Hamburg to Host World’s Largest Cruise Festival

Credit: Hamburg Cruise Days / Christian Lietzmann
Credit: Hamburg Cruise Days / Christian Lietzmann

Published Sep 5, 2019 6:35 PM by The Maritime Executive

Hamburg’s love for cruise-related and maritime events of all kinds will reach its peak between September 13 and 15, when, during the 7th Hamburg Cruise Days, the city’s port will be setting the stage for the cruise industry and cruise fans alike. 

With a record number of 12 participating cruise liners, Hamburg Cruise Days are the biggest public cruise festival in the world. Shortly prior to this event, Hamburg will be hosting Seatrade Europe, the leading cruise industry fair in Europe.

Starting on September 11, the north German city of Hamburg will transform its port into one big stage for both the cruise industry and cruise fans. On the water and on land, visitors will be able to take part in a diverse program that includes a spectacular parade of cruise liners, firework displays, harbor illuminations, culinary experiences, special promotions, live music, as well as ship presentations and harbor boat trips.

With this cruise-themed week in September as well as numerous other maritime events, the port of Hamburg is arguably one of the most exciting urban ports worldwide.

More cruise ships than ever

Taking place from September 13 to 15, Hamburg Cruise Days will be all about ocean liners. The final line-up includes a record number of 12 cruise ships: AIDAperla, AIDAsol, AIDAvita (AIDA Cruises), Amadea (Phoenix Reisen), Costa Mediterranea (Costa Cruises), MS Europa and MS Europa 2 (Hapag-Lloyd Cruises), Mein Schiff 4 (TUI Cruises), MSC Preziosa (MSC Cruises), World Explorer (nicko cruises) as well as the river cruisers MS Frederic Chopin (nicko cruises) and MS Sans Souci (Plantours).

Highlights on the water

On the night of Saturday, September 14, the spectacular Hamburg Cruise Days Parade will once again be taking place. Accompanied by 20 escort ships and a large fireworks display, five cruise ships will be making their way down the River Elbe this year.

On Friday, the event’s opening day, the 2019 Hamburg Cruise Days will proudly present a new highlight: the Costa Mediterranea will be part of an amazing light and laser show that will be accompanied by pyrotechnic effects and enhanced by spherical sounds.

The ship parade will be illuminated within the context of the Blue Port Hamburg light installation, which will be launched on September 6, i.e. one week prior to Hamburg Cruise Days. Between the Elbbrücken bridges and the beaches of Oevelgönne, more than one hundred objects in Hamburg’s port will be illuminated by light artist Michael Batz as part of the project – including buildings, terminals, port vehicles, cranes and ships.

Day and night program

During the 2019 Hamburg Cruise Days, Hamburg’s waterfront will be transformed into themed islands that enable onshore visitors to explore the exciting world of cruise travel – with maritime markets, cultural highlights, live music and dance, culinary specialties, recreation and sports, as well as plenty of fun and games for young and old alike. Hamburg Cruise Days is the perfect opportunity to experience the fascinating world of cruise liners first-hand.

Further information on the event is available at www.hamburgcruisedays.de.

For industry experts: Seatrade Europe and Hamburg Cruise Days Business Deck

Welcoming both the general public and industry experts, this will be the third time for Hamburg to synchronize its cruise-related events in one week. Thus, immediately prior to Hamburg Cruise Days, Hamburg will be hosting Seatrade Europe (September 11–13), the leading cruise industry fair in Europe. 

And as part of Hamburg Cruise Days, the organizers will be launching an entirely new format: the Business Deck workshop on September 13 – an industry forum aimed at providing fresh impetus for the future of cruises. Facilitating dialogue and debate on equal terms, the Business Deck will serve as an inspiring platform for stakeholders from the cruise industry. The underlying goal is to develop solutions for topical issues irrespective of national borders. In 2019, the focus will be on destination development and management, with the following core question to be discussed: “What can the cruise industry do to be a valued long-term partner of holiday destinations?”

Hamburg as a cruise destination

When it comes to the current cruise season, Hamburg can once again be very satisfied: a total of 210 cruise ships are expected to arrive at Hamburg’s three cruise terminals by the end of this year. These also include seven first calls, which goes to show that Hamburg’s is becoming ever more attractive as a cruise location. Among the 2019 highlights will be the ship launching ceremony of the MSC Grandiosa on November 9 as well as the first calls of the Hanseatic Inspiration on 5 October and the Costa Smeralda on October 20.


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