German cruise ship brings 1,400 tourists to Bay Area

Image 1 of 6

The German cruise ship M/V Artania made a stop in Tampa on Friday, carrying 1,400 mostly German passengers and crew.  It's mid-voyage, sailing around the world.

“It is 116 days basically North and South America, a world cruise as we call it,” said Captain Robert Fronenbroek.

Just after sunrise, the tourists were greeted by dolphins alongside the Artania as they headed for the port. The ship docked around 9 a.m. and is expected to depart this evening.

The Artania traveled around the world all year, making stops in Guatemala, Chile, Scotland, Norway, and Russia. The last few stops included Key West, Miami, Turks and Caicos, and finally, Tampa.

From the beaches to the brand new hangout at Sparkman Wharf, passengers were treated to a taste of the Bay Area. Several took in a history lesson in Ybor City.

“We've just been walking around here; we took the trolley up to Centro Ybor and have been walking around here,” said German tourist Renate Hornbrook-Mischek.

She has made more than one trek around the globe.

“I think it’s not good to stay home and be prejudiced about the world. It’s good to see it,” she said.  “They are different but in some ways, they're all people who have the right to live."

Meanwhile, local officials were more than happy to see folks like her taking it all in.

“It absolutely increases tourism,” said Greg Lovelace, director of cargo & cruise marketing for Port Tampa Bay. “It is great for the city because we have over 1,000 international guests exposed to Tampa Bay."

There are 868 passengers and 518 crew members. Most are of German descent, while others are from Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, and Italy. 

The Artania leaves Tampa at 8 p.m. Friday night.  The next stop is New Orleans, Louisiana.