The world’s biggest maritime festival: Hamburg celebrates its 827th PORT ANNIVERSARY with a four-day party programme

Hamburg, May 4th, 2016 (HHT) – This coming weekend, the north German city of Hamburg is once again hosting the world’s biggest port festival. Taking place against the stunning backdrop of Hamburg’s port, the 827th PORT ANNIVERSARY will be held from 5 to 8 May – with a four-day programme, and 300 ships and sea-faring vessels that will set the perfect scene on the River Elbe and in the port and attract more than 1.5 million visitors. Various maritime, cultural and culinary highlights will transform the 6.5 kilometre party mile along the Elbe banks into an unparalleled maritime experience.


A party mile with musical and culinary highlights

Hamburg has been celebrating the world’s biggest port festival each year in May for more than 800 years. This year, around 1.5 million visitors from Germany and abroad are expected to arrive in Hamburg from May 2nd and join the festival along the 6-kilometre party mile to celebrate and enjoy this special port experience. In addition to the main programme on the water, the world’s biggest port festival’s musical, culinary and cultural highlights will be sure to be the perfect crowd puller.


Ships parades, “tugboat ballet” and fireworks on and above the Elbe

More than 300 vessels will be arriving in the port of Hamburg for the grand opening parade on Thursday. With the “HMC Duncan” and the “Eye of the Wind”, the parade will also include two ships from the UK. On May 5th between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m., visitors will have the opportunity to view first-hand the impressive two-master “Eye of the Wind” as part of an open ship day. The ship will be moored in the City Sporthafen and admission is free. On Saturday, tugboats will be at the centre of attention during the “tugboat ballet” – towing boats that are otherwise used for navigating gigantic container and cruise ships into the port. Festival visitors can look forward to an amazing choreography on the water that is simply unparalleled. Other highlights include the spectacular ship christening ceremony of cruise liner “AIDAprima” and the accompanying fireworks display by German shipping company AIDA Cruises on May 7th. During the festival weekend, as many as nine cruise ships will be using the port of Hamburg as a catwalk, making Hamburg Europe’s cruise hotspot.


The full programme of the HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY is available at


Not far from the port of Hamburg, there are several additional sightseeing spots to be discovered, among them the Reeperbahn entertainment district, where the Beatles started their international career. During numerous guided tours, fans can follow in the footsteps of the Fab Four. And after a great day at the port festival, followed by a discovery tour across the St Pauli district, the St Pauli Fischmarkt is another visitor magnet: this traditional Sunday market, which opens at 5 a.m., is not only a popular destination for an early breakfast after a long night out, but also a great place to purchase fish, fruit, flowers and various other goods on offer. Here, local vendors compete for attention and also slip in the odd bawdy joke. A refreshing spectacle in the morning hours!

Information on the world’s biggest port festival is also available in a handy pocket format on your smartphone: the Hamburg app offers a boat finder, audio guides, as well as information on approx. 1,500 attractions, restaurants, tours and services – plus countless insider tips from locals. The free Hamburg app is available for download in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. For more information, please visit

To learn more on Hamburg and to book your hotel in just a few clicks, please visit The latest Hamburg news via Twitter: @visitHamburg.


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Hamburg Tourist Board

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twitter: @hht_news, @visithamburg                                 




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