The arrival of the German cruise ship AIDAcara in Gothenburg today will mark the start of the 2012 cruise season. The vessel is one of 62 vessels due to visit Gothenburg this year, which is a new record.
Last year, which was also a record-breaking year, 52 cruise ships arrived in Gothenburg, carrying 64,000 passengers. This season, there will be 62 vessels with around 70,000 passengers.
Jill Söderwall is Head of Cruise Operations at the Port of Gothenburg: "The increase is confirmation that Gothenburg is an attractive city for cruise tourists and that collaboration between the Port of Gothenburg and Göteborg & Co has produced results."
The two companies have worked specifically for a number of years on marketing Gothenburg as an attractive cruise destination and have convinced several cruise lines to add the city to their itineraries. A number of weeks ago, a major international cruise fair was held in the USA. The Port of Gothenburg and Göteborg & Co were there.
Sara Eriksson, who is responsible for cruises at Göteborg & Co, is optimistic about the future: "The feeling from the fair is that cruises will eventually be something you do all year round. Here in Gothenburg, we have a big advantage as we have an ice-free port and the Julstaden Christmas festivities attract cruise tourists in December.
In line with the trend, the cruise season in Gothenburg is longer this year than previously. It starts today, March 30, and extends through to October 7. There also five visits scheduled for December.
This year, guests will have an even better reception, both at the quayside at Arendal, which is where the largest vessels dock, and at the Freeport, which where all the vessels that can sail under the Älvsborg Bridge dock.
Improvements include a completely new terminal building at Arendal, there will be more detailed tourist information in more languages than previously, and more people from the tourist office will be present to receive guests at the quayside and at various places throughout the city.
The biggest this year: Queen Mary II, 345 metres long, carrying 2,800 passengers. Due to visit Gothenburg on August 16.
Most luxurious: Seabourn Sojourn. Arrives on June 14. All the cabins are luxury suites and guests are welcomed with a bottle of champagne.
Most unusual: Ocean Dream. A cruise ship on a 100-day, round-the-world cruise and carrying only Japanese passengers. The guests make a large number of study visits ashore and the primary focus is on knowledge.
Most loyal: AIDA. Will visit the Port of Gothenburg 22 times this year.
For further information, please contact Cecilia Carlsson, head of communcations at the Port of Gothenburg, tfn +46 31 731 22 45.
Number of visits by cruise ships to Gothenburg, 2000-2012
2000 – 9 visits, 3,400 passengers
2001 – 13 visits, 3,600 passengers
2002 – 5 visits, 2,400 passengers
2003 – 13 visits, 5,500 passengers
2004 – 18 visits, 14,200 passengers
2005 – 20 visits, 12,700 passengers
2006 –18 visits, 11,300 passengers
2007 – 23 visits, 11,400 passengers
2008 – 18 visits, 12,400 passengers
2009 – 34 visits, 36,000 passengers
2010 – 41 visits, 51,700 passengers
2011 – 52 visits, 64,000 passengers
2012 – 62 visits, 70,000 passengers
Fact file: Port of Gothenburg
The Port of Gothenburg is the largest port in the Nordic region with 11,000 visits by vessels each year. One-third of Swedish foreign trade passes through the Port of Gothenburg as well as 65 per cent of all container traffic.
The Port of Gothenburg is the only port in Sweden with the capacity to receive the world's largest container vessels and has the broadest range of shipping routes within and outside Europe. The 26 rail shuttles that depart each day mean that companies throughout Sweden and Norway have a direct, environmentally smart link to the largest port in the Nordic region. The Port of Gothenburg has terminals for oil, cars, ro-ro, containers and passengers.