Anniversary of the year

Anniversary of the year

The port of Hamburg in Germany celebrated its 828th anniversary early May, this year. The world’s biggest port festival, attended by over a million people, lasted three days and was celebrated in style. We bring you glimpses of the grandiose festival that included a cruise ship parade. We promise a little lesson in history too.

Text: Asha Gopalkrishnan Photo: Eric Shambroom
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The Hamburg Port Anniversary dates back to
May 7th 1189, when Emperor Frederick Barbarossa,
issued a charter to Hamburg merchants,
granting freedom from customs duties
for ships sailing the Elbe from Hamburg to the North Sea.


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Today, it is the second busiest port in Europe and
the 15th largest, worldwide. No wonder the port is
called Germany’s ‘Gateway to the World’.


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The visitor numbers have been swelling, at the festival,
over the years. People are drawn to the festival
given its historic maritime legacy and wide-ranging
events like the Grand Arrival and Departure Parades,
the unique Tugboat Ballet, and dozens of
open ship opportunities for the public.


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Boat tours were a major attraction during the festival.
Guests indulged in over 500 exhibits and events
on the Harbour Mile.


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From aspiring sailors to connoisseurs of music,
the festival had something for everyone.


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Shutterbugs were in for a treat when vessels
of different sizes set sail gearing up for the big parade.


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A variety of culinary treats was a dream come true
for foodies – in all age groups.


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Hamburg port and Wärtsilä go a long way in their
association. Many of the vessels that participated
in the cruise ship parade are serviced by Wärtsilä.


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The highlight of the festival was the cruise ship parade,
by seven cruise liners, accompanied by a breath-taking
firework display that draped the port in
magnificent colours and left the audience wanting more.


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The port festival transformed the area around
River Elbe into one big stage for the cruise world.


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