Copenhagen's waterfront gets new shopping arcade

COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- A 100-year-old abandoned warehouse along the waterfront here has become a shopping promenade, beckoning cruise passengers with 25 shops and eateries.

Shopping promenade"It is now possible to take care of the cruise passengers who do not want to go on tours -- those who have already been here three or four times and just want to relax," Per Schmidt, Port of Copenhagen sales manager, said.

A 15-month, $20 million redevelopment turned the 1,000-foot stone warehouse, one of the world's longest buildings, into the Copenhagen Waterfront arcade.

Abandoned for 70 years, "it looked like something from East Germany during the war," said Kim Loudrup, the project's owner and developer.

One shop rents Rollerblades for skating along the pier. Homesick Americans will find American deli and barbeque eateries. Quirky cafes such as the Meatball, which serves 103 varieties of meatball, turn up as well.

For al fresco dining, 800 rooftop chairs and outdoor cafes along the old loading ramp offer waterfront views.

The World's Largest Internet Cafe, powered by Microsoft, can accommodate 100 e-mailing travelers. The cafe even offers a "driver's license" course for those uninitiated into computers.

Shopping choices range from Louis Vitton and Cartier to souvenir shops. The building also houses a tax-refund office.

Locals are joining the party as well: Two new condominium buildings recently rose behind the promenade, and a third is planned, Schmidt said.

Copenhagen ranks as Europe's busiest cruise port, with more than 200 ships calling from May to September.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI