German Port Welcomes 1 Million Cruise Passengers in 2023

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Hamburg, a busy port city in Germany, has achieved a remarkable milestone. On November 12, 2023, the city welcomed its one-millionth cruise passenger, as the MSC Euribia docked at the Cruise Center Steinwerder. 

Hamburg has long been recognized as a major ship-repair and shipbuilding port but was not that well-known as a cruise port. With cruises in Europe during the winter time becoming exceedingly popular, Hamburg has emerged as an attractive all-year-round cruise destination.

Landmark Achievement for Hamburg’s Cruise Industry

With some of the largest cruise ships in Europe choosing Hamburg as a homeport or port of call during their winter season, the city has proven to be an invaluable port in Europe. The city both offers easy access to the capitals of Western Europe and acts as the gateway to the Baltic and Norway.

With 1 million cruise passengers sailing from, to, and through Hamburg on a cruise, the city has reached a landmark achievement in building up its cruise business. 

Simone Maraschi, the Managing Director of Cruise Gate Hamburg: “Welcoming the one-millionth guest is a milestone moment for us and the city of Hamburg. It symbolizes the rapid recovery of the cruise industry from the pandemic and highlights Hamburg as an appealing destination, especially for winter cruising,” 

This sentiment was echoed by Dr. Peter Tschentscher, First Mayor of the City of Hamburg. “Reaching a million cruise passengers in one year demonstrates Hamburg’s attraction for international cruises and tourism. This industry forms a critical pillar for our city’s economy and appeal.” 

The Mayor also emphasized the city’s and cruise line’s commitment to environmental sustainability, highlighting the integration of modern propulsion systems and shore power technology in cruise ships. The city will be one of the only European ports that offers shore power at all cruise terminals in the city, starting in 2025.

MSC Euribia Cruise Ship
MSC Euribia Cruise Ship (Photo Courtesy: MSC Cruises)

“Cruise ships are equipped with modern, more environmentally friendly propulsion systems and are increasingly using shore power during their stay in port. Hamburg is the leading port in Europe in the installation of shore-side power technology. All cruise and large container terminals are being equipped with shore power connections,” Tschentscher continued. 

MSC Cruises’ newest cruise ship, MSC Euribia, is one of the vessels that play a significant role in Hamburg’s emergence as a major homeport, as well as being one of the most environmentally friendly cruise ships worldwide.

The cruise ship recently completed the first-ever net-zero carbon emission cruise in history and has some of the most advanced environmental technology of any cruise ship. 

Welcoming the One-Millionth Guest

The passenger and their family, who became the one-millionth cruise passengers this year, embarking on the 181,541 gross tons MSC Euribia, were greeted by a host of dignitaries, including Iris Scheel and Simone Maraschi, Dr. Peter Tschentscher, and Christian Hein, Managing Director of MSC Cruises Germany. The family received an adventure holiday package in Hamburg.

One Millionth Cruise Passenger at Hamburg
One Millionth Cruise Passenger at Hamburg

The success of the 2023 season, with an anticipated 280 calls by year-end, sets the stage for an equally promising 2024. 

In the upcoming year, the port expects to have 270 cruise ship calls, including maiden calls for ten cruise ships. These include Azamara Onward, Costa Favolosa, Mein Schiff 7, National Geographic Explorer, Ocean Albatros, Seabourn Quest, Sirena, and Sky Princess

Notable additions are Disney Dream from Disney Cruise Line, scheduled for its first Hamburg call on September 3, 2024, and Cunard’s Queen Anne, which, in early 2025, will sail a 112-night World Cruise from Hamburg that departs on January 7, 2025. 

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