Pre-Christmas short cruise brings MS “Albatros” to Kiel. North German Christmas market visits in big demand

Phoenix Reisen's AlbatrosA short pre-Christmas cruise is bringing Phoenix Seereisen’s “Albatros” to Kiel a day before the fourth Sunday in Advent. The ship will berth in the early afternoon of Saturday December 19th at the Ostseekai Terminal, which is very close to the city centre.

Passengers on this fully-booked winter cruise will visit Kiel’s Christmas market and will also have an opportunity to take excursions into the surrounding area.

Dr Dirk Claus, Managing Director of the Port of Kiel (SEEHAFEN KIEL GmbH & Co.KG) said: “Winter cruises have a lot of potential, particularly since the Baltic is a relatively calm place to travel. I am sure that in future we will welcome more frequent cruise ships in the cold season.”

Ferry shipping companies have been successfully marketing short cruises in winter for many years. The north German Christmas markets are traditionally very popular with Scandinavian cruise travellers. Color Line runs services to Kiel from Oslo in Norway while Stena Line offers winter trips from Gothenburg in Sweden.

The five day cruise of the “Albatros” takes guests from Hamburg through the Kiel Canal and stops first in Kiel.

Michael Schulze, Voyages Director at Phoenix Reisen GmbH, said: “We are especially pleased that our Advent and Christmas Markets cruises have proved popular with so many guests. The winter landscape trip through the Kiel Canal, the pre-Christmas spirit at attractive destinations along the Baltic coast , Kiel with its distinctive feeling for Advent as well as a freshly spruced-up MS “Albatros” – all these have been reasons why so many guests have chosen to come along.”

When Kiel’s Christmas market closes its doors on Saturday evening, “Albatros” will bid farewell and leave Kiel at around 10 pm for the Danish capital Copenhagen. In the following days it will visit Wismar and Lübeck before heading back to Hamburg, where the cruise ends on December 23rd.

The SEEHAFEN KIEL GmbH & Co. KG operates Kiel’s commercial port on behalf of the Schleswig-Holstein state capital of Kiel, of which it is a 100% subsidiary company.

Kiel has two berths for large cruise ships at the Ostseekai Terminal, which is very close to the city centre. In addition large cruise ships can also berth at Berth 1 in the Ostseehafen to exchange passengers. Smaller cruise ships are able to tie up at Kiel’s Norwegenkai, Sartorikai or at the Schwedenkai.

This year the port of Kiel was visited 133 times by 25 different cruise ships with a total tonnage of more than 8.6 million GT. Overall, 458,771 passengers – 29.6% more than in the previous year – passed through Kiel’s terminal facilities, boarding or leaving cruise ships.

(Port of Kiel)