After years of record numbers, the cruise boom in Hamburg has come to an end. In the first nine months, 171 cruise ships with 684,000 passengers came to the port of Hamburg. This is however 83,300 fewer passengers than in the same period last year.
It’s expected around 800,000 passengers for the year as a whole, compared with 915,000 last year. For the years 2020 and 2021, a more or less constant level can be assumed.
Experts see the decline in cruise passenger numbers as "an alarm signal and a precursor to the political management failure of the red-green coalition in the port of Hamburg".
The port authority, on the other hand, stated that the cruise shipping business is usually subject to fluctuations to which market participants are prepared.
"The high level of expected cruise passengers is an indicator of the positive economic impact of cruise shipping on tourism and ports." Cruise Gate Hamburg, the responsible subsidiary of the port authority HPA, did not wish to comment.
Hamburg has profited more than average from the global cruise boom. Between 2015 and 2018, passenger numbers increased by 73 percent. Hamburg is an interesting starting and ending point for cruises for shipping companies and passengers as well as a stopover. The global market for cruise travel continues to grow.