Highlight of the 2017 cruise season: The Hamburg Cruise Days
• Record number of ships visiting and the biggest parade ever
• AIDA Cruises extend premium partnership until 2019
• Greater international focus
• The world’s only Cruise Week
The countdown has begun on the Hamburg Cruise Days website, and all over the world cruise enthusiasts are eagerly anticipating the start of another inspiring event: from 8 - 10 September 2017 the popular maritime event will be taking place for the sixth time, again attracting hundreds of thousands of spectators to the quaysides in Hamburg. This year, the Hamburg Cruise Days will again take place in conjunction with Europe’s leading congress and trade show for the cruise industry, Seatrade Europe (6 - 8 September 2017), and a wide range of other trade events, as the globally unique Cruise Week. As in previous years, the illuminated artwork Blue Port Hamburg by lighting artist Michael Batz will provide the artistic anchor for the event.
The significance of the Hamburg Cruise Days for the cruise industry has grown continually over the past years – and it is equalled by the commitment of shipping lines and cruise operators to the event: ten cruise liners have announced their intention to attend the sixth Hamburg Cruise Days in September, setting a new record. These ocean-going giants will include the AIDAprima (AIDA Cruises), the MSC Preziosa (MSC Cruises), EUROPA and EUROPA 2 (Hapag-Lloyd Cruises), Mein Schiff 3 (TUI Cruises), Albatros and Amadea (Phoenix Reisen), the Norwegian Jade (Norwegian Cruise Line) and Silver Wind (Silversea Cruises), which will be berthed in Hamburg for the entire weekend, and the river cruise ship Sans Souci (Plantours). “We are particularly pleased that NCL and Silversea Cruises are making their debut at the event”, says Katja Derow of redroses communications GmbH, one of the event’s organisers. “It shows us that the event is rapidly gaining in attractiveness and significance, not only in Germany but also internationally – and that it appeals to visitors and cruise lines in equal measure.”
A cruise extravaganza that raises the bar
Organiser Uwe Bergmann, uba gmbh, is looking forward to “a superlative parade”. The record number of ships attending will ensure that this is the biggest parade to date. On the evening of the 9th of September, six cruise ships – escorted by 24 smaller boats and accompanied by a grand firework display – will leave the port and sail downriver. “The total length of all the cruise ships on the water will be 1,575 metres, with 502,946 gross registered tons and 17,140 people looking out at the city from on board a ship. Combined, this makes the parade an unforgettable catwalk”, says Bergmann.
The participating ships are the AIDAprima, the Norwegian Jade, EUROPA and EUROPA 2, Mein Schiff 3 and MSC Preziosa. As the representative of the event’s premium partner, the AIDAprima will lead the parade along with the HADAG ferries. The subsequent order has not yet been determined; it will be set by the Hamburg Port Authority according to berth and nautical factors.
The programme on land: an exciting choice of attractions
The excitement isn’t limited to the ships: on land, visitors in 2017 can look forward to exclusive and highly varied Themed Islands. Between the cruise terminals at HafenCity and Altona, the port of Hamburg is being transformed into a vibrant promenade packed with attractions including culinary treats, wellness and entertainment. The highlights this year will include a maritime market in the historic ambiance of the Traditionsschiffhafen, open-air sports, wellness and beauty treatments in the HafenCity, infotainment, facts about careers in the cruise industry, fine wines and culinary highlights, cabaret shows and acrobatics, music and competitions. Additionally, the cruise operators will be presenting their fleets and portfolios on special Themed Islands and will be offering a wealth of exciting promotions and other activities.
A large number of international sponsors – AIDA Cruises extend premium partnership until 2019
For those who won’t be able to attend the event in person, the local TV channel NDR will again be covering it in a live broadcast. As well as media partners, many other partners and sponsors have signed up: in 2017, AIDA Cruises will be the premium partner of the event for the third time and have recently extended their commitment until 2019. “We have been the premium partner of the Hamburg Cruise Days since 2014 and we are delighted to be continuing this cooperation until 2019”, says Felix Eichhorn, President AIDA Cruises. “Hamburg and AIDA belong together! We have worked jointly to make this city one of the most important cruise locations in northern Europe. Year in and year out, we provide crucial stimulus for tourism and the maritime sector.”
MSC Cruises, TUI Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line have also signed agreements for the Hamburg Cruise Days. Silversea Cruises will be making the event even more international: in 2017, thanks to its sponsorship, the signage for visitors at the event will be in two languages for the first time, and additionally the Facebook page, the app, the hamburg cruise mag, and the programme flyers will all be in two languages. As well as the cruise lines, the event has numerous partners from other sectors, including the Holsten brewery, HafenCity Hamburg GmbH, Costa Cruises and Blohm+Voss; talks are on-going with other potential sponsors.
Magical mood: Blue Port Hamburg
Blue Port Hamburg is an unrivalled lighting installation. In 2017, the illuminated work of art will again light up the port and the city and will create an unforgettable mood at the Hamburg Cruise Days weekend. Artist Michael Batz will be illuminating over one hundred objects in the port between Elbbrücken and Övelgönne, including buildings, terminals, operating vehicles, quays, cranes, docks, pontoons and ships in a dynamic, breathtaking work of art, a sensual experience which can only be seen in Hamburg.
“Cruises are a topic that inspire people and they are a part of the identity and history of our city. At the Hamburg Cruise Days 2017, we bring ships and people together in an emotionally engaging way. Together with the Elbphilharmonie as the city’s new landmark, pictures of the harbour illuminated in deep blue will be shared internationally, and will show the world the exciting and inspiring contrasts our city has to offer”, says Michael Otremba, Managing Director of Hamburg Convention Bureau GmbH, the event’s licensor.
The Hamburg Cruise Days – rich potential for the city of Hamburg
It isn’t just the sight of gigantic cruise liners in front of an impressive port backdrop at the heart of the city that offers great potential to boost Hamburg’s global image, the combination of public event and trade events also has a substantial impact, explains Otremba: “The strategic decision to unite the Hamburg Cruise Days, as a public event with international industry events, such as Europe’s leading congress trade show for the cruise industry, Seatrade Europe, strengthens Hamburg’s position as a centre of excellence for the international cruise industry.”
In 2015, the Hamburg Cruise Days reported 570,000 visitors from Hamburg and around the world (including 60% guests from outside the city, of whom around 68% spent the night in the city), seven cruise ships and a global media reach of roughly 3 billion contacts. As well as creating a significant financial value for the city, in 2015 the event also helped to boost the city’s brand: the visitor survey conducted in 2015 revealed that 75 per cent of the visitors who attended the Hamburg Cruise Days in 2015 want to return in 2017. The event organisers are confident that the 2017 Hamburg Cruise Days will exceed their expectations.