To mark her first call under the name Azores (ex-Athena) the visitor was given a water fountain escort by port tugs through the Kiel Fiord to her berth in the inner harbour where Norwegenkai is located.
During a reception on board the ship later the new Mayor of the Schleswig-Holstein state capital Kiel, Ulf Kämpfer, and the managing director of the Port of Kiel (SEEHAFEN KIEL), Dr Dirk Claus, welcomed the ship’s captain, her passengers and crew, and presented him with the port’s commemorative first-call plaque.
The Port of Kiel’s first-call plaque has been completely re-designed this year and Azores is the first ship to be presented with the new design. Designed by the artist Patrick Schlosser from Eckenförde, the first-call plaque is elaborately hand-crafted in the shape of a two-dimensional bollard. ‘The new first-call plaque is a unique artistic item which expressively symbolises the ties between ship and port’, said Claus.
Portuscale-owned Azores is sailing six cruises from Kiel this year to the Baltic and Norway. On July 10, the last visit this year, Azores will set course for Greenland.
Commented Claus: ‘Azores is a good example of why Kiel is such an ideal location for starting or ending very attractive and also very different cruises in northern Europe,’
Azores is the first of five cruise ships making their first visit to Kiel this year. The port is expecting Saga Pearl 2 on May 19 and on May 26 TUI Cruises’ new Mein Schiff 3 will berth at the Ostseekai.
On June 11 Kiel welcomes the first visit of Europa 2 and on June 28 P&O Cruises’ Adonia’ is expected to take part in the traditional wind jammer parade being held during the Kieler Woche Regatta.
In 2014 22 different cruise ships will berth in the port a total of 125 times. About two million passengers will embark or disembark from a ferry or cruise ship in Kiel this year.