Amsterdam Marks Year of Maiden Visits

The MSC Magnifica is joined by Holland America’s Prisendam on a double call in Amsterdam.

The Port of Amsterdam has a long list of inaugural cruise ship visitors in 2018 including the Viking Sea, Mein Schiff 1, Star Breeze, Aegean Odyssey, Viking Sun, Berlin, Le Laperouse and Le Champlain.

“And of course, we are excited that some of our existing clients increased the number of calls in Amsterdam. As well, we are happy that Disney Cruise Line is calling in Amsterdam this year,” said Dick de Graaff, commercial director.

The year should total 186 cruise calls for 400,000 passengers as the industry grows and Amsterdam becomes an increasingly popular cruise call. If the current growth rate continues, the city could see around 250 calls annually by 2023.

The port accommodates as many vessels as it can at its passenger terminal, and is transparent about other berth solutions for conflicts, advised de Graaf.

“We want to keep an open dialogue with our clients; we want to be transparent in our policies and find suitable solutions for all parties,” he said. “That means discussing challenges such as over tourism and sustainability; working together is key to profitable business for both ports and cruise companies.”

A potential bridge project in Amsterdam could make things complicated for the turning basin that big ships use. If the bridge were to be built (at the northern part of the city), the port authority is investigating options for building a new terminal for big ships and using its existing terminal and quay for smaller vessels. A decision is expected by the end of the year.

Among other challenges is a potential head tax on both transit passengers, with the port working closely with legal advisors and the Cruise Lines International Association, a non-profit group headquartered in Washington D.C., to combat the issue.

“And there is a challenge about the increasing pressure on over tourism,” continued de Graff. “Cruise ships are very visible, but they only count for less than 1 per cent of the total number of visitors in Amsterdam.”

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Carnival Legend- Review Baltic Cruise- Dover to St. Petersburg.

Carnival Legend- Review

Baltic Cruise- Dover to St. Petersburg.

 

My Cruise photos are on Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/45642696@N07/sets/72157635095801316/ 

We had sailed on 4 other companies (Costa, Royal,NCL and MSC) and between us have all ways said that there are good points and some great points in all the companies, example we like NCL Freestyle Dining, and MSC style, so joining Carnival Legend for the first time from Dover was going to be an experience, the check-in at Dover was the best we have ever had, we were on-board having a wee dram by 11am, that was a first for us. Legend is an exact layout as the Costa Mediterranea which was our first ship, happy memories. She is a lovely ship which needs a dry dock which she is having i Jan 14 (I think) before going down under, just to spruce her up a bit.

The food in the main dining room was excellent with always a Didja Ever option on the menu, which we enjoyed trying that something different such as Alligator, Frogs Legs, and Snails. The service was very good and a waiter dance at 7:15 in the evening, which they grabbed a willing volunteer in my wife, she enjoyed it and i enjoyed videoing the show for evidence and later brownie points when needed.

The show’s where the best we had seen on any cruise before, the dancers were fantastic, and the singers were top notch. Head of Entertainment John Heard was an excellent compare, and was always willing to chat when seen around the ship. the entertainers around the ship were average and we have seen better on the Norwegian Jade, there seemed to be too many quiz’s and not enough music.

The tours were well organised and seemed to be a fair price considering the tours of St. Petersberg and a train trip to Berlin.

The shops on board were the normal offerings such as a Logo/tee shirt shop, a sweet shop, and a top end Jewellers. The photo gallery was the largest selling the mandatory on-board pics, places of interest pics, and a camera and accessory section.

Overall I would not hesitate to join a Carnival Cruise again, and we enjoyed the company of our fellow passengers, especially those pesky Canadians, who we keep in-touch with. Thanks to all who served and cleaned up after us.

If anyone who sailed on the same Baltic Cruise as us, we were the Stars of the cruise from the Welsh Non-Romantic Couple.