Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) will position its first cruise ship, “Norwegian Jade”, in Hamburg from 2017, the U.S. company announced Monday in Hamburg. A total of 19 calls will be made to the port of Hamburg between May and October 2017. This is a major step for Hamburg in international cruise shipping, according to the Hamburg Cruise Center.
Some 50 per cent likely to be U.S. tourists
Matthias Rieger, Managing Director of Hamburg Cruise Center e.V. (HCC e.V.) and CEO of Cruise Net Hamburg (CNH), said: “NCL’s choice of Hamburg as a home port for one of its ships shows clearly that the potential for growth in this market has yet to be fully used.” Around 50 per cent of NCL’s passengers will be travelling from the United States. This will be a considerable boost to Hamburg’s efforts to increase international tourism. During a delegation trip by Senator Frank Horch to the U.S. last December, a visit was also paid to NCL in Miami which may have been key to the company’s decision for Hamburg.
Aida & TUI Cruises
NCL’s commitment is particularly important for Hamburg as a cruise port because the European subsidiaries of most global cruise companies call there. The leading rival, Carnival, will start its weekly cruises from Hamburg with AIDAprima, the German subsidiary of Aida, in spring. The second largest cruise company, Royal Caribbean, is represented in Hamburg mainly by the “Mein Schiff” fleet through the local TUI Cruises.
Commitment to German market
The “Norwegian Jade” is one of four ships in the jewel class, which were built in the shipyard Meyer-Werft in Papenburg. The ship has capacity for 2,400 passengers. Apart from classic seven-night cruises along the Atlantic coast with port of calls in Amsterdam, Zeebrugge, Le Havre und Southampton in the 2017 season, nine and 12-night cruises will also be offered along the Norwegian coast. The longest cruise starting in Hamburg from 2017 will be a 14-night cruise via Norway to the Shetland Islands, Iceland and Scotland. Christian Böll, Managing Director of Norwegian Cruise Line, said: “Our new summer routes show clearly our commitment to the European and particularly the German cruise market.”
Apart from “Norwegian Jade”, a second NCL ship, “Norwegian Getaway” will commence new routes from Germany in 2017. Various tours from the Baltic seaport of Warnemünde to Scandinavia are also being planned. Three more NCL ships will travel routes to the Mediterranean.