Three days, twelve ships and a great programme on water and on land: The Hamburg Cruise Days 2019

Hamburg, 3 September 2019 – The Hamburg Cruise Days are the biggest cruise festival in the world. Between 13 and 15 September 2019 this internationally popular maritime event will be taking place for the seventh time – and promises again to be a spectacular crowd-puller.
Since it was held for the first time in 2008, the Hamburg Cruise Days have grown to become one the most important and popular events in Hamburg. Like no other event, it transforms the port of Hamburg into a spectacular stage for the world of cruises. Countless highlights on the water and an exciting programme of events on land will this year again be drawing hundreds of thousands of cruise enthusiasts from all around the world to Hamburg’s harbour.

The Hamburg Cruise Days differ significantly from other major events: the popular concept of the “Theme Islands” extends the event area for several kilometres along the waterfront, making it perfect for strolling, exploring and enjoying. “In the port you can feel the spirit of Hamburg: Hamburg is a city of arrivals, of homecoming – even for visitors”, says Michael Otremba, Managing Director of Hamburg Tourismus GmbH, the licensor of the event. “With the Hamburg Cruise Days, we are communicating this message all around the world in enthralling images. Together with the art project Blue Port Hamburg, locals and guests alike are invited to experience the city’s identity in a unique way.”


More cruise ships than ever before
A record-breaking number of cruise ships will be coming to the Hamburg Cruise Days 2019: a total of 12 cruise liners will be calling in on the port of Hamburg between 13 and 15 September, including AIDAperla, AIDAsol, AIDAvita (all AIDA Cruises), Amadea (Phoenix Reisen), Costa Mediterranea (Costa Cruises), Mein Schiff 4 (TUI Cruises), MS EUROPA and
MS EUROPA 2 (both Hapag-Lloyd Cruises), MSC Preziosa (MSC Cruises), WORLD EXPLORER (nicko cruises) and the two river cruises MS FREDERIC CHOPIN (nicko cruises) and
MS SANS SOUCI (Plantours Kreuzfahrten).


Maritime catwalk: the Grand Hamburg Cruise Days Parade

Every two years, this is the uncontested highlight of the event: the Grand Hamburg Cruise Days Parade. On Saturday evening on the event weekend, five cruise ships will leave the port of Hamburg, gliding down the Elbe River like a strong of luxurious pearls. As in previous years, HADAG river ferries will lead the parade, followed by five magnificent cruise liners in this order: the parade will be headed by AIDAperla, the flagship of the event’s Premium Partner AIDA Cruises, followed by MS EUROPA, Mein Schiff 4, WORLD EXPLORER and MSC Preziosa. The parade will be accompanied by a dazzling firework display, a live commentary by the Hamburg actor Marek Erhardt and 20 escort ships. Those who cannot be there in person can catch the parade live on television on the NDR channel.


Laser, Lights and Soundscapes: dazzling showcase on Friday evening
The event planners have got another highlight lined up for Friday evening at 9:45 pm: To mark the start of the Hamburg Cruise Days, Costa Mediterranea by Costa Cruises will appear in a magical and enchanting show with lasers, lights and ambient soundscapes. “This new show makes the evening of the first day of the event even more attractive”, says event organiser Uwe Bergmann. “In the past years, the firework display on Friday evening has captivated thousands of visitors – and this year we want to take that a step further and incorporate the spectators in this dazzling showcase. It’s also the perfect opportunity to take some memorable photos.”


The magic of colour, the thrill of the harbour: Blue Port Hamburg
Blue Port Hamburg by lighting artist Michael Batz has been an international sensation since it first took place in 2008. In 2019, the gigantic artwork will again be illuminating the harbour and Hamburg’s most beautiful sights in a magical blue light at night. At the light-up, which starts on 6 September at 9:00 pm and takes place for the first time on a HHLA floating crane, the maritime mile will be illuminated by the first blue lights; on the following days the spectacular installation will grow bigger by the day. Dozens of illuminated buildings, bridges, ships and port infrastructure along the riverside will be combined to create a gigantic blue artwork – which includes highlights like the Elbphilharmonie, the lighthouse in Neuwerk, the gantry cranes in the Baakenhafen dock, Chilehaus – and Hamburg’s television tower will also be making its debut. As in 2017, the art project will be illuminated in two phases: from 6-12 September as Blue Port Art, and at the Hamburg Cruise Days from 13-15 September as Blue Port Event.


The Business Deck – a new platform for an industry-wide dialogue

The Business Deck, a new, high-carat expert workshop format, sees the Hamburg Cruise Days setting its own focus and sparking new ideas for the future of the cruise industry. The Business Deck will take place for the first time on 13 September 2019. The event’s academic partners are the renowned ISM – International School of Management and EBC University Hamburg. The key topic, which will be explored in the next few years, is “The Future of Cruises”; in 2019, the Business Deck will focus on destination development and management. “The Business Deck is an inspirational international platform aimed at promoting dialogue within the industry”, says organiser Katja Derow. “We want to initiate productive discussions on the challenges the industry faces, develop solutions across borders and inspire change. The workshop is attracting participants from all over the world and all areas of the industry, giving the event authority and creating a ripple-out effect.”



The Theme Islands: the wonderful world of cruises – on dry land
As in previous years, the riverside is being transformed into a gigantic promenade, inviting visitors to experience a unique “shore leave”. Along the four-kilometre event site on the waterfront between the Cruise Terminals HafenCity and Altona there are twenty themed islands, offering the audience a hugely engaging, high-quality programme on land. The participating cruise lines AIDA Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, MSC Cruises, nicko cruises and TUI Cruises will be presenting their fleets and routes, and entertaining visitors with exciting activities and special offers. Attractions include great entertainment, stalls serving delicious food and drink, fascinating facts about cruises, destinations and holiday options, a kids’ adventure world, acrobatics and live music, a big wheel for a fabulous view of the event from up on high, insight into maritime life and an inspiring ambiance.

The Show Stage between StrandPauli and Fischauktionshalle, presented by ROCK ANTENNE Hamburg, will be putting on a brilliant entertainment programme. The highlight is set to be the legendary rock band Fury in the Slaughterhouse (whose hits include “Time to wonder”), who will be headlining the Hamburg Cruise Days and opening the event with a bang on 13 September at 8:30 pm. The gig is a preview of the band’s German tour next summer as well as a teaser for the “Fury & Friends” cruise 2020 on Mein Schiff 4.

Wide range of sponsors
Many different partners and sponsors are supporting the Hamburg Cruise Days. For the fourth time, AIDA Cruises is again the event’s premium partner in 2019.
MSC Cruises, TUI Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Costa Cruises and nicko cruises are also closely involved as partners of the event and will be providing exciting content. As well as cruise lines, the organisers are delighted to be supported by other sponsors and partners, including media partner ROCK ANTENNE Hamburg, Holsten Brewery, HafenCity Hamburg GmbH, Blohm+Voss, stilwerk, the ISM – International School of Management, Sani, Hamburg Cruise Net, Cruise Gate Hamburg and HPA. “The success of an event like the Hamburg Cruise Days depends on dedicated partners”, say the organisers Uwe Bergmann and Katja Derow. “The cruise lines in particular make an outstandingly important contribution to ensuring that we can offer our visitors a varied and first class programme on land and on water.”

The Hamburg cruise weekend in September 2019

From 6 to 15 September 2017, the city of Hamburg will be welcoming both the general public and industry experts. For the third time, Hamburg is bundling its cruise events and providing a stage for major cruise events. This globally unrivalled cruise week kicks off on 10 September with Ports and Destination Summit, a trade event organised by CLIA, the world’s largest cruise association; this is followed by Seatrade Europe – Europe’s leading congress and trade show for the cruise industry (11-13 Sept); the Marine Interiors expo for passenger ship interiors (11-13 Sept), and finally, the Hamburg Cruise Days (11-13 Sept). Throughout all the events, the port will be illuminated and transformed into Blue Port Hamburg by lighting artist Michael Batz (6-15 Sept).




Michael Otremba stresses 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 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”, says Hamburg’s top tourism manager.

In a survey conducted at the 2017 event, nearly 75 per cent of visitors said that they intended to attend the Hamburg Cruise Days again in 2019. The event organisers are confident: “With the fantastic shows on the water on Friday and Saturday evening, Blue Port Hamburg and the great choice of activities along the waterfront, the 2019 Hamburg Cruise Days are again going to be an unforgettable event for the people of Hamburg and tourists from all around the world.”