New dock for Copenhagen cruise ships opens amid criticism

Just one bus line services the area, and not on weekends

The long-awaited new dock for cruise ships, Krydstogtkajen, in the Nordhavn district of Copenhagen was officially inaugurated by Queen Margrethe today after a year of delays.

While one of the three dock terminals still needs to be completed, Krydstogtkajen will be a huge upgrade compared to the city’s current cruise ship facilities at Langelinie, according to Arnt Møller Pedersen, the head of cruise ship operations at Copenhagen Malmø Port, a subsidiary of city planners By & Havn.

“On the new dock, we will have room for over 30 buses at each terminal, as well as taxis and limousines,” Pedersen said according to Politiken newspaper. “And they will be lined up when the guests arrive. It is a step up on the quality barometer.”

The dock is 1,100 metres long and has space for three ships, each with a capacity of 5,000 people. Krydstogtkajen is part of a massive project involving a new part of Copenhagen, and 18 million tonnes of earth has been used for the 100 hectare expansion, the largest in the capital's history.

READ MORE: Nordhavn to become the city's newest green district

One bus, not on weekends
But there are issues, particularly concerning how the passengers are to make the journey from the dock into town. Today there is just one bus line that caters to the area and its service does not run on weekends.

Pedersen has appealed to the City Council to set up some better public transport in the area to service the 400,000 cruise ship tourists expected to arrive in Nordhavn this season, but the council has been dragging its feet.

“That’s a lot of people who need the option of public transport,” Pedersen said. “I don’t think that it is right that there are no transport options on the weekends for our guests when most of the arrivals occur.”

Moreover, the dock is not yet able to supply the cruise ships with electricity when they dock as Nordhavn does not yet have the infrastructure in place.

That means that the ships must use their own engines to generate electricity, which isn't exactly in keeping with the sustainable vision that the city has for Nordhavn.

Some 315 cruise ships are scheduled to dock in Copenhagen this year.