Saga Sapphire, which berthed in the Port of Gothenburg this morning, is the first of three British cruise ships that will be calling at the Cruise Terminal in Gothenburg in December – Saga Sapphire, Aurora (December 15) and Queen Elisabeth (December 19) will ensure that 5,000 British tourists will have the opportunity to experience the Christmas atmosphere that is unique to Gothenburg.
The passengers on board will spend a day taking in everything the Gothenburg region in general has to offer and in particular the Yuletide city of Gothenburg.
"It feels good to be able to help the business owners of Gothenburg by bringing 5,000 visitors here, all ready to spend their money on shopping, food and drink. These visitors may never have come here if it wasn't for the Christmas cruises," says Jill Söderwall, Head of Cruise Operations at the Port of Gothenburg.
Liseberg is of course the obvious destination for many passengers. The Christmas market at Tjolöholm, a beautiful country house outside Gothenburg, also attracts many cruise passengers, as do the light show at Götaplatsen, the singing Christmas tree on Drottningtorget and the many other attractions. The cruise ships that visit Gothenburg this year will also experience an extra-special Christmas feeling on board with traditional songs by the Gothenburg Lucia and her entourage.
"The English, like the people of Gothenburg, are quite hardy when it comes to the weather and they take the winter climate here very much in their stride. We have also heard through our guides and the tourist office that they appreciate the short voyage, which is an advantage at this time of year when it's not exactly sunbathing weather," says Anica Stenberg, project manager at Göteborg & Co.
The Port of Gothenburg is ice-free all year round, which means that the cruise season (which runs from March to October) can be extended. Marketing collaboration, visits to shipping lines and stands at cruise fairs in cooperation with Göteborg & Co have also been key factors, not only for cruise traffic to Gothenburg generally but also for the calls made around Christmas, which this year are exclusively British.
Carlsson, Corporate Communications Manager, Port of Gothenburg, +46 31 368
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.