HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY 829th HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY - Welcome aboard!
“Cast off!” – Hamburg celebrates the world’s greatest port festival every May. The next festival will take place from 10 to 13 May 2018. Find information and pictures and stay up to date.
Harbour Birthday Hamburg
The HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY will take place from 10 to 13 May 2018. The HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY is celebrated over four days in 2018, taking advantage of the additional public holiday. Each year more than one million visitors from Germany and abroad come to this maritime event of superlatives, to join in the excitement and atmosphere generated by ships from all parts of the world and thrilling displays in the port setting at the heart of Hamburg.
Attractions from Kehrwiederspitze to Fish Auction Hall
The attractions of the HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY extend from Kehrwiederspitze to the Fish Auction Hall in Altona, and include displays on land and in the water in HafenCity, that is right next to the spectacular new Elbphilharmonie concert hall. A maritime programme designed to appeal to the whole family will also be held at the Heritage Harbour, Grasbrookhafen, in the traditional warehouse district Speicherstadt (a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2015), and at the Oevelgönne Museum Harbour. That makes a total of some six kilometres along the waterfront, where the HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY invites visitors to celebrate and enjoy the events.
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. The 829th HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY will be held from 10 to 13 May 2018.
The HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY is centred on the “water programme” on the Elbe, to be seen from the Landing Stage (Landungsbrücken), the Oevelgönne Heritage Harbour and HafenCity. Every year more 300 vessels call in for the occasion, from all areas of maritime activity – including tall ships, traditional sailing boats and museum ships, naval vessels, cruise ships, powerboats and sailing yachts, and working boats of the fire services, fisheries protection, waterways police, Federal police, THW emergency services and customs. Traditional highlights are held before the atmospheric backdrop of ongoing port operations – they include the Grand Arrival and Departure Parades, the unique Tugboat Ballet on the Saturday, and the dozens of Open Ship opportunities for the public.
On shore programme and partner country
On shore there are more than 200 programme items, with maritime, cultural and culinary highlights, giving a wide range of attractions and fun activities for adults and children. The Festival Promenade has plenty of variety, with culinary delights and entertainment from Baumwall to Landungsbrücken. The programme includes free concerts and live acts with national and international stars, transforming the world’s greatest port festival into a huge party scene. The cultural programme features exhibitions, guided tours and special events run by the museums in the Speicherstadt and the Hansahafen/Veddel, and presentation of the country partner South Africa 2018 at Kehrwiederspitze.
The traditional start to the HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY is the international ecumenical opening service at St. Michael’s Church (affectionately known as “the Michel”). The big AIDA fireworks late on the Saturday evening is a spectacular highlight, transforming the night sky over the Elbe into a dazzling sea of colour. Every year, a different country gets the opportunity to present itself as the partner country of the HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY. In 2018 the South Africa Festival at Kehrwiederspitze gives visitors an impression of culture, cuisine and lifestyle.
HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY Program (The program for 2018 will be available in April 2018)
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.
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 a weekend around 7 May each year.
Festival Promenade (in german)
Thursday 10 May: 10:00 to 22:00
Friday 11 May 10:00 to 24:00
Saturday 12 May 10:00 to 24:00
Sunday 13 May 10:00 to 21:00
International ecumenical service (in german)
At the principal church St. Michaelis, Thursday 10 May 14:30
Grand Arrival Parade (in german)
Thursday 10 May 16:30
Tugboad Ballet (in german)
Saturday 12 May 18 to 18:45
Big AIDA Fireworks (in german)
Saturday 12 May 21:45
Grand Departure Parade (in german)
Sunday 13 May 18:00
Getting to the HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY
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.