Hamburg said goodbye to the brand-new Norwegian Escape and anticipates a passenger record for 2016

Hamburg said farewell to the Norwegian Escape (Photo: André Lenthe/Norwegian Cruise Line)Big fireworks and thousands of visitors said farewell to the “Norwegian Escape” in Hamburg / Germany yesterday (23 Oct.) evening. The vessel is the world`s newest cruise ship and the largest ship started a cruise from Hamburg so far.

The Escape left Hamburg for a maiden voyage taster to Southampton, before setting out for its first transatlantic crossing to Miami on October 29 where it will be christened on November 9. Traditionally the spectacular arrival and departure of the ship lured thousands of spectators to the banks of the Elbe river. A good omen for the year 2016: Hamburg anticipates for the next cruise season a new passenger record.

Even though being nearly 20 metres shorter than Hamburg’s beloved Queen Mary 2, MS Norwegian Escape is still the largest cruise vessel called at the Port of Hamburg, and to set out for cruise trips from Hamburg. MS Norwegian Escape has an overall length of 324m, a width of 41.4m and gross tonnage of 164,600t.

The new Breakaway Plus class cruise ships built by Papenburg’s Meyer Werft offers accommodation for 4,200 guests, including The Haven by Norwegian, Mini-Suites, Balcony and Oceanview staterooms, as well as Inside and Studio staterooms. Along with Norwegian Bliss, MS Norwegian Escape is the largest vessel of Norwegian Cruise Line, constructed at the Meyer Ship Yard in Papenburg / Germany. The ship’s christening, courtesy of Miami native and ship godfather Pitbull, will be on November 9. After that, the ship will sail year-round out of PortMiami on 7-night Caribbean itineraries.

MS Norwegian Escape ist NCL’s first ship to visit Hamburg. According to the shipping company, the European market plays an increasingly important role in the company’s expansion strategy. To choose Hamburg a venue for the vessel’s European premiere is a clear commitment to the German market. The spectacular arrival and departure of the ship lured thousands of spectators to the banks of the Elbe river- a fact well noticed by the shipping company.

Hamburg Cruise Season 2016: New Passenger Record Anticipated

In Hamburg the 2015 cruise season will end on the year’s very last day. On 31 December, MS Aurora will call at the Cruise Center HafenCity and concludes a very successful year. In 2015, 525,000 guests are estimated to have visited Hamburg aboard 156 cruise ships to start or finish a cruise. Highlights of this year’s cruise year include the opening of the third cruise ship terminal in Steinwerder, the commissioning of the Power Barge “Hummel” for supplying vessels with LPG, and Hamburg’s first cruise week with the Cruise Days Hamburg and the industry show Seatrade Europe in September.

For the 2016 season, Hamburg expects 160 calls of cruise ships, and thus four more than this year. In total, the Port of Hamburg will welcome 33 different ships, and thus one more than in 2015 (32 vessels). The number of passengers, however, is expected to increase from 2015’s guests to around 661,000 passengers in the coming year, making 2016 a new record year. “The strong growth – up by 26 per cent – is due to the fact that we will see ships with larger capacities calling at Hamburg”, explains Sacha Rougier, CEO Cruise Gate Hamburg GmbH.

The cruise season 2016 will start on January 8 with two calls by Cunard (Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth) and will end on 31 December. Among the 160 calls anticipated in 2016, there will be 27 double calls, six triple calls, a quad and even a quintriple call, the latter two during Hamburg’s port anniversary in May. In addition to the new AIDAprima, Hamburg will also welcome for the first time the MS Ocean Dream (Maritime Holdings Group), Marina (Oceania Cruises) and the Caribbean Princess (Princess Cruises).

(Hamburg Cruise Center)