• 09. Mai 2016
  • 09:00
  • Entertainment

Amazing atmosphere at the 827th HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY

Some 1.6 million visitors celebrate the world’s greatest port festival
  • Attractive programme with dozens of maritime highlights
  • AIDAprima starts maiden voyage after spectacular christening
  • Open Ship events welcome 80,000 maritime enthusiasts
Brilliant sunshine and some 1.6 million delighted visitors – the organisers of the 827th HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY were more than happy with the results of the world’s greatest port festival. This meeting of heritage sailing vessels, magnificent cruise ships and modern service vessels rewarded visitors with four days of fantastic impressions and incredible maritime events. Hamburg was in the mood for celebration, enjoying summer temperatures throughout the festival from 5 to 8 May, and welcomed guests from Germany and abroad for this amazing maritime experience. Germany’s biggest open-air stage stretched along the Elbe from Kehrwiederspitze to the Fish Auction Hall, and also included the HafenCity district, the Speicherstadt historic warehouse area, and Oevelgönne Heritage Harbour.

Senator Frank Horch, President of the responsible Hamburg Ministry of Economics, Transport and Innovation, expressed full satisfaction – “The 827th HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY was a fantastic family festival, showing the very best of our beautiful city. The port is the economic heart of Hamburg, and a tourist attraction for guests from all parts of the world. Like our city, it stands for cosmopolitan flair and tolerance, international exchange and trade with the world. Hungary, this year’s partner country, enchanted the many visitors at Kehrwiederspitze. The glorious sunshine during the festival meant that we had unusually high visitor numbers both from Hamburg and from elsewhere. The christening ceremony of the AIDAprima was a fitting highlight and an unforgettable experience for our guests!”

Christening ceremony for AIDAprima in her home port
HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY was colourful and diversified, with more than 200 programme items – something for every taste and every age group. The brilliant highlight on the Saturday evening was the christening ceremony for the AIDAprima, the latest member of the AIDA fleet, in the atmospheric setting of the Port of Hamburg. The ceremony was performed by rising young star actress Emma Schweiger. It was followed by the big AIDA Firework Display, after which the AIDAprima set off from her home port for her maiden voyage. Hundreds of thousands of spectators on the banks of the Elbe watched the christening ceremony and the spectacular and colourful firework display, which transformed the sky above the port to a dazzling sea of colour.

Maritime diversity close up
The main attraction at the HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY was the 300 vessels that came to Hamburg from all parts of the world – historic tall ships and modern tugboats, steam-powered ice breakers, naval vessels, search & rescue vessels and service vessels of the Federal Police, the Fisheries Protection Agency and Customs, blue-water yachts and high-tech catamarans, luxury liners and dinghies. The world’s greatest port festival reflected the whole maritime bandwidth, traditional and modern. For four days, Hamburg was the venue for parades and show trips, regattas and demonstrations, covering a wide and diverse range of shipping and watersports. Open ship events welcomed visitors on board majestic tall ships such as the Kruzenshtern and Santa Maria Manuela, and on lovingly restored heritage ships, service vessels and naval units. Some 80,000 visitors took this unique opportunity for a close-up view of these fascinating vessels. The HafenCity district hosted the Dragonboat Championships and Young Sailors’ races in parallel for the first time. In addition to the title races for dragon boaters, there was a new series for young sailors. Children and young people could participate in dinghy races, or get their first experience of sailing on taster trips. The dragonboat teams battled it out in thrilling duels, with spectators cheering them on from the banks.

Rich cultural programme
On shore, too, the 827th HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY was packed with art and culture with a
programme of exhibitions, guided tours and musical performances. The HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY was a kind of gigantic maritime open-air festival with performances on waterside stages, and free concerts by national and international stars. The musical repertoire of the live performances ranged from traditional shanties to the latest chart hits, and included Latino sounds, jazz and klezmer, rock classics, pop, punk, and variety shows. Hungary, this year’s partner country, put on a fascinating programme at Kehrwiederspitze with thrilling fire dance performances, typical Hungarian culinary specialities, and Magyar culture shows by the world famous ensemble Budapest Klezmer Band and the Rajkó Orchester. Visitors took Csárdás lessons, watched folk dance displays, and thrilled at performances by Adrienn Bánhegyi, the world champion jump rope performer. “We are more than satisfied – Hamburg gave us a wonderful reception. We will take back wonderful memories with us on our return to Hungary,” said Csilla Mezösi, Director Germany & Switzerland, Hungarian Tourism Office. 

The next HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY will be held from 5 to 7 May 2017. Visitors can look
forward to French culture and lifestyle at the HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY 2017, when France, represented by the city of Nantes from the west of France, will be the partner of the world’s
greatest port festival.

The HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY would like to thank all its sponsors, especially the longstanding principal sponsor AIDA Cruises – their support is essential to make the world’s greatest port festival possible each year for more than a million visitors from all parts of the world.

Press contact

Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH
Press and Public Relations
Andrea Heyden
Tel.: +49 40-3569-2446
E-mail: andrea.heyden@hamburg-messe.de