The highlight of Hamburg Cruise Days 2017, held last weekend, was the Grand Hamburg Cruise Days Parade – the biggest in the history of the event.
On Saturday, around 250,000 visitors watched AIDAprima, Norwegian Jade, Europa 2, Europa and MSC Preziosa sail down the Elbe against the backdrop of the illuminated Blue Port Hamburg. Each ship was waved off on its journey with its own firework display and rousing music.
Due to a technical problem, Mein Schiff 3 was unable to sail in the parade, as a rope had become entangled in her propeller as she was departing.
Taking place for the sixth time, the event is designed to highlight Hamburg’s reputation as a world leader in maritime entertainment and cruise events. Cruise terminals have become a feature of Hamburg, with almost 180 ships with more than 600,000 visitors visiting each year. The Hamburg Cruise Centres at HafenCity, Altona and Steinwerder serve as cruise terminals in the Port of Hamburg.
Hamburg lies in the North German plain on the lower reaches of the Elbe, around 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the river’s estuary on the North Sea. With 1.8 million inhabitants, it is Germany’s second-largest city after Berlin.
For centuries, trade and shipping have added a cosmopolitan flavor to the city. More than 35,000 trading companies with over 125,000 employees make Hamburg the leading foreign trade center in Germany. More than 500 Chinese companies are located in Hamburg, making it China’s leading European base.
The port is the driving force behind the development of Hamburg and is also Germany’s largest universal port. With an annual throughput of 8.8 million TEUs in 2015, Hamburg is Europe’s third largest container port. According to a survey by the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL), the port of Hamburg has the potential to handle up to 18.1 million TEU by the year 2030.