Hamburg's Port Birthday
Once a year in May the Port of Hamburg, the "door to the world," is truly tops: About 1.5 million people every year celebrate the Hamburg Port Birthday - the greatest harbour festival in the world - on the nearly four kilometre-long "Harbour Mile" along the Elbe between the HafenCity and the Övelgönne Museum Harbour. Special highlights include the breathtaking fireworks display, ship launches and parades, and the unique tugboat ballet. The dates for the 828th HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY is from 05 - 07 May 2017.
The Port of Hamburg and its birthday have a long tradition. Since Kaiser Friedrich Barbarossa granted citizens of Hamburg a charter on 07 May 1189, which guaranteed exemption from duty for ships on the Elbe from the city to the North Sea, Hamburgers have drunk to the birthday of their harbour. The PORT BIRTHDAY HAMBURG is officially celebrated, but only for a little over a quarter of a century. Since that time, the Port Birthday has grown and is a popular attraction for visitors from near and far.
Tall sailing ships from all over the world
The maritime experience begins traditionally with the international ecumenical mass in the main church of St. Michaelis at Friday noon. It is followed by the official opening on the museum ship Rickmer Rickmers, which rings in the great entrance parade, usually consisting of more than 300 sailing vessels every year.
The highlights of the Port Anniversary include the great entrance parade on Thursday, the departure parade on Sunday, the traditional tugboat ballet and the dragon boat race. It is especially the variety of offerings on land, on water and in the air that inspire more than 1.5 million visitors from all over the world every year. In addition, a chosen partner nation presents itself with a colourful programme and culinary delicacies. The crowning finale is provided by the spectacular fireworks on Saturday evening. The novel "Open Ship" programme is also a total success. Here visitors have the opportunity to inspect the tall ships visiting Hamburg, such as for example the Gorch Fock, Star Flyer, Cisne Branco and Alexander von Humboldt II. More than 300 ships usually take part in the departure parade.
Launch of cruise ships.
A very special highlight of the past year was the launch of the new cruise ship MS EUROPA 2 and the AIDAmar! Naturally the cruise liners are given a fitting greeting with a great fireworks display in the Hamburg skies. They now sail across the world's oceans and are always given a joyful reception in Hamburg.
The Hamburg Port Birthday is a great success for all participants every year. Guests can entertain and indulge themselves with over 500 exhibits and events on the Harbour Mile from 10.00am to midnight. The culinary treats are especially sought after, from exotic drinks, to fish rolls, to Asiatic specialities. There are lots of activities, contests and games for families, and numerous stages with live music.
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