“Cast off!” – Hamburg celebrates the world’s greatest port festival from 5 to 7 May 2017. Find information and pictures and stay up to date.

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Harbour Birthday Hamburg

Celebrations 2017

More  than  300  ships  from  all  parts  of  the  world,  spectacular  displays, lots   of   stages   with   live   music   and   French   savoir-vivre  –  the   828th  HAMBURG   PORT ANNIVERSARY, from Friday 5 May to Sunday 7 May will present a varied maritime programme for the whole family, in the  unique setting of the Port of Hamburg. The world’s greatest port festival will be celebrated around Landungsbrücken, in the Speicherstadt warehouse district, the new HafenCity district, at the Fish Market and Oevelgönne Museum Harbour.

Attractions from HafenCity to Fish Auction Hall

The HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY traditionally starts with an ecumenical service at St. Michalis church. The music for the service will be provided by “Stradivaria”, a baroque ensemble from this year’s country partner NANTES, France. After that the ship’s bell on the museum ship Rickmer Rickmers will be rung by Hamburg’s Mayor Olaf Scholz to open the world’s biggest port festival. At 17:00, the ships and boats in the Grand Arrival Parade will be welcomed by a traditional gun salute.

Dancing tugboats and a princely yacht

Dancing tugboats and a princely yacht Visitors to the HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY can look forward to some 200 programme items on land and water throughout the three days of the festival up to the Grand Departure Parade at 17:30 on the Sunday. They range from the world famous Tugboat Ballet, to search and rescue exercises with helicopters, and show cruises by historic steam vessels and sailing ships. There will be plenty of thrills at the HafenCity Championships, with dragon boat races and sailing regattas in Grasbrookhafen, and taster sail cruises for kids. The patron of the event is Frank Horch, Hamburg’s Senator for Economics, Transport and Innovation.


Anniversary celebrations

The cruise line AIDA will join in the HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY with four luxury cruise ships. It starts with the AIDAvita, which arrives in port on the Friday morning. Then the AIDAprima, where the big AIDA Firework Display starts on the Saturday evening, next to Landungsbrücken. One day later, the AIDAprima celebrates her first anniversary, and has announced a little surprise for visitors at the world’s biggest port festival. On the Sunday, the AIDAsol and AIDAluna will call on the Port of Hamburg. And the cruise ships Amadea, Astor and MSC Preziosa will also visit Hamburg during the three days of the festival.

Ships of all kinds close up

As many as four imposing tall ships will call on Hamburg, that is the Kruzenshtern, Royal Helena, Mir and Sedov. They invite visitors to come on board in the Open Ship Programme, as do many museum vessels, navy ships and working vessels of the waterways police, firefighters, customs and other authorities and institutions.

Berthing map 

Vive la France!

A special presentation will be held at Kehrwiederspitze by NANTES, the French region located between the Loire Valley and the Bretagne, with a colourful mix of culture, information and typical culinary specialities. Foodies will love the “Producers’ Market” with its culinary highlights, and culture fans will enjoy the exhibits from French artists and designers. The maritime guest of honour from France will be the Saint-Michel II, a rebuild of the sailing ship owned by famous writer Jules Verne, who was from NANTES.

Festival flair on the banks of the Elbe

The Festival Promenade features some 350 stands with culinary specialities from all parts of the world, maritime markets, amusement rides and big event spaces for playing and fun activities. The museums in the Speicherstadt Warehouse District and HafenCity invite visitors to exhibitions and special events. There will be lots of stages with live music for every taste, making the Elbe waterfront into a real festival area. Music ranges from the charts to rock and pop, punk and heavy metal, shanties and world music. The NDR (North German Broadcasting) will present national and international stars on its covered stage next to the Old Elbe Tunnel for an amazing party atmosphere. All the concerts are free of charge to visitors.

Welcome on board!

Many of the ships and boats welcome visitors on board, and also give them opportunities to ride with them for the parades. An overview of events and lots of useful tips are given at or daily from 08:00 to 20:00 on the hotline of Hamburg Tourismus GmbH: +49 40/30051300.

The Port of Hamburg

There are plenty of good reasons to celebrate the Port of Hamburg – it is by far Germany’s most important port, and one of the leading cargo handling centres anywhere in the world. It is the gateway to the markets in North, Central and Eastern Europe, a bridge between the continent of Europe and overseas markets, and one of the world’s major container ports. The Elbe waterfront is where the pulse of the city is at its most vibrant, with the new HafenCity district, the old Speicherstadt warehouse district, the new Elbphilharmonie concert hall, the Fish Market, and major musical theatres.

History back to 1189

The HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY dates back in legend to Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, who issued a charter to Hamburg merchants on 7 May 1189, granting freedom from customs duties for ships sailing the Elbe from Hamburg to the North Sea. This date has since then been considered the founding date of the Port of Hamburg, which is why the HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY is celebrated at the weekend on or after 7 May each year. 

Highlights 2017

Festival Promenade (in german)
Friday 6 May 10:00 to 24:00
Saturday 7 May 10:00 to 24:00
Sunday 8 May 10:00 to 21:00

International ecumenical service (in german)
At the principal church St. Michaelis, Friday 6 May 15:00

Grand Arrival Parade (in german)
Friday 5 May 17:00

Big AIDA Fireworks (in german)
Saturday 6 May 22:30

Grand Departure Parade (in german)
Sunday 7 May 17:30

Official Video




By S-Bahn: (S1 and S3) Station Landungsbrücken
By U-Bahn: (U3) Station Baumwall or Landungsbrücken. Once you arrive at the Landungsbrücken, you will be directly by the Harbour.