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First cruise passengers of the year in Gothenburg go ashore in a bubble

23:37 - 17 Jun 2021 / Press

On Friday, the first cruise ship of the season will berth at the Port of Gothenburg. And for the first time this year some 700 passengers will actually go ashore at Arendal in Gothenburg, albeit under strictly controlled conditions. “Even when the passengers go ashore, they will remain within the ship’s bubble,” said Martin Meriwall, Cruise Operations Manager at the Gothenburg Port Authority.

The AIDA ships are some of the most frequent cruise ships calling the Port of Gothenburg. Photo: Gothenburg Port Authority.

The cruise season in Gothenburg is opening in stages. Last weekend, the first cruise ship of the season arrived at the Port of Gothenburg although without actually berthing. The passengers remained on board and took in the sights from the ship, including the archipelago, the Älvsborg Fortress, and the entrance to the Port of Gothenburg.

When the cruise ship AIDAsol arrives at the Cruise Terminal at Arendal in the outer port area, it will be the first call of the year where cruise passengers are allowed to go ashore. Unfortunately, they will not be able to experience Gothenburg on their own and must instead join one of the cruise line’s organised trips.

Martin Meriwall said: “We’ll only be offering sightseeing tours by bus with 50 per cent reduced capacity, along with a number of walking and cycling tours. Guests will also be subject to the same immigration controls as other tourists entering Sweden, which means that for the time being they will need to present proof of a negative Covid-19 test result to the Border Police before going ashore.”

The ship also has a rigorous health protocol in place, along with extensive testing capacity and on-board quarantine facilities. The Port of Gothenburg is in continuous contact with the authorities concerned.

“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 Martin Meriwall.

AIDAsol will arrive in Gothenburg with around 700 passengers, roughly half the ship’s capacity. The aim is to allow social distancing on board. The vessel will arrive at Arendal from Kiel in Germany at 7.30am and will depart at 5pm for the return voyage to Kiel.

On 20 June, 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. Mein Shiff 6 will have around 1,000 passengers on board.

“We’re very pleased to slowly but surely get the cruise season under way 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 Martin Meriwall

A total of 60 cruise ships are scheduled to visit Gothenburg throughout the remainder of 2021.

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