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Hamburg’s economy benefits from cruise development

After a record year in 2023, Hamburg expects another good cruise balance this year, albeit with slightly fewer calls. The industry generates a lot of added value.

With a record number of 1.2 million passengers embarking on cruises from Hamburg last year – compared to 785,000 passengers in 2022 – the Hanseatic city “consolidated its position as Germany’s leading cruise port”, the Hamburg Port Authority has now announced.[ds_preview]

In total, 51 different ships called at the Port of Hamburg 278 times, including eight first calls and a further 62 calls by river cruise ships. Senator for Economic Affairs Melanie Leonhard emphasised the economic effect: “The cruise industry makes a significant contribution to value creation and employment around our port. I am therefore delighted that we will have one of the most modern cruise terminals in HafenCity and therefore in the heart of our city from 2025.” Also in focus: the shore-side power supply is being expanded; in future, shore-side energy supply should be possible at all cruise terminals.

Simone Maraschi, Managing Director of Cruise Gate Hamburg GmbH: “We are delighted that the industry is back on its pre-corona growth trajectory. This strengthening of the market will also benefit the entire northern German region.” In September 2023, Hamburg was named “Destination of the Year” at the Seatrade Cruise Awards, recognising its development as a popular year-round destination with voyages to all regions of the world.

However, the cruise industry is not only an important part of tourism in Hamburg, but also an important pillar of the Hanseatic city’s economy, the report continues: with an annual gross value added of €420m and the creation of 4,490 full-time jobs, it is described as a significant economic factor for Hamburg as a business location.

Expansion work is currently progressing on the cruise terminal in HafenCity. From 2025, the new Cruise Center will represent an expansion of Cruise Gate Hamburg’s range of berths. The terminal will have two berths for cruise ships as well as the option of shore power supply during berthing times.

Some cruise first calls in Hamburg

Positive developments are also expected for the current year 2024, albeit not at the previous year’s level: 270 planned calls from the beginning of January to the end of December and 60 calls by river cruise ships. Travel options during the winter months are becoming increasingly popular, especially with international visitors who appreciate the Christmas markets in Hamburg. The trend towards longer voyages and world cruises continues.

Cruise enthusiasts can also look forward to ten first calls in Hamburg: among others, Cunard will present its new fleet member “Queen Anne” in Hamburg, Costa Crociere will return to Hamburg with the “Costa Favolosa” and Disney Cruise Line will call at the Hanseatic city for the first time with the “Disney Dream”. Other first calls are: “Ocean Albatros”, “Seabourn Quest”, “Villa Vie Odyssey”, “Sirena”, “Azamara Onward”, “Mein Schiff 7” and “Sky Princess”.

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Caption: The cruise ship "Mein Schiff 4" in Hamburg-Altona