The Ostseekai Welcomes Viking Sky
Cruise ship Viking Sky sailed into the Kiel Fiord on her maiden visit to Kiel early on Tuesday morning, escorted by a water fountain display from a local tug. The ship’s arrival also marks the ninth and final occasion this season on which a cruise ship has visited the port for the first time.
Nicole Claus, Cruise Shipping Director of the Port of Kiel, said, “The high number of maiden calls underscores the fact that Kiel, in addition to its function as a base port for cruise shipping, is also being utilized more and more as a jumping-off point for day trips ashore. International cruise ship travelers are increasingly discovering Schleswig-Holstein as a holiday destination in its own right.”
This year Kiel has already been visited by the cruise shipping companies Cunard, Fred Olsen, HAL, Ponant, Pullmantur, P&O and Saga as part of ongoing cruises. Available to the more than 900 mainly English-speaking passengers of Viking Sky are trips ranging from city tours in Kiel itself and also in the Hanse city of Lübeck to panorama journeys through the scenic region known as Holstein Switzerland and excursions to the seaside spa resort of Laboe.
While the passengers of Viking Sky were on their land excursions, the Operations Director of the Port of Kiel Jörg Demuth welcomed the ship’s captain Robert Bamberg at a reception on board and presented him with the traditional commemorative plaque awarded by the Schleswig-Holstein federal state capital Kiel to ships visiting the port for the first time. Jörg Demuth: “We are delighted that Viking Ocean Cruises has taken our port into consideration in its route planning. Schleswig-Holstein and the federal state capital have much to offer travelers as tourist destinations and we look forward to their visits.”
The Viking Sky is on an 11-day Scandinavian cruise which began on September 25 in Copenhagen. The ship reached the Kiel Fiord via Fredericia after first calling at Gothenburg, Oslo and Skagen. At the end of a day in Kiel, Viking Sky was heading for the locks at Kiel-Holtenau prior to passing through the Kiel Canal during the night with Hamburg as her destination. The northern Europe cruise ends on October 6 in Amsterdam, before the ship sails on to the Mediterranean.
Viking Sky is 228 m long and of 47,800 GT. She went into service just last year. Viking Ocean Cruises, like Spanish operator Pullmantur Cruises, is among new customers whose ships are calling at Kiel for the first time this year. In addition to Viking Sky, sister ship Viking Sun has already visited Kiel’s Ostseekai this year. During next year’s season the operator plans three visits to Kiel. The Viking Sky will be the first to call again at the Ostseekai - on March 27.