The first cruise ship of the season has berthed at the Port of Gothenburg, according to the port’s press release. And for the first time in 2021, some 700 passengers were able to go ashore at Arendal in Gothenburg, albeit under strictly controlled conditions.
The AIDAsol has arrived at the Cruise Terminal at Arendal in the outer port area at Arendal from Kiel in Germany at 7.30 a.m. local time and will depart at 5 p.m. for the return voyage to Kiel. The passengers were not allowed to experience Gothenburg on their own and had to join one of the cruise line’s organized trips.
Sightseeing tours by bus operated under 50 percent capacity, along with a number of walking and cycling tours. Guests were subject to the same immigration controls as other tourists entering Sweden, which meant that they had to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test result to the Border Police before going ashore, according to Martin Meriwall, cruise operations manager at the Gothenburg Port Authority.
The ship also has a rigorous health protocol in place, along with extensive testing capacity and onboard quarantine facilities. The AIDAsol has arrived in Gothenburg with around 700 passengers, roughly half the ship’s capacity in order to allow social distancing onboard. The Port of Gothenburg is in continuous contact with the authorities concerned, it wrote.
“Working closely with both the cruise lines and the authorities we have adapted the terminal and the flow of guests to ensure there’s plenty of space inside the terminal to avoid crowding. There’s a great deal of planning behind the visit,” said Meriwall.
The cruise season in Gothenburg is opening in stages, the Port of Gothenburg wrote. On the weekend of June 12-13, the first cruise ship of the season arrived at the Port of Gothenburg although without actually berthing. The passengers remained onboard and took in the sights from the ship, including the archipelago, the Älvsborg Fortress and the entrance to the Port of Gothenburg.
On June 20, the cruise ship Mein Schiff 6 will return to Gothenburg after last week’s visit. This time the passengers will be allowed to go ashore although, as with the passengers on AIDAsol, they will remain within the ship’s bubble environment. The Mein Shiff 6 will have around 1,000 passengers on board.
“We’re very pleased to slowly but surely get the cruise season underway and offer visitors from abroad the opportunity to experience our city. Hopefully, this will send out positive signals to the tourist and hospitality industry that foreign visitors are beginning to find their way back,” said Meriwall.
A total of 60 cruise ships are scheduled to visit Gothenburg throughout the remainder of 2021, according to the press release.