Over the last weekend (May 9-11, 2014), 12 cruise ships visited the Port of Hamburg and were counted in total with 27 sail-by passages in front of the Landungsbrücken pontoons. Overall, 37,000 cruise passengers were handled during the three days of celebration. The cruise ships prominently showed themselves to the nearly one million visitors of the Port Anniversary, who were able to experience the ocean giants up close.
The first day of the anniversary started with in total five cruise calls: “AIDAluna”, “Delphin”, “Deutschland”, “MSC Magnifica”, and the “L’Austral”, a French luxury cruise ship, which has had its maiden call at the Port of Hamburg. On this occasion, the symbolic presentation of the Hamburg admiralty plaque to the captain of the “L’Austral”, Olivier Marien, was undertaken by Nadine Palatz, Hamburg Cruise Center.
As a special event for the on-board cruise guests and a real spectacle for the visitors on land, the MSC Magnifica undertook a short trip around the Port of Hamburg, which is her christening base from 2010, playing “Seven Nations Army” a Happy Birthday song with the ships’ tyfon.
On the second day, the Hamburg Cruise Center reached his peak point with seven cruise ships in port and a handled passenger volume of 16,000 (embarking passenger + disembarking passenger + transit passenger) at one day: “AIDAsol”, “AIDAstella”, “Albatros”, “Artania”, “Deutschland”, “Hamburg” and “Mein Schiff 1”.
AIDA Cruises, as the main sponsor of the event, was represented with in total three ships of its modern fleet in the form of “AIDAluna”, “AIDAsol” and “AIDAstella”. The main sponsor presented one of the program highlights in the shape of the grand AIDA firework display on Saturday evening. “AIDAstella” and “AIDAsol” have been moored directly in front of the Landungsbrücken quays from where they both opened the firework display and joined in the spectacular show with a number of on-board laser shows. After the fireworks, the other five of the luxury liners casted off from the Hanseatic city within the space of an hour, offering a truly impressive image as they sailed away against the night-time port silhouette.
During the day, the “Deutschland” offered a harbor cruise for their guests on-board with live moderation from the bridge. The “Hamburg”, formerly MS Columbus, which was re-christened in the Hanseatic city in 2012, started for a one night party cruise along the river Elbe.
On the third day, a queen of the oceans visited the Hanseatic city. The “Queen Elizabeth” returned from her world cruise. With the “Deutschland”, “Hamburg”, and “MSC Magnifica”, three further cruise ships docked simultaneously in the Port of Hamburg. All together have left the port in the early evening hours on Sunday for joining the big ship parade.
“The presence of 12 different cruise ships honored the largest port festival in the world and gave the event a unique cruise flair,” stated Gerd Drossel, managing director Hamburg Cruise Center.
The cruise theme also played a major role on land. As an example, Costa Cruises has been on hand in HafenCity at the Marco-Polo Terrassen and provided information about its numerous cruise offers. During the 825th Port of Hamburg Anniversary, the Hamburg del mar beach club on the Landungsbrücken quays transformed into the AIDA World, from where spectators had an optimal view of the firework display on Saturday and the colourful hubbub on the water.