 2025.
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