Hamburg Cruise Days 2012: Three days of ship watching and the enjoyment of cruise ship elegance

  • Seven cruise ships in the Port of Hamburg
  • Hamburg illuminated by the Blue Port
  • Highlights: the Hamburg Cruise Days Parade, the Hamburg Cruise Night, fireworks
  • Three-day shore programme from the HafenCity to Altona

Hamburg is hoisting the flag for a superlative event: between 17 and 19 August 2012 the Hamburg Cruise Days take place for the third time in the city. Over the weekend, seven cruise ships will be anchoring in Hamburg. Featuring a new “Shore Leave” theme, this year’s event will for the first time be bringing the thrill and excitement of maritime life to dry land. For three days the waterfront will be transformed into an inspiring cruise world with shopping and culture, music and entertainment, sports and relaxation, children’s activities, culinary highlights and lots of maritime charm. The organisers are expecting more than 500,000 visitors over the three days. Running concurrently, and starting on 13 August, lighting artist Michael Batz will be unveiling his internationally acclaimed Blue Port art project and lighting up the Port of Hamburg with magical blue lights.

Hamburg has emerged as one of the cruise hotspots in Europe: well over 100 cruise ships call in on the port every year, and the enthusiasm and passion of the people of Hamburg for these lofty ocean-going liners remains unabated. All excellent reasons to celebrate the world of cruises here from 17 to 19 August 2012 with an elegant festival dedicated to cruises.

The ships – The stars and main focus of this magnificent event are the ships. The following seven cruise liners will be anchoring in Hamburg: AIDAluna and AIDAmar (both AIDA Cruises), the DEUTSCHLAND (Peter Deilmann GmbH Cruises), MS/ASTOR (TransOcean), MS COLUMBUS 2 (Hapag-Lloyd Cruises), MSC Lirica (MSC Cruises) and the Queen Mary 2 (Cunard Line).

Highlights on the water – The highlights on the water are the Hamburg Cruise Night on Friday evening, which will feature a fleet of party boats on the River Elbe, and the grand Hamburg Cruise Days Parade on Saturday evening: starting at 21:15, five cruise liners and numerous escort boats – accompanied by a firework display – will sail downriver in a magnificent parade. NDR will be broadcasting the Hamburg Cruise Days

Parade live in a two-hour special programme. On Friday evening the MSC firework display will be lighting up the sky over the port in sparkling blue.

Blue Port – The Blue Port by artist Michael Batz starts in advance of the Hamburg Cruise Days, on Monday, 13 August. Every day from dusk for a whole week, the harbour will be illuminated with blue lights. The art project by artist Michael Batz will light up the night-time harbour and Hamburg’s most attractive landmarks, including St. Michaelis Church, the Köhlbrand Bridge, the Hanseatic Trade Center and the Elbphilharmonie concert hall. The Blue Port will stretch from the Elbe Bridge and the free port along the river to the Augustinum. The Light-Up event takes place on 13 August at the Cap San Diego in a ceremony attended by Hamburg’s Senator for Culture, Barbara Kisseler. The Blue Port attracted broad international acclaim in 2008 and 2010.

Programme on land – In addition to the popular attractions of previous years, this year’s Hamburg Cruise Days offers something completely new: visitors are invited to experience the wonderful world of cruises at first hand and with all their senses in a total of 11 Theme Islands.

  • Theme Islands in the HafenCity: the “Cruise Village”, the heart of the event, is located next to the Cruise Center in the HafenCity. At “Spa & Sports” on the Marco-Polo-Terrassen, the east Sporting Club will be offering visitors the opportunity to try out a wide choice of sports and relaxing massages. In the “Wine Lounge” on the Magellan-Terrassen vintners and wine sellers will be presenting their wines accompanied by culinary specialities prepared and served by the neighbouring restaurants and cafes from the Überseequartier. The nostalgic maritime market “Tüdel un Tampen” in the Traditionsschiffhafen will be showcasing the historic world of work in the port.
  • At the Kehrwiederspitze the “Käpt'n Knopf Kids’ Club” organised by Hapag-Lloyd Cruises offers fun and games for young mermaids and junior seadogs: the numerous events and activities for children include maritime crafts where young visitors can make rafts or launch messages in a bottle, a wheel of fortune, water walking balls and concerts where children are invited to join in.
  • Hamburg Cruise Days fans will be able to purchase official event merchandise and clothing at the “Shopping” Theme Island between Hafentor and Baumwall. MARINEPOOL, the official clothing partner of the Hamburg Cruise Days, will be selling maritime lifestyle accessories and high quality sailing gear.
  • The NDR Show Stage at the Hafentor will be providing live shows and entertainment on all three days. The highlight will be the two-hour live coverage of the Hamburg Cruise Days Parade on Saturday evening.
  • Mouth-watering culinary specialities await visitors at the “Captain’s Dinner”. On the forecourt of the Landungsbrücken pier some of Hamburg’s top gastronomes and hoteliers will be showcasing their culinary skills and creations, including Courtyard by Marriott Hamburg Airport, Seepferdchen am Hafen, Landhaus Scherrer, Wehmanns Bistro, Bistro Ö1, MARITIM Hotel Reichshof, VLET restaurant, Hotel Böttcherhof and Marriott Hotel Hamburg.
  • At the “Distant Places” Theme Island between Strandpauli and the Fischauktionshalle a number of countries will be presenting their traditional music, dances and cuisine.
  • On Saturday, the “Globetrotter Cruises Show” in the Fischauktionshalle is the place to go for anyone wanting to make a cruise dream come true. At the show around 20 cruise companies and the cruise organisers Globetrotter Travel Agency and Globetrotter Cruises will be presenting their services and portfolios at individual stands. Other attractions include the Cruise Talk, where presenter Marek Erhardt will be inviting staff, customers and representatives of the cruise companies to share interesting details, anecdotes and insider tips on stage. A further highlight is a cruise auction.
  • Finally, the focus of the Theme Island “Art and Culture” in the Holzhafen between the ferry terminal and the Fischmarkt is on wood and dance. On all three days visitors will be able to marvel at exhibitions of wooden works of art, experience an installation by Hamburg’s College of Fine Arts, browse the magnificent crafts and design stands or shake a leg in classes held by several dance schools and clubs. The host at the Holzhafen is the B&L Group, one of Germany’s most renowned project developers of office and shopping property.

The event site extends for four kilometres along the River Elbe.

Emphasizing the event’s significance for the city, the First Mayor of Hamburg, Olaf Scholz, said: “The third Hamburg Cruise Days and the Blue Port will be even bigger and better than in previous years. The event underscores the outstanding position that Hamburg occupies as a key destination for the cruise industry. As a cosmopolitan city, we greatly look forward to hosting an event with such an international cachet as the Hamburg Cruise Days.”

The organisers of the Hamburg Cruise Days are eagerly looking forward to seeing how their vision of Shore Leave will be received by visitors. “Our aim was to allow all visitors to experience and immerse themselves in the world of cruises”, explains Uwe Bergmann, managing director of the event agency uba. “With our 11 Theme Islands we are bringing the thrill of the cruise world onto dry land and – alongside the Blue Port and the highlights on the water – are providing another great attraction that truly has something for everyone.”

Katja Derow, managing director of the communications agency red roses, adds: “We want to anchor the Hamburg Cruise Days emotionally in people’s hearts. The people of Hamburg, tourists from across Germany and our international visitors: they are all going to experience the City of Hamburg at its very best and most vibrant!”