Successful Start to New Season

Photo: Hans-Joachim Zeigert

On May 11, Columbus Cruise Center Wismar launched its new cruise season of 2017. The first visitor to the Hanseatic City of Wismar was Bonn-based Phoenix Reisen's MS Deutschland, known from German TV as the "Dreamship". There were about 500 passengers on board, all keen to explore the town and its surroundings. 

MS Deutschland will make a second visit to CCCW in September. The UK's Thomson Cruises' Celebration will also be calling twice at the port of Wismar this season. An overall total of 8,000 transit passengers on 11 cruise vessels are expected at the Baltic Sea port this year.

A highlight will be the double arrival on August 17, with MS Balmoral and MS Saga Pearl II both heading for Wismar at the same time. The Balmoral is scheduled to berth at approximately 7.30 am and will be followed by the Saga Pearl II roughly half an hour later. About 1,800 passengers will then disembark on day trips and excursions to Wismar and its environs.    

But CCCW is not only popular with returning visitors. No fewer than five vessels are planning to make their first visit – a trend which is expected to continue.


New Contact Person in Wismar

Cruise Coordinator

At the end of April, the CCCW team was reinforced by the recruitment of Ingmar Bünting to take over the duties of Claudia Keick, who is now on maternity leave. 

As from July, Ingmar will be responsible for coordinating vessel operations as well as being the CCCW contact person in Wismar for shipping lines, agents, excursion tour agencies etc.

Previously, Ingmar worked for Maersk Line A/S in Hamburg and for BUSS Port Logistics. His specialist fields there were sales and project management in the general cargo and container traffic sectors.

"I can't wait to get started on my new job at Columbus Cruise Center Wismar," says Ingmar, who eagerly took up the challenge of cruise management within the last few weeks.    



CCCW "Small but mighty"

The World in Wismar

This year's cruise season has demonstrated once more – the Hanseatic city of Wismar can live up to its motto, "small but nice". A total of eight cruise vessels called this year at the most southerly port of Mecklenburg's Baltic coastline. And a total of 4,300 passengers were welcomed by the "gemütlich" and almost family atmosphere of the old port with its traditional fish-roll stands and granaries. Not a trace of hustle and bustle in the old town centre, where you can stroll through the winding streets surrounded by little cafés and typical Hanseatic gabled houses which bear witness to the Gothic red-brick architecture of the time. It comes as no surprise that Wismar was chosen in 2002 as a Unesco World Heritage Site. All its tourist sights, shops, restaurants and cafés can be easily reached on foot. And this is exactly what it is our cruise guests really appreciate about Wismar – it's small but mighty!

The end of this year's season will be marked by the visit of the MS Black Watch for the Christmas Market in December. And the prospects for next year are very promising, with about 10,000 passengers expected to enjoy Wismar's special and unique atmosphere. In 2017, we will welcome eleven vessels, some up to 250 metres long, and we can promise unforgettable impressions, including small gifts and a farewell ceremony.


Wismar - small but mighty

The Hanseatic city Wismar draws a half-year balance to its cruise business with the call from ms Silver Wind on July 1st 2016. Under the motto “small but mighty”, Wismar has proven that even smaller destinations are able to participate professionally in a cruise business: and yet solely smaller ships are handled. Columbus Cruise Center Wismar (CCCW), which is responsible for marketing and operation in the cruise industry, positions its destination at ship companies, whose ship sizes do not exceed 240 meters long. This year alone, 6 first ship calls were able to be registered.

“Citizens and town fathers of the Hanseatic City support cruise ship calls, that originated from the exemplary interaction between the touristic units of Wismar and CCCW. This all leads to an exceptionally high satisfaction of cruise companies and passengers” said Veit Huerdler, one of the managing directors of CCCW. On May 2nd 2016, Wismar ranked 2nd place in the guest rating of a Baltic cruise from the British cruise line Fred Olsen Cruises. “This is especially worth mentioning as Baltic cruises certainly sail to big ports, which delivers a completely different touristic experience dimension”, added Hürdler. “Apart from the wonderful old town itself as an experience, guests feel welcomed by the citizens there”. 

In Winter 2016/2017, approximately 3 Million Euros will be invested into the cruise berth. Activities include, among other things, the construction of a small terminal building, a fixed ISPS border that integrates the guidelines of historic preservation into the surrounding, improvements of fresh water supply and conditions of mooring the vessels. The construction has already begun.

CCCW is a member of Cruise Europe and works closely together with Columbus Cruise Center Bremerhaven (CCCB). In 2017, the big annual Cruise Europe Conference will be held in Bremerhaven. “We will also take advantage of this opportunity to present the advantages of Wismar and to maximize synergies between the two destinations”, explained Veit Huerdler, who is also responsible for CCCB. “For several years now, cruise lines who were convinced of our performance in Bremerhaven have also cruised to Wismar. We are particularly proud of the fact that German cruise lines increasingly integrate Wismar as a German destination into their itinerary.”

Wismar welcomed ms The World

On Thursday, 2 June 2016 the Columbus Cruise Center in Wismar welcomed a very special cruise liner. Ms The World, the largest residential ship in the world, tied up at the cruise liner berth of the UNESCO world heritage and Hanseatic town of Wismar on the stroke of 8.30am. On board were not the usual, typical cruise passengers who leave the ship and their cabins after a few days or weeks when they wistfully end their holiday.

The passengers of ms The World live on the luxury vessel, which is just under 200 meters long and 30 meters wide and has a total of 165 apartments and suits. The concept is to travel around the world and yet be at home.

The port call by ms The World had another special feature: For the first time a giant ocean liner stayed in Wismar overnight. The evening of its departure was embellished by maritime songs performed by the shanty choir and by the members of the shooting club in historic garb, letting off volleys of gunfire and gunshots.

Cruise Europe: Success for Wismar and Bremerhaven – Annual Congress 2017 to be hosted in Bremerhaven/Bremen.

For several years now, Columbus Cruise Centers in Bremerhaven (CCCB) and Wismar have been affiliated in Cruise Europe, a prestigious international cruise-marketing cooperation representing about 120 North European ports. CCCB achieves a great international success. At this year's Cruise Europe Congress in Dublin, our organisation contended for the honour of hosting the event in 2017.  

On Thursday, June 2 the members were shown a specially edited version of the promotion film "Bremen/Bremerhaven – Made of Stars". Bremerhaven managed to ward off competition from two other destinations and secured the hosting of this important event in 2017. This is also a most welcome development for Wismar as its activities are a mirror-image of what goes on in Bremerhaven. On a practical level, this means that the cruise port of Wismar has an excellent opportunity to present itself at next year's Cruise Europe Congress.



Wismar – UNESCO World Heritage and the World Heritage House

Since 2002 the historic old town Wismar is on the world heritage list of UNESCO and ideally represents the developed Hanseatic city during the 14th century. In June 2014 the World Heritage House was opened as an information and meeting point for interested citizens and visitors. It is a 1350 constructed listed building situated in the heart of the city center of Wismar.  It hosts an exhibition on the history of the Hanseatic city of Wismar from various theme rooms with interactive media tables to a presentation of the drinking water pipeline system. This exciting time journey through the history of the city attracted 27,000 visitors in the opening year and this year the trend continues with 20,000 visitors.

Columbus Cruise Center at the Seatrade Europe Cruise & River Cruise Convention

From September 9 to September 11, together with the German cruise ports Hamburg, Luebeck, Kiel and Rostock/Warnemuende, Columbus Cruise Center Bremerhaven (CCCB) and Wismar (CCCW) will be represented at the exhibition stand “Destination Germany”. The Columbus Cruise Center has an extensive program:
On Wednesday evening, Bremerhaven and Wismar are host for more than 150 guests from various countries. In cooperation with the international marketing organisation “Cruise Europe”, in which both ports are members of, Columbus Cruise Center invite the guests to “Cruise Europe – Columbus Cruise Center Night”. In the course of a festive ceremony with live-music, the “German Cruise Awards 2016” will also be awarded on this evening. The mayor of Wismar, Thomas Beyer, will deliver a special Baltic Sea greeting.

On Thursday, German ports await numerous invited guests from national and international cruise company and tour operators during a “Welcome Reception” at their booth .

On the last day of the exhibition, a delegation of cruise line representatives will go on a sightseeing tour to the hanseatic city Wismar togehter with colleagues from CCCW.

Port of Wismar - two maiden calls in one weekend

On Sunday, August 2, 2015 Windstar Cruises‘ MS Star Legend made her maiden call to the port of Wismar. Mainly American guests took the opportunity to explore Berlin, Schwerin and the Unesco World Heritage town of Wismar itself by bike or on foot. During a plaque and key ceremony Wismar's Mayor, Thomas Beyer, gave a warm welcome to Captain James Grifftiths, his passengers and crew. "The passengers enjoyed our welcome programme very much and especially the farewell accompanied by music of the Klasbachthaler Orchestra and gun salute of the traditionally dressed fusiliers", says Nicole Wriggers, Cruise Coordinator of Columbus Cruise Center Wismar. 

The following day Mayor Beyer again had the opportunity to welcome a cruise ship for a maiden call. MS Azamara Quest of American cruise line Azamara Cruises came in at 7am, and Captain Jose Vilharino expressed his satisfaction with the Wismar berth being so close to the town.

Due to the fantastic wheather the pier party that had been especially organised for this call was enjoyed by the cruise passengers as well as by many visitors who listened to the music of several bands on a stage alongside the ship. Some beautiful fire works shortly before the ship’s departure rounded up the programme.

"We have received a lot of positive feed-back from passengers and crew on our activities. From a dedicated town map to the fare well ceremonies the entity of the mosaic pieces makes them all feel very welcome in Wismar" says Michael Kremp, Managing Director of Seehafen Wismar GmbH and Columbus Cruise Center Wismar GmbH.

Cruise Season starts at Columbus Cruise Center Wismar

On Friday June 5th, Columbus Cruise Center Wismar starts off the cruise season 2015 with a visit from MS Voyager.

MS Voyager, which is operated by Voyages of Discovery, kicks off the cruise season at Columbus Cruise Center Wismar with its arrival at around 7 am on June 5th. Columbus Cruise Center Wismar is looking forward to welcoming passengers and crew of the 152m-long ship and also awaits interested guests from the region. After the exciting excursions to Wismar and its surrounding regions, MS Voyager will depart at 10 pm from Wismar, accompanied by presentations of Klasbachtaler Blasmusik orchestra and Schützenverein Hanse. 

The Hanseatic city of Wismar, Columbus Cruise Center and its official partner Hanse Sektkellerei Wismar are looking forward to 7 ship calls this year. For each call they would like to offer a unique and atmospheric farewell program for all passengers, crew members and guests and thank all partners from the region in advance who here actively support.

CCCW at Cruise Shipping Miami

Meet us at Cruise Shipping Miami March 17-19, 2015: booth 701, hall D!

The Hanseatic City of Wismar is currently being showcased by the Columbus Cruise Center Wismar GmbH (CCCW) at the Miami Cruise Shipping Convention, the biggest of its kind in the world.

For the second time, Wismar is represented at its stand under the umbrella of the "Destination Germany" brand. With its typical north German maritime flair, the stand offers visitors an authentic backdrop for talks with cruise industry representatives. The traditional German Ports Night, which rounds off the event with an enjoyable evening in the company of up to 120 guests from all over the world, has now become a regular fixture in the diaries of many of the industry's executives.

Wismar's first big cruise season successfully concluded.

This Friday, the Columbus Cruise Center Wismar (CCCW) and its official partner, the Hanse Sektkellerei Wismar will play host to a musical fireworks display to mark the departure of the season's final cruise vessel.

Together with the City of Wismar, the Columbus Cruise Center can look back on a total of eleven successful arrivals and departures between the months of June and September. "The finale to this more than satisfactory season," explains Michael Kremp, Managing Director at Columbus Cruise Center Wismar GmbH, "will begin with the arrival of the 176.3 metres long MS Marco Polo at 7.00 on Friday morning." The cruise vessel was built in the 1960s at the Mathias-Thesen yard in Wismar, and its arrival will bring the total number of passengers and crew members who have visited the city this year to 14,000 and 6,500 respectively. In contrast, only two vessels called at Wismar the previous year.

A strong partnership of reliable businesses from Wismar and surroundings has evolved steadily in the last two years and it now plays a major role in this success story. And the quayside atmosphere created by a mixture of happy passengers, interested onlookers from Wismar and beyond as well as musical "serenades" and other little surprises have all combined to make each farewell an unforgettable experience for all involved.

For the last time this year, Columbus Cruise Center Wismar and Hanse Sektkellerei invite locals and tourists alike to the old port area to join them in saying farewell to the former "Alexander Pushkin", one of five sister-vessels of the Ivan Franko class. At eight o'clock, the final departure of the season will be fittingly celebrated with a spectacular musical fireworks display. For 2015 we expect another exciting cruise season. With strong partners on board, we are sure that Wismar can once again be successful in meeting the requirements of the fourteen giants of the sea confirmed so far.

More Information:

Columbus Cruise Center Wismar GmbH
Claudia Altmann
Tel.: +49 3841 452-470

About Columbus Cruise Center Wismar GmbH

The Columbus Cruise Center Wismar GmbH is a maritime centre offering professional services to cruise passengers, shipping lines, tour operators and ships' agents. It operates and markets the Cruise Terminal Wismar on the German Baltic coast.

ms “Europa 2”: first call at Wismar

After ms “Europa” stopped over in the Hanseatic City of Wismar already several times in the previous years now also ms “Europa 2” visited Wismar for the first time on June 12, 2014.

With its 225 meter length, the luxurious liner of Hapag Lloyd Cruises is the longest ship ever calling at the Hanseatic city of Wismar so far.

At this occasion, the Hanseatic city invited all visitors for a celebration program on a stage at the Old Harbour. The Shanty choir from Wismar and a saxophone quintet from Wismar’s music school contributed to the musical program.

Approximately 500 mostly German passengers took adavantage of the shore leave to visit Wismar’s Old town, enjoy the Harbour festival or to take a sightseeing tour to Lübeck and Poel.

Wismar prepares for cruise season 2014

The Hanseatic city is set to welcome a total of 21,000 cruise passengers this year 

This year the Hanseatic city of Wismar will be opening its doors to a new category of day-trippers. Fifteen ships will be calling, with about 21,000 mostly international guests who are expected to visit Wismar and its surroundings before returning home with positive impressions of the World Heritage Site. Mayor Thomas Beyer is eagerly looking forward "to being involved for the first time in this market sector with so many visitors."  For Wismar it means additional day tourists who until now have not played a major role in the local economy. The visits of the cruise vessels will be advertised in the nearby seaside resorts and it is hoped that extra visitors can be attracted from there on departure days. "The people of Wismar are well known for their hospitality and are looking forward to welcoming these new guests." 

Since 2012, the joint tasks of processing the cruise vessels in the "Alter Hafen" and marketing Wismar as a cruise destination worldwide have been in the hands of the Columbus Cruise Center Wismar GmbH, a subsidiary of the Wismar Port Authority. The top priority for all involved is the smooth and professional handling of passengers and vessels throughout the whole season from May till October. 

To ensure that each visit to the World Heritage Site remains an unforgettable experience for every passenger and crew member, a committed association of interested parties from Wismar has put together a colourful entertainment and service programme. This includes a special city map for cruise passengers as well as musical and cultural events which will set Wismar clearly apart from the other Baltic ports. As commented by Michael Berkhahn, Wismar Senator and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the local port authority, "Passengers from Spain, North America, the United Kingdom or Germany will be greeted on the gangway with a welcome gift from the region as well as information material in various languages." 

It is also hoped that the prospect of seeing these impressive ocean giants at first hand will also tempt day trippers from the nearby Baltic holiday resorts as well as the region as a whole. These guests will also be able to enjoy the short farewell performances as the ships set off in the evening hours.   

The joint interest group, comprising local and regional retailers and restaurateurs as well as tourist associations, transport providers, local clubs and advertising agencies, has managed to secure the support of major sponsoring partners.

These include the local Mecklenburg brewery Lübz, Wismar-based sparkling-wine makers Hanse, soft drinks producer Güstrower Schlossquell, and the event managers Hansekontor Wismar. In cooperation with the Columbus Cruise Center Wismar GmbH, a big "Pier Party" will be held at the Alter Hafen on August 3. From 18:30 to 21:30, local guests and tourists can get a taste of the cruise feeling and enjoy live music and a colourful entertainment program as a backdrop to the departure of the MS Empress. Everybody is hoping for good weather so that visitors can quench with their thirst with a nice cool Lübzer beer or a "Cruiser" cocktail - sparkling elderberry wine served with ice and fresh mint.

Mayor Beyer went on to emphasise again how happy the people of Wismar will be "to welcome every single guest to our city, whether they come by ship, car or rail. And if we in Wismar catch the cruise bug, then it can only add to the maritime charm of our beautiful old city."  

To inform residents and holidaymakers in the region about upcoming ships' arrival and departure times, posters and leaflets will be made available in tourist centres, shops, restaurants and hotels. Bus advertising will also be used to draw attention to cruise activities at the Alter Hafen. The concept created by Tom Klemens, a second-term student of design, was the winner of a competition held jointly by Wismar University and the regional bus company. Besides its regular passenger service, the bus will also operate as a shuttle for cruise passengers on arrival days.

The Hanseatic City of Wismar and its partners are looking forward to the opening of the cruise season on Sunday, May 11. This will be marked by the arrival of the MS Empress of the Spanish operator Pullmantur Cruises. We invite all citizens of Wismar to join us in offering the vessel a fitting welcome and farewell.

In addition, we are also working on a free Wismar Tourist App, which should be available from app stores in July.

Further Information:

Columbus Cruise Center Wismar GmbH                  

Claudia Altmann      

Tel.: 03841 452 470

CCCW at Cruise Shipping Miami

The "Cruise Shipping Miami", the world´s biggest cruise fair, will take place from March 11 to 13, 2014 in Miami. The biggest German ports will present themselves in one joint booth called "Destination Germany".

Why not pay us a visit? Michael Kremp and Claudia Altmann would be pleased to welcome you at our booth 701, hall D.