MSC Cruises handles passengers for the first time via the Rostock Airport
Rostock 7 April 2016. Another cooperation in the coming cruise season is starting in Rostock with MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately run cruise line company and the market leader in Europe and in the Mediterranean as well as in South America and South Africa.
The cruise line will carry out passenger exchange in Warnemünde this summer and handle passengers arriving and departing from Southern Europe via the Rostock Airport for the first time.
MSC has initiated charter flights to Rostock-Laage for the coming summer season. Italian and Spanish cruise guests from the shipping line will utilise these direct flight connections from Rome, Milan and Madrid during a total of 17 calls by the “MSC Opera” in Warnemünde from 7 May to 15 September 2016. Aircrafts from various airlines with a seating capacity between 150 and 200 passengers will be handled at the Rostock Airport within the framework of the passenger exchange.
After their arrival in Rostock-Laage, guests will be brought by shuttle bus to the Warnemünde cruise port for boarding the “MSC Opera”, which was recently modernised in the summer of 2015. The Rostock-Laage Airport anticipates handling approx. 14,000 passengers over the season.
Among other things, the handling/service product for cruise passengers arriving and departing by aircraft is unique in Germany and decisive for the new cooperation with Rostock-Laage Airport. The professional service enables flight and cruise passengers to experience a comfortable journey to the ship by aircraft without the repeated and troublesome check-in and pick-up of luggage. This will be transported by means of automated processes from the departure site into the ship’s cabins. During the return trip the passengers will already receive the boarding ticket for the return flight on the ship, and the luggage will also be transported from the cabins directly to the airport again, so that the guests only have to take care of their luggage again after landing at the home airport.
“A unique selling position could be created in the field of intermodal handling of cruise passengers with the “Seamless Travel” service product developed by the airport. All companies involved in the transport process contribute towards regional economic growth”, says Dr. Rainer Schwarz, Managing Director of the Rostock-Laage Airport. “We are looking forward to the upcoming summer with excitement. The airport’s team is optimally prepared to offer comprehensive service for the customers from Southern Europe.”
As an international shipping line with global routing, MSC is continually expanding the fly & cruise offer.
“The Rostock-Warnemünde port has also become established among our German clientele as an attractive entrance and exit port for cruises in Northern Europe”, says Michael Zengerle, Managing Director of MSC Kreuzfahrten GmbH. A total of 16 tours will head for the capital cities of the Baltic region or Norwegian fjords in the course of tours lasting seven, eleven and 14 nights.
The new charter programme to and from Rostock-Laage enables the shipping line to operate the ship more optimally from different markets. “This promotes further growth and is already reflected in the plans for 2017, when the MSC Opera will be replaced by the larger MSC Magnifica. Due to the intensified involvement, MSC is consequently contributing to the increase of value added in the region”, emphasises Zengerle.
“The MSC cruise line has become a stable and important partner of the port over the years. This year MSC Opera will call at Warnemünde 17 times in order to enable about 600 passengers to enjoy a shore excursion and about 1,600 passengers to embark and disembark in the cruise port. The fact that since this year MSC is using Warnemünde as a port of departure and destination for Italian and Spanish cruise guests and these guests are flying in and out via Rostock-Laage Airport is a success due to concerted efforts”, says Jens A. Scharner, Managing Director of the port development company known as Hafen-Entwicklungsgesellschaft Rostock mbH.
“The Rostock-Laage Airport continues to grow with the new partner MSC Cruises. This is important for the economy and tourism in the Rostock administrative district, because they need a strong regional airport. The fact that innovative business models are being developed and implemented there additionally strengthens the Rostock region. As a shareholder in the airport, the Rostock administrative district is proud of the growth and supports the successful change in strategy”, emphasises Sebastian Constien, District Administrator of the Rostock administrative district.
Now that the Rostock-Laage Airport has already been able to gain the third cruise line for this year with MSC, it is anticipating a total passenger volume of about 70,000 from this new business field. As a result, the entry into the cruise business is leading to a growth of about 50 % among the passenger figures from commercial air traffic.