HAMBURG: There is a reason to visit Hamburg, Germany, next month. Travel and Tourism in Hamburg, Germany, is not only about hamburgers, but also cruising. Not the type of cruising you expect at the famous night spot, Reeperbahn. Of course the Reeperbahn may very well be a part of what ten thousands of tourists will explore on the sidelines of the most beautiful cruise festival in the world: the sixth Hamburg Cruise Days. Hamburg will be the tourism hotspot from September 8 to 10, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors from all around the world to this famous German port city.
A grand total of 11 cruise ships will be calling in on Hamburg during the event – a new record. And the fantastic entertainment won’t just be taking place on the water , visitors on land are also invited to immerse themselves in the vibrant program.
Hamburg’s track record as a cruise location is impressive: with 171 ships calling in on the port and more than 710,000 passengers in 2016, Hamburg has broken all its previous cruise records. During the 2017 season, Cruise Gate Hamburg is expecting around 200 ships with approximately 800,000 passengers to call in on the city. The growing popularity of cruises is also due to the appeal of crowd-pleasing events like the Hamburg Cruise Days.
Taking place this year from September 8-10, this superlative maritime event will again be attracting hundreds of thousands of cruise fans to the waterfront in Hamburg, and is one of the key events on the city’s calendar. The experience of seeing ships sail majestically past the backdrop of the port at the heart of the city is an incredible boost for the city’s image, and the organizers are fully committed to making the most of it. “The Hamburg Cruise Days bring ships and people together in an emotionally-deeply engaging and inspiring event. Add the Elbphilharmonie, the new landmark in the port, to the equation, and pictures of the blue illuminated port will spread around the world, highlighting the city’s inspiring contrasts,” says Michael Otremba, Managing Director of Hamburg Convention Bureau GmbH.
9 magnificent cruise liners and 2 river cruise ships will be visiting the port during the Hamburg Cruise Days.The ships attending this year’s event are AIDAprima (AIDA Cruises), Silver Wind (Silversea Cruises), Norwegian Jade (Norwegian Cruise Line), EUROPA and EUROPA 2 (both Hapag-Lloyd Cruises), MSC Preziosa (MSC Cruises), Mein Schiff 3 (TUI Cruises), Albatros and Amadea (both Phoenix Reisen), Sans Souci (Plantours Cruises), and Katharina von Bora (nicko cruises).
The record-breaking number of ships will also give the event the biggest Grand Parade since it started; on Saturday evening on the Hamburg Cruise Days weekend, 6 cruise ships – headed by the AIDAprima and accompanied by 24 escort ships – will all sail down the Elbe together against the backdrop of a magnificent firework display. “It will be a parade that redefines the word superlative,” say organizers Uwe Bergmann and Katja Derow. “The total length of the ships on the Elbe will be 1,575 meters, with 502,946 gross registered tons and 17,140 people, all of whom will be admiring the city from the water. This makes the parade an unforgettable catwalk.”
Other highlights on the water will include the Silversea Cruises firework display on Friday and the Hamburg Cruise Night, where numerous passenger ships will be offering cruises along the river throughout the evening.
On land, visitors can again look forward to a supremely-enjoyable entertainment program. In 2017, the event will feature 15 themed islands along the waterfront, offering visitors a hugely-engaging, high-quality program on land. For instance, cruise lines will be offering special promotions: AIDA Cruises, premium partner of the Hamburg Cruise Days, will be hosting the AIDA Holiday World which boasts the best view of the Elbe River and includes the AIDA Beach Lounge where visitors are invited to relax and unwind. At Dinner in the Sky by Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, guests can enjoy an exquisite menu and a breathtaking view across the port from up high. At the Mediterranean MSC Cruises Terraces, a captive balloon provides a unique view across the port of Hamburg. Costa Cruises invites visitors to discover the inimitable Italian approach to cruising. TUI Cruises will be offering a virtual cruise ship tour at the Mein Schiff World, while cruise company Norwegian Cruise Line will be showing just what makes a cruise holiday so special on their Promenade Deck opposite the port.
Other Themed Islands will be Art & Culture, open air Health & Fitness, and a richly-diverse entertainment program on numerous stages with music, shows, poetry slams, presentations, and the Flying Cruise Show. A nostalgic maritime market and a great choice of stalls selling arts and crafts are perfect for a spot of shopping, and for those who can’t wait to make their holiday dreams come true, the Market of Dreams will be providing information about holidays and the world’s most attractive destinations. At the Rioja Gourmet Terrace, guests are invited to enjoy fine wines, tapas, and a Spanish fiesta; choice food and drinks will also be served at many other Themed Islands.
Since 2008, the lighting art project, Blue Port Hamburg by artist Michael Batz, has been an international sensation. In 2017, the artwork returns, lighting up the port and Hamburg’s most beautiful attractions at night with a magical blue light. On the weekend of the Hamburg Cruise Days, the Blue Port will be creating a unique and unforgettable atmosphere and backdrop. More than 100 objects in and around the port, between the Elbbrücken bridges and Övelgönne, will be illuminated, including buildings, towers, terminals, commercial vehicles, quays, cranes, jetties, pontoons, and ships, in a dynamic, breathtaking work of art – a sensual experience which can only be seen in Hamburg. Blue Port Hamburg starts on September 1 with an official “Light Up” ceremony.
The event organizers are confident: “With the highlights on the water, Blue Port Hamburg, and the great choice of activities along the waterfront, the 2017 Hamburg Cruise Days are going to be an unforgettable event for the people of Hamburg and visitors to the city, with an appeal that will reach far beyond Hamburg and Germany.