Gothenburg Sees First Call, But No Passengers Go Ashore

The Port of Gothenburg has announced the restart of cruise activities with TUI Cruises Mein Schiff 6 arriving on Saturday, June 12.

“It is a welcome start to the cruise season but quite different compared to previous years,” said Marin Meriwall, cruise operations manager at the port.

Mein Schiff 6 visited Gothenburg as part of what is known as a “scenic cruise”. Having sailed from Hamburg with 1,000 German passengers on board – around half the normal capacity – it entered the larger Gothenburg area without any passengers or crew going ashore.

“Cruise guests had the opportunity to take in the beautyof the archipelago before turning at the Älvsborg Fortress without entering the port, making it an unusual call to say the least. It’s a pity those on board didn’t have the opportunity to experience the city at close quarters but soon we will hopefully see ships berthing,” added Meriwall.

Scenic cruises are considered the first step to resumption of cruising. Step 2 will involve vessels berthing at the port and passengers being allowed to go ashore, but subject to the provision that they remain within the ship’s bubble, required to go on one of the cruise line’s organized tours. In Step 3 there will be a return to normal routes and capacity.

“All cruise lines have similar restart plans with an ongoing review of when and how they can move to the next step, which will be governed largely by the infection rate at the various destinations. There will also be rigorous health protocols and extensive testing capacity and quarantine possibilities on board,” Meriwall continued.

“Even in a future, without Covid-19, the cruise industry, as with most other sectors, will be faced with a new normal. It is anticipated that cruise passengers will to some extent seek out experiences not traditionally associated with cruise tourism – a trend that could benefit Gothenburg as a cruise destination,” Meriwall said.

As of now just over 60 calls are planned for Gothenburg for the rest of the year. But given the situation, Meriwall said he believes this is something that could change at short notice.

Photo shows Mein Schiff 6 in Gothenburg on a previous call.

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