- 14. Mai 2018
Positive results at 829th HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARYSo much going on at the Port of Hamburg! Following turbulent weather to start with on the Thursday, the 829th HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY treated its visitors – an amazing 1.3 million of them! – to mainly sunny weather from Friday to Sunday. The world’s greatest port festival, held from 10 to 13 May, presented a varied maritime programme for young and old in the unique setting of the Port of Hamburg. This year the HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY ran for four days instead of the usual three, taking advantage of the public holiday (Ascension Day) on the Thursday. Its key locations were around Landungsbrücken, in the Speicherstadt historic warehouse district, in HafenCity with the Heritage Harbour, in Grasbrookhafen, at the Fish Market and at the Oevelgönne Museum Harbour.
Senator Frank Horch, Hamburg’s Minister of Economics, Transport and Innovation, expressed his complete satisfaction – “We celebrated our port anniversary together with the people of Hamburg and enormous numbers of guests from all parts of the world, in an atmosphere of peace. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the success of this wonderful party.” He was also full of praise for this year’s partner country, South Africa. “Hamburg and South Africa both have a great maritime tradition. The country partnership at the HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY enabled us to conduct intensive exchange of views on opportunities for economic cooperation in this increasingly digital age.”
The South Africa Festival at Kehrwiederspitze was a highlight of the HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY, putting the focus on South African culture, regional culinary specialities, and tourist destinations throughout South Africa, as far as the Cape of Good Hope. This was also an ideal occasion for a number of meetings of business delegations in Hamburg. On 9 May, for example, a Cooperation Agreement was signed at the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce between North Germany’s Digital Cluster Hamburg@work and the Silicon Cape Initiative from Cape Town/Western Cape province.
Varied programme with Open Ship events and spectacular demonstrations
Visitors at the HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY enjoyed a spectacular maritime programme, starting with the Grand Arrival Parade on the Thursday and ending with the Grand Departure Parade on the Sunday. Some 300 vessels called at the port, from magnificent tall ships and lovingly restored museum ships to elegant cruise liners and modern service vessels. Many of them invited visitors aboard for the Open Ship sessions, and some 90,000 people took the opportunity to explore. Special favourites were the tall ships Sedov, Kruzenshtern, Mir and Alexander von Humboldt II and the naval vessels and other state-of-the-art service vessels. The programme highlights included the Tugboat Ballet, the show runs by historic ships, search & rescue exercises, and the HafenCity Championships held under the patronage of Senator Horch at Grasbrookhafen, with thrilling dragon boat races and sailing regattas.
Concerts from the Elbphilharmonie and live music for every taste
The cultural programme at the world’s greatest port festival was another major highlight. It included a new programme item with the successful premiere of the “Elbphilharmonie Concerts on Screen” hosted by HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY in cooperation with the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra. Concerts from Hamburg’s new flagship venue were shown on a big screen set up at Platz der Deutschen Einheit, right next to the Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall, including live transmission of a concert given on Thursday by the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra in the main auditorium of the Elbphilharmonie.
Festival atmosphere was everywhere, generated by numerous show stages with free-of-charge live music, including rock and pop, jazz and swing, punk and shanties. Special exhibitions and activities were put on by the museums in Speicherstadt, itself a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in HafenCity. Countless guided tours and exhibitions were held in all parts of the festival site, on subjects such as the history of the Port of Hamburg. Some 350 stands sold culinary specialities from all parts of the world, and ran fairground rides – great fun for the kids. Arts & crafts and maritime souvenirs featured at a number of markets. The new maritime children’s festival with the Harbour Pirates at the Michelwiese in front of St. Michael’s Church was a favourite for families with children, as was the REWE activity space at Sankt Pauli Fish Market with lots of attractions for adults and children.
The big AIDA firework display
A visual highlight on the Saturday evening was the big AIDA firework display, lighting up the sky over Hamburg in spectacular colour. That was accompanied by the departure of the AIDAperla, which was specially illuminated for the occasion. AIDA Cruises, which is the principal sponsor of the world’s greatest port festival for the seventh time this year, participated with three cruise ships – the AIDAperla, AIDAsol and AIDAvita. It also presented a mobile show cabin at the HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY, giving visitors an impression of the comfort and atmosphere on board the ships with the kissing lips logo.
The 830th HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY will be held from 10 to 12 May 2019. The HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY would like to thank all its sponsors, especially the long-standing 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.