Hamburg is one of Europe’s hotspots for cruise liners. More and more visitors are lured to the North German city, the port of call for 164 cruise ships annually, with a total of more than 400,000 passengers. Ship christening events in the world’s largest “baptismal font” and numerous other maritime events keep attracting guests from near and far. The highlight of the coming summer will be the Hamburg Cruise Days, taking place from 17 to 19 August. Cruise liner enthusiasts will be able to experience first hand seven luxury cruise liners, ship parades, themed islands on land, and the Blue Port, the magical blue illumination of the harbour. On the occasion of the Hamburg Cruise Days, Hamburg Tourism GmbH offers exclusive packages starting from EUR 279.
Following the HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG port festival and the spectacular ship christening ceremony of AIDAmar only a few days ago, the next superlative cruise liner event in the Hanseatic City of Hamburg is already lined up: between 17 and 19 August 2012, the Hamburg Cruise Days will be showcasing the world of cruise liners in Hamburg. The event will be taking place on an area that stretches over several kilometers along the Elbe River – on water and on land. The stars of the Hamburg Cruise Days will be the AIDAluna luxury liner, the AIDAmar (both belong to AIDA Cruises), the DEUTSCHLAND (Peter Deilmann shipping company), the MS/ASTOR (TransOcean), the MS COLUMBUS 2 (Hapag-Lloyd Cruises), the MSC Lirica (MSC Cruises), and the Queen Mary 2 (Cunard Line) – a luxury liner that Hamburg maintains a particularly close relationship with, ever since its initial call in 2004.
On water, event highlights include the Hamburg Cruise Night late on Friday, consisting of a fleet of party boats on the Elbe, as well as the magnificent Hamburg Cruise Days Parade on Saturday evening, starting from approximately 9pm, where five cruise ships will be making their way down the Elbe River, accompanied by a fleet of ships.
Taking place for the third time, the Hamburg Cruise Days 2012 are offering many new features, particularly on land. At this year’s event, the fringes of the port will be turned into a cruise lining universe, offering all the things that make cruise liner voyages so exciting: sport and wellness, shopping, a themed island for children – designed by Hapag-Lloyd Cruises – arts and culture at the historic Holzhafen, as well as culinary delights prepared by some of Hamburg’s top-class chefs. Show stages on shore will present cruise ship entertainment programmes, and the historical Tüdel un Tampen market will add to the maritime flair. For more information, visit www.hamburgcruisedays.de/en/.
Also in 2012, Hamburg’s harbour will be once again turned into the Blue Port: light artist Michael Batz will illuminate about one hundred objects in and around the harbour, immersing the event in magical blue light. Starting a few days before the actual event, the Köhlbrandbrücke, the St Michaelis church, the developing Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, and the viaduct between the Baumwall and Landungsbrücken underground stations will be illuminated in blue once darkness has set in.
Ever since the initial call of the Queen Mary 2 eight years ago, the people of Hamburg have fallen in love with cruise liners and have made it a habit to turn every cruise ship arrival into a celebration. Today, 164 arrivals are recorded each year, and more than 400,000 guests arrive by boat or leave on a journey aboard a vessel respectively. Hamburg is the port of call for 25 shipping lines, and has recently been voted “the world’s most beautiful port” by the guests of Celebrity Cruises. Hamburg has also been awarded the Deutsche Kreuzfahrtpreis as Cruise Liner Port 2012. Maritime events such as HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG, the world’s largest port festival, spectacular ship christening events – the next one is coming up on 8 June with the christening of the MS Hamburg – and of course the Hamburg Cruise Days turn the port of Hamburg into a stage and a destination for countless day and overnight guests.
For the duration of the Hamburg Cruise Days, Hamburg Tourism Board (HHT) has prepared special overnight offers for all those who are not local to Hamburg. Exclusive moments can be enjoyed with the “Hamburg Cruise Days Schaarhörn” weekend package, which includes two nights at a hotel including breakfast, the Hamburg CARD (free travel on public transport and reduced admission to more than 150 attractions in Hamburg), transfers, as well as a 15 percent discount at selected (port) restaurants. As our very special treat, you will accompany the ship parade on board the “Schaarhörn”, a historic steam boat that is more than one hundred years old. In the past, the “Schaarhörn” also served as a representative yacht for the Hamburg Senate. The package starts at EUR 279 and can be booked online at www.hamburg-tourismus.de or via telephone at +49 (0) 40 300 51 300. The event can also be experienced on board a historic schooner, with a package that also comprises a five-hour “all inclusive” sailing trip and an overnight stay in a five-star hotel. Prices start at EUR 379.