Swedish cruise success
During spring and early summer, all planned cruises in Sweden were cancelled - just like everywhere else. The German-based luxury cruise line Hapag-Lloyd Cruises reached out to us in the middle of the summer as they planned to deploy ships and call at Swedish ports. Unlike their neighbouring countries, Sweden allowed cruise calls and guests going ashore, if the national and local protocols were complied with.
After the first few bookings, the sales increased, resulting in many new calls in several different Swedish ports with three ships sailing for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. The first ships called in late August, and during September more than 20 cruise calls took place in Swedish ports, making it one of the busiest cruise destinations in the entire world.
"In a year like this where everything is turned completely upside down, it has been quite a challenge to make all these port calls possible", says Silvia Lorenzo Rodriguez, Operations Manager Blue Water Sweden and continues: "Everything has had to be double- and triple-checked and all with very short notice, but the Swedish authorities and ports have proven very flexible and solution-minded. That combined with the support, bravery and creativity from Hapag-Lloyd has made it possible to have all these calls, when the rest of the world was more or less shut down".
Barbara Hoffmann, Port Operations Manager from Hapag-Lloyd Cruises says: "Besides the fact that Sweden is a lovely destination offering many incredible places, we highly appreciated the cooperation of the pilots during the last months. They have been so helpful; always suggesting new destinations or possibilities. In Europe, Sweden is a real exception for planning suitable expedition cruises on short notice. Furthermore, we have been more than happy to work with our agent Blue Water Shipping and Silvia, who was unbelievably swift with her replies, always very helpful and motivated. In times where the schedules are nearly changing every day, she did an amazing job."
Based on the experience from the recent months, Hapag-Lloyd has decided to keep the expedition cruise ship “Hanseatic Inspiration” in the area and has cruises planned from now and into March 2021.