Several large sailing ships from all over the world open the huge Hamburg Harbor Festival when they enter the Port of Hamburg.
The people of Hamburg are celebrating the birthday of their free port at the Volksfest, which was granted the privilege of exemption from customs duties for ships on the Elbe from the city to the North Sea on May 7, 1189 from Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa.
This privilege is the reason that the largest port in Germany was built over the centuries at the confluence of the Alster and the Elbe.
The highlights of the birthday celebration are, in addition to the already mentioned entry and exit parade of tall ships, the dragon boat race, the tug ballet and the harbor lights, a light panorama formed by several hundred thousand sparklers that are lit on the ships and on the quays.
Another sensation is the spectacular air program with helicopter flights, parachuting, balloon rides and live helicopter rescue operations.
The Port of Hamburg is an open tidal port on the Lower Elbe River in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. It is the largest seaport in Germany and the third-largest in Europe after the port of Rotterdam and the port of Antwerp.
In the course of its existence, the port of Hamburg has spatially shifted from a landing place at an estuary of the river Bille in the old town, via a port on the Alster, to the well-known port on the Elbe, where it has advanced far to the west.
The origins of the port of Hamburg date back to the 9th century. However, the date of its foundation is considered to be May 7, 1189, due to an imperial charter, which is celebrated every year with a festival lasting several days, the Hafengeburtstag. From the middle of the 19th century, it was expanded with numerous docks and quays to its current size.
Hamburg is a major cruise destination and one of Europe's largest ports of call for cruise passengers traveling the Atlantic, or the Norwegian and Baltic Seas. The port is also a major location for shipbuilder and shipyards, designing, building and reconditioning yachts and cruise liners. Hamburg has three passenger terminals for cruise ships: Hamburg Cruise Center HafenCity, the Hamburg Cruise Center Altona and the Hamburg Cruise Center Steinwerder, all three capable of processing the world's largest cruise ships.
Learn more about the Port birthday in Hamburg