Welcome on board – the 829th HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY: The world’s greatest port festival, from 10 to 13 May 2018

26 Feb 2018 16:22 Entertainment

When tugboats dance, tall ships are open to visitors, and luxury liners tour around the port, it can only mean one thing – Hamburg is celebrating its port. The 829th HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY will be held from Thursday 10 May to Sunday 13 May, in the unique setting of the Port of Hamburg, with a varied maritime programme for young and old. This year the world’s greatest port festival is extended to four days, taking advantage of the public holiday (Ascension Day). It will be held around Landungsbrücken, in the Speicherstadt warehouse district, in the HafenCity district with the heritage harbours and Grasbrookhafen, at the Fish Market, and at the Oevelgönne Museum Harbour.

Visitors can look forward to a superlative maritime experience with more than 200 attractive programme items, starting with the Grand Arrival Parade on the Thursday, and ending with the Grand Departure Parade on the Sunday. Before the start of the spectacle on the Elbe and its
banks, the International ecumenical opening service will be held at St. Michael’s Church at 14:30 on the Thursday. After that, the world’s greatest port festival will be opened by Olaf Scholz, Mayor of Hamburg, by ringing the ship’s bell on the museum ship Rickmer Rickmers. A salute will be fired at 16:30 to welcome the ships and boats from all parts of the world in the Grand Arrival Parade.
The close of festivities will be marked by the Grand Departure Parade at 18:00 on the Sunday.

Elbphilharmonie concerts on screen
The HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY is expanding its music programme in cooperation with the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and the Elbphilharmonie Orchestra to include an open-air classic highlight. A concert by the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra will be transmitted live from 20:00 onwards on 10 May 2018 from the Grand Hall of Elbphilharmonie, and projected live onto a screen at Platz der Deutschen Einheit (German Unity Square) at the base of the Elbphilharmonie concert hall. The Hamburg International Music Festival brings together the “Planets” suite by Gustav Holst and the “Star Wars” film music by John Williams, performed by Krzysztof Urbański and the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra. Classical music enthusiasts will also be well served on the other days of the HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY, with screening of selected concerts from the first year of the Elbphilharmonie.

See fascinating vessels of all kind, up close
More than 300 ships from all areas of maritime activity will be there for the 829th HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY. They include majestic tall ships such as the Kruzenshtern, Mir, Sedov and Alexander von Humboldt II, lovingly restored museum vessels such as the seagoing tugboats Elbe and Holland and the lightship Borkumriff, and modern cruise ships. Other vessels participating include the frigate Augsburg, service vessels of the waterways police and firefighters, customs and other authorities and institutions. Most of the vessels invite visitors on board for an Open Ship visit – a must for maritime enthusiasts of all ages.

Dancing tugs, thrilling competitions, and sail taster trips
The programme highlights include the unique Tugboat Ballet at 18:00 on the Saturday, with a big tugboat this year alongside the usual four tugs; sea rescue exercises with a helicopter on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons; and the 3rd HafenCity Championships at Grasbrookhafen. The patron of the sporting event is Senator Frank Horch, Hamburg’s Minister of Economics, Transport and Innovation. Sailing regattas and dragon boat races will be held, and the sailing clubs Hamburger Segler-Verband e.V. and Mühlenberger Segel-Club e.V. invite children and adults to get a taste of sailing.

There will be more spectacular views at the Parades of Heritage and Museum Ships, and the show trips by motor yachts. For the first time, a choreography with musical accompaniment will be presented by about 20 Hamburg sailing yachts at Landungsbrücken. Other programme items include waterski presentations, the steamship parades, and the ship’s boat presentation by the Federal Police, the Life Saving Service DGzRS, Fisheries Protection Authority, Waterways Police and Customs.

Dream ships on show
A touch of the exotic and holiday flair is generated by the biggest guests at the HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY – the cruise ships. A total of eleven cruise ships will be mooring in Hamburg on the four days of the festival. AIDA Cruises, which has extended its commitment as principal
sponsor of the world’s greatest port festival up to and including 2020, is represented by three vessels at the HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY – they are the AIDAvita, AIDAperla and AIDAsol, instantly recognisable as AIDA from their kissing lips logo. When the AIDAperla sets sail at 21:45 on the Saturday evening, she will be lit up by the big AIDA Fireworks display in front of Landungsbrücken – a sparkling highlight of the world’s biggest port festival. Visitors can already enjoy the light show of the AIDAvita on the Friday evening. AIDA Cruises will also present itself at the Beachclub Hamburg del Mar and on the Marco-Polo Terraces.

South Africa Festival at Kehrwiederspitze
Everything will be colourful and cheerful at Kehrwiederspitze – at the big South Africa Festival, hosted by this year’s country partner at the HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY. The country at the Cape of Good Hope presents a colourful programme and serves visitors typical national dishes such as ostrich burgers and biltong (dried, cured meat), and local wines and beers. And, of course, people can also get information on attractive South African travel destinations and dream of their next holiday there.

On shore with free concerts, arts & crafts, and culinary specialities
There will be a real party mood on the Festival Promenade along the Elbe embankment. Artists from Germany and abroad will be performing on more than ten stages, giving free-of-charge concerts for every taste, including shanties, pop and rock, and heavy metal. The NDR (North
German Broadcasting), for example, will present a varied programme with well-known bands and stars on its stage at the Old Elbe Tunnel.
Some 350 showmen and stand operators on the Festival Promenade will offer culinary specialities from all parts of the world. The fairground rides will thrill the children, and special event spaces guarantee fun for the whole family. New features include the Port Pirates on St. Michael’s Meadow, a bungee trampoline, and a climbing wall. Pirate Captain Markus invites all children aged 4 to 14 to join him in an exciting adventure. The museums in the Speicherstadt warehouse district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and in the HafenCity will put on exhibitions and special activities for the world’s greatest port festival.

Come and join the parades
Many of the vessels in the parades offer visitors a chance to join them for the trip. An overview of events and other useful tips for the world’s greatest port festival are given at http://www.hamburg.com/port-anniversary/ and from 8:00 to 20:00 every day on the Hamburg
Tourism hotline: +49 40 30051300.

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.

Parade at the Port Anniversary

Press contact

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