30.11.2016

Cruise season 2017 – a year of great highlights

Hamburg’s popularity as a cruise location continues to rise – Further increase in passenger figures and the number of ships calling in on the port – Record-setting attendance at the Hamburg Cruise Days

The figures presented by the terminal operator Cruise Gate Hamburg (CGH) say it all: with 171 ships calling in on the port and more than 710,000 passengers in 2016, Hamburg has broken all its previous cruise records. In the 2017 season, Cruise Gate Hamburg is expecting around 200 ships with approximately 800,000 passengers to call in on the city. “We are simply delighted at this success in our first full year of operations”, says Sacha Rougier, Managing Director of Cruise Gate Hamburg GmbH. “We have put in a lot of work in the background and maintained a close dialogue with shipping companies, and this has paid off in the form of an overwhelming passenger record in 2016. In 2017 and the following years, our strategy will continue to deliver results. The recipe for success lies in the close collaboration between the people involved in the cruise industry in the city and the private sector.” “What would Hamburg be without cruise ships? They are a constant in Hamburg’s heritage and are equally a part of the exciting experience the city offers. The more passengers and cruise-loving ship spotters that come to our city, the more Hamburg’s maritime identity shines!”, adds Michael Otremba, Managing Director of Hamburg Marketing GmbH.

Debuts and event highlights in 2017

Next year, Hamburg will again be providing plenty of highlights for cruise enthusiasts: for example, the ocean-going giants Norwegian Jade, Norwegian Joy, Mein Schiff 6, Independence OTS, MSC Preziosa and Silver Wind will be calling in on Hamburg for the very first time. The cruise lines with the most passengers will be AIDA Cruises, MSC Cruises, TUI Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Costa Crociere.
 
Great events that attract large numbers of spectators, like the Hamburg Cruise Days, play a major role in boosting the increasing popularity of cruises. This superlative maritime event will take place in Hamburg from 8 - 10 September 2017, again attracting hundreds of thousands of cruise fans to the waterfront in Hamburg. Alongside the Harbour Birthday (5 - 7 May 2017), the Hamburg Cruise Days are one of the key events in the city’s calendar.
The experience of seeing ships sail majestically past the backdrop of the port at the heart of the city is an incredible boost for the city’s image, and the organisers are fully committed to making the most of it. “With the Hamburg Cruise Days, we bring ships and people together in an emotionally deeply engaging event. Add the Elbphilharmonie, the new cultural centre in the port, to the equation, and pictures of the blue illuminated port will go around the world, highlighting the city’s inspiring contrasts”, says Michael Otremba.
He emphasises the importance of the connection between public events and business events for the cruise sector: “The strategic decision to link the Hamburg Cruise Days, a unique public event, with international trade events, such as the top European trade fair Seatrade Europe, strengthens Hamburg’s position as a cruise centre and firmly establishes our city as a centre of competence for the entire cruise industry.”  

Hamburg Cruise Days 2017 with record-breaking attendance

The significance of the Hamburg Cruise Days for the industry is reflected in the steadily growing commitment / involvement of cruise lines at the event. The sixth Hamburg Cruise Days next year are expected to set new attendance records: ten cruise ships will be calling in on the port for the Hamburg Cruise Days’ weekend, including the AIDAprima (AIDA Cruises), MSC Preziosa (MSC Cruises), Europa and Europa 2 (both Hapag-Lloyd Cruises), Mein Schiff 3 (TUI Cruises), Albatros and Amadea (both Phoenix Reisen), Silver Wind (Silversea Cruises), Norwegian Jade (Norwegian Cruise Line) and the river cruise ship Sans Souci (Plantours).

The record-breaking number of ships will also give the event the biggest Grand Parade since it first started; on Saturday evening on the Hamburg Cruise Days weekend, six cruise ships – accompanied by 24 escort ships and a magnificent firework display – will all sail down the Elbe together. The Grand Hamburg Cruise Days Parade will be led by AIDAprima and the HADAG ferries. “It will be a parade that redefines the word superlative”, says organiser Uwe Bergmann, uba gmbh. “The total length of the ships on the Elbe will be 1,575 metres, with 502,946 gross registered tons and 17,140 people, all of whom will be admiring the city from the water. This makes the parade an unforgettable catwalk.”

Other highlights on the water will include a firework display on Friday, and the Hamburg Cruise Night, where numerous passenger ships will be offering themed cruises along the river at different times. On land, visitors can again look forward to a wide choice of hugely entertaining and enjoyable themed islands in 2017. Those who are unable to attend the event in person can experience the spectacle live on television in a special NDR broadcast.

As well as the media partners, a host of other partners have already signed up for the event a year before it takes place: AIDA Cruises has extended its Premium Partner sponsorship agreement until 2019, and MSC Cruises, Silversea Cruises, TUI Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line have signed agreements. As well as the cruise liners, many other partners, including the Holsten Brewery and Holzhafen Hamburg, will also be sponsoring the event. Talks are currently being held with a number of other sponsors.

Blue Port Hamburg

Since 2008, the lighting art project BLUE PORT HAMBURG by artist Michael Batz has been an international sensation. In 2017, the artwork returns, lighting up the port and Hamburg’s most beautiful attractions at night with a magical blue light. On the weekend of the Hamburg Cruise Days, the Blue Port will be creating a unique and unforgettable atmosphere and backdrop. Next year, Michael Batz will be illuminating more than 100 objects in and around the port, between the Elbbrücken bridges and Övelgönne, including buildings, towers, terminals, commercial vehicles, quays, cranes, jetties, pontoons and ships.

“With the highlights on the water, BLUE PORT HAMBURG and the great choice of activities along the waterfront, the 2017 Hamburg Cruise Days are going to be an unforgettable event for the people of Hamburg and visitors to the city, with an appeal that will reach far beyond Hamburg and Germany”, says event organiser Katja Derow, redroses communications GmbH.