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Cruise Ships and Ships in Hamburg and Northern Germany plus features from around the World

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This page was originally part of the Out & About page, from January 2001 to January 2009. New page: 06.01.2009

Northern German Maritime Climate

Photos: nicolls d.zine © unless stated

The River Elbe. Taken from Airbus in direction of Blankenese - down river

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Archive 2008 press release - for reference

A forest of masts at the Port of Hamburg
Tall ships, cruise ships, naval ships, museum ships and tug boats


The greatest port festival in the world, from 9 to 12 May 2008

HG 2, 18 March 2008

The Port of Hamburg is fully booked for its 819th birthday, the HAFENGEBURTSTAG Hamburg – with three tall ships, five cruise ships, with naval vessels from five nations, with port tug boats, with classic ships and museum ships, with dragon-class boats and with some 100 motor yachts and sailing yachts. All in all, more than 300 ships from all parts of the world are expected in Hamburg from all parts of the world, from Friday 9 May to Monday 12 May. This year’s HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG is at Whitsun – with four days to celebrate the world’s greatest port festival.

The first maritime high point is the Grand Arrival Parade, led by the frigate Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, from 17:00 on the Friday. Many of the museum ships and tall ships are taking passengers, for a unique on-board view of the Arrival Parade. Even the general cargo freighter Cap San Diego will be under way for the occasion – with her length overall of nearly 160 metres, she is the world’s largest museum ship still in sea-going condition; she is normally moored next to Landungsbrücken, as one of the landmarks of the Port of Hamburg. Following the Arrival Parade, most of the vessels are open to visitors for the next four days.

The skyline of the Port of Hamburg will also be marked by the masts, up to 60 metres in height, of the tall ships Sedov, Kruzenshtern and Mir. All three sail the oceans of the world as training ships, under Russian flag. The Sedov is the world’s largest windjammer still under sail. This 117.5 metre four-master was launched at the Krupp-Germania shipyard in Kiel in 1921, under the name Magdalene Vinnen. The Kruzenshtern has a length overall of 114 metres and is just a few years younger – she is the last of the legendary Flying P-Liners of the Hamburg shipping company Laeisz. She was launched in Bremerhaven in 1926, and was christened as the Padua. The Kruzenshtern is a four-master and one of the most beautiful of all the tall ships. The third of the tall ships is the Mir, with a length overall of 108 metres, and reputed to be the fastest windjammer in the world. She was built in Danzig in 1987.

Switching from the traditional to the modern, the Cruise Terminal in the HafenCity will be busy with arrivals and departures of the cruise ships Delphin, Delphin Voyager, Amadea, Albatros and Fram. And the Elbe 17 dock of Blohm & Voss is also a scene of action, with the 292 metre cruise ship Brilliance of the Seas leaving dock during the port festival, to be replaced by the Braemar. And there is another feast for the eyes on the Saturday evening – after the conclusion of the great JEVER Firework Display, which starts at 22:30 and lights up the sky in sparkling colour for about 20 minutes, three cruise ships will leave port in rapid succession.

The Harbour Lights show, from 22:00 on the Friday evening, will transform the Elbe at Landungs­brücken with romantic colour. With ferry boats, sport boats, classic ships and tug boats in full illumination. Visitors on the banks can join in this atmospheric event with torches, sparklers and cigarette lighters, to the accompaniment of music and pyrotechnical effects.

There will be many more naval vessels visiting the port than in previous years. The navies of five nations have announced their presence. Germany is represented by the frigates Lübeck and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the submarine U22 and the minehunter Fulda. The US are sending their frigate USS Nicholas, Spain their frigate Blas de Lezo and Portugal their frigate Vasco da Gama. Finland, this year’s partner country, is represented by the minelayer Pohjanmaa. The aquatic programme will include a naval helicopter and special deployment forces of the navy. There will be a total of more than 1000 navy personnel from Germany and abroad involved in this year’s HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG.

A large number of service vessels will also be there, such as the Bad Bramstedt, one of the most advanced ships of the Federal police. The German Maritime Search and Rescue Service are sending their SAR cruiser John T. Essberger; the Customs the Schleswig-Holstein; Fisheries Protection the Seefalken; and the Water Police the Bürgermeister Weichmann. The professional fire brigade have also agreed to send a vessel. One of the oldest ships at the HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG will be the ferry steamer MS Friedrich, launched in Hamburg in 1880 and originally used to carry shipyard workers across the Elbe.

A unique and spectacular feature of the HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG is the Tug Ballet, from 18:00 to 19:00 on Saturday 10 May. Under the direction of Captain Dietrich Petersen, a team of port tug boats will perform their thrilling dance routines on the Elbe to the sounds of the waltz. The tug boats, each driven by up to 5000 horsepower, execute their amazing pirouettes to within centimetres of the embankment.

Other attractions include the parade of museum ships; dinghy trips with police, customs and fisheries protection officers; showcase runs by the sailing and motor yachts; water-ski demonstrations; dragon boat races with wooden boats from Asia; and the line runner boat races with historic boats, on the Sunday afternoon, are a must-see for classic boat enthusiasts. The Grand Departure Parade will start at 16:00 on Whit Monday.

There will be plenty of opportunities for visitors to the HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG to join the parades on launches, passenger ships and tall ships, or to go on tours around these vessels during the four days of the festival. For an overview of the event organisers and many other useful tips for the HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG, visit the website or call the hotline of Hamburg Tourismus GmbH, open daily from 8 to 20:00 on 040 30051300. Our gratitude goes to the principal sponsor of the HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG, the Frisian Brewery Jever, without whose support the world’s greatest port festival could not be held.


2007 archive press release for reference

Tall ships from the seven seas, and a visit by the “Old Ladies”
Attractive water programme with many highlights

The biggest port festival in the world, from 11 to 13 May 2007

Press release, 13 March 2007. Text remains unchanged

Some of the most beautiful tall ships in the world, historic ships with a fascinating history, and the tug ballet – these are just some of the highlights lined up for the 818th HAFEN¬GEBURTSTAG HAMBURG. The most prominent guests include the last two four-masted barques still under sail, that is the Sedov and the Kruzenshtern, the Mir sail training ship, and the square-rigged barque Alexander von Humboldt. Visitors to the greatest port festival in the world can look forward an attractive and varied programme on the three days from 11 to 13 May, before the magnificent backdrop of the port of Hamburg.

The birthday starts with a bang, with the traditional Grand Arrival Parade on the Friday, starting at 15:30. It will be led by the frigate Rheinland-Pfalz of the German Navy, and welcomed by a salute from the Hamburg museum ship Rickmer Rickmers. The crowning conclusion will be the Grand Departure Parade starting at 17:00 on the Sunday. Visitors to the world’s greatest port festival can visit many of the floating birthday guests, and can look below deck on some of them. Each of these impressive ships has its own story to tell

The Sedov, the world’s largest tall ship with a length overall of 117.5 metres, was built at the Krupp-Germania shipyard in Kiel in 1922, and christened as the Magdalena Winnen. She is a four-masted barque with a sail area of about 4,200 square metres and a maximum mast height above deck of 58 metres; she was the shooting location for the 2006 television film The Loss of the Pamir (Der Untergang der Pamir). The 114 metre Kruzenshtern is said to be the world’s most beautiful tall ship. She is the last of the legendary Flying P-Liners of the Hamburg shipowner F. Laeisz, and was launched at the Tecklenborg shipyard in Bremer¬haven in 1926 under the name of Padua. Her home port is now Kaliningrad.

Another guest at the 818th HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG will be the Mir, the world’s fastest windjammer, with a length of 110 metres and a top speed of about 25 knots. She was built at the Lenin Shipyard in Danzig in 1987, and her home port is now St. Petersburg. Today she plies the oceans as a sail training ship, like the two four-masted barques. On the Saturday, the Alexander von Humboldt, one of Germany’s best-known square-riggers, will also arrive in Hamburg. This 63 metre barque with her distinctive green sails and green hull will take part in the Grand Departure Parade on the Sunday, along with the other tall ships

The freighter Old Lady is the new museum ship, a jewel in Hamburg’s maritime crown. She was built at the Nobiskrug Shipyard in Rendsburg in 1958, and was brought back to Turkey from Hamburg at the beginning of this year in an initiative by the Hamburg Maritim Foundation. She is in 90% original condition, and is seaworthy, as impressively demonstrated by her transfer voyage to Hamburg in January, a distance of 3,400 nautical miles. She will be re-christened by her original name Bleichen in April. The Bleichen will be moored at the 50s Sheds opposite the HafenCity, and is open to visitors during the HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG, including some of the below deck areas.

The Amphitrite is another “Grand Old Lady” at this year’s HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG. She is a three-masted fore-and-aft schooner, and is celebrating her 120th birthday this year; she has been operating with the Clipper Youth Service since 1975. That is also where the Amphitrite got her nickname “Grand Old Lady”, in respect for her con¬siderable age.

The traditional and totally unique tug ballet will be presented by Captain Dietrich Petersen, starting at 18:00 on Saturday 12 May. This is one of the most popular items in the whole of the programme – a dance by the port tugboats, which have an output of up to 5,000 hp and amazing manoeuvrability. They come within a few centimetres of the Landing Stages when executing their pirouettes, and anyone in the first few rows is liable to get their feet wet.

An unusual stage has been chosen by the Hamburg Samba School Unidos de Hamburgo for their premiere at the world’s greatest port festival. Their display will be on a floating crane, together with the Finkwarder Speeldeel group, presenting traditional Hamburg songs in new format, and Carnival hits
>from Rio. The River Elbe will be very lively for the festival, with
craft of the fire service, fisheries protection, river and harbour police, rescue and relief services (THW) and customs, heritage vessels from the Oevelgönne Museum Harbour, and numerous motor and sailing yachts.

Things move fast in the Match Races between two America’s Cup yachts – a show duel held on each of the three days of the HAFENGEBURTSTAG Hamburg, directly in front of Landungsbrücken. Speed is also key in the Dragon Boat Races. Precision and concentration are essential in the Fast Roping display, a rescue demonstration with the mine hunter Überherrn and a Sea King naval helicopter. Further attractions are the mooring and casting off manoeuvres of the Cap San Diego, dinghy displays, rescue exercises by the HADAG ferries, and the popular target jumping by parachutists aiming to land on a pontoon on the Elbe.

Many of the launches and passenger vessels will offer trips during the Parades. An overview of the boat companies and many other useful tips for the HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG are available at the website or via the hotline of Hamburg Tourismus GmbH,
>from 8am to 8pm daily, on phone +49 40/ 30051300. A debt of gratitude
owed to the main sponsor of the HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG, the Jever Frisian Brewery, which also supports the JEVER Firework Display on the Saturday evening, and to the Co-Sponsor Nordwest Lotto und Toto Hamburg, without whose support the world’s greatest port festival could not take place.

Editorial: Ines Helbig

Top Ships in Hamburg & Northern Germany
Archive 2006. The Freedom of the Seas in Hamburg. The World's largest cruise ship arrived in Hamburg Easter Monday 2006, near to Landungsbrücken - reportedly ten days ahead of schedule. She headed for Elbe Dock 17, the same dock used by Queen Mary 2. She stayed in dock until the 22nd April and was back after trials on 24th April. She then docked at the cruise terminal in Grasbrook and left after being handed over to Royal Carribean Cruises on the 25th. Photo: nicolls d.zine ©
Live Ship Positions. The pay version is live. Free version is delayed
Live Ship Positions - Rough Translation
Cruise ship arrivals thanks to ''Ships in Hamburg''
2010 Cruise Ship Arrivals - Rough Translation
2010 Cruise Ship Arrivals - German

2008 Cruise Ship Arrivals - Rough Translation

19.11.2005 - QM2 leaves Hamburg at 6:00am on the 19th November 2005 on a bitter cold foggy morning. Just before 5am the fog lifted to unviel the QM2 in her full glory. With steam rising from the somewhat warmer Elbe, she edged her way backwards out of Elbe Dock 17 and almost up to the Cruise Terminal. After a short stop she moved very quickly downriver out of Hamburg towards Cuxhaven and further on to Southampton. The Hamburg English Pages photos, from 4:20am to 06:30am, are online in the Hamburg Gallery.

Queen Mary 2 in Hamburg again.
09.11.2005 - The photos from the 8th and 9th are in the Hamburg Gallery. 8th Nov: She was not put in dry dock due to tide level uncertainty. The ship was turned on the 8th and was nudged into dry dock at 8am on the 9th Nov. She was berthed at the Cruise Terminal overnight and remained in dry dock until the 19th. We were in Blohm & Voss at 06:30am on one of the three cranes behind the dock and also right next to the ship during a red sunrise.

8th (evening) to 19th November 2005 - arrived Landungsbrücken 19:00. Sunset was 16:33.

Thank you Hamburg!

The Rose family from the West Country in the UK have asked us to thank Hamburg for the wonderful welcome and farewell they received on the Queen Mary 2... The E-Mail was sent to us by Diane Rose:

Friday, 19th August 2005

Can you please pass on mine and my families heart felt thanks to the people of Hamburg for their tremendously warm welcome and their even more fantastic farewell on 1st August 2005.

We were privileged to be cruising on the Queen Mary 2 on their Fjords and Capitals tour, and Hamburg was our last port of call before returning to Southampton and our home in the West Country, England. Neither of us knew what to expect of our visit to your beautiful city and the delightful way the people of the city entertained us. Every shop window had a nautical theme and we even found a department store with a display of the crown jewels.

Our departure from the dockside was spectacularly illuminated by fireworks and to think that thousands of people had come down at midnight to wave us off, and even to follow us in small boats, it was very moving.

Even at 2am, as we sailed down the Elbe river, we could still see and hear the people of Germany bidding us a fond farewell.

Many thanks

The Rose Family.

Photos of the Harbour Birthday celebrations and the visit of the QM2 - Hamburg Gallery. nicolls d.zine ©

Queen Mary in Hamburg, May 2006 - more. No photos were taken during the visits in July and August. She came again in November 2006 for repair. Regular visits are expected every year

QM2 & QE2 Gallery Photos

Over 120 blue goals could be seen all over Hamburg. They were set up for the football event from that year. Photos: nicolls d.zine for HEP ©.
The server problems will be resolved as soon as possible. The images will be reinstated when the problem has been found

Hamburg Gallery >>>

QM2 DAY 2005

Missing images - click here - another source - QM2 2005

Ship arrives one hour early in the rain before dawn. Hundreds of people miss the ship arriving. Public transport not available! No trains or extra buses provided at all by HVV, Hochbahn and S-Bahn. Taxis do great business. Some journalists gained access to the car park, near the ship, where it was impossible to take photos! Thanks Cunard Deutschland for the pseudo VIP treatment.


The day started at 02:15. We boarded the Anita Ehlers near the British built red fireship and Baumwall at 03:45am

Hamburg Gallery >>>
Hamburg Gallery >>>
The cutting of the QM2 cake in stilwerk took place on Friday, 29th July 2005 just after 11am ©. To see a selection of photos, please click here for the Hamburg Gallery. Proceeds went to a childrens home. Baked by: Top5 Hamburg. Cunard: website
Hamburg Gallery >>>
Hamburg Gallery >>> Hamburg Gallery >>>
Queen Elizabeth 2nd was in Hamburg on 30th May and 8th July 2005
All rights reserved All rights reserved
2009: No more visits to Hamburg. She is now out of service. The next ship bearing this name will more than likely be here in the future, as will the Queen Victoria. We have no photos yet of QV
Queen Mary 2 in Hamburg
QM2 leaves Hamburg at 6:00am on the 19th November 2005 on a bitter cold foggy morning. Just before 5am the fog lifted to unviel the QM2 in her full glory. With steam rising from the somewhat warmer Elbe, she edged her way backwards out of Elbe Dock 17 and almost up to the Cruise Terminal. After a short stop she moved quickly downriver out of Hamburg towards Cuxhaven and further on to Southampton. The Hamburg English Pages photos, from 4:20am to 06:30am, are now online in the Hamburg Gallery.
Queen Mary 2 coming for inspection to Hamburg. She was in Hamburg for 11 days from 8pm on the 8th November through to 6am on the 19th and was in dry dock during this time. The QE2 was in the dock nearby during her last inspection. Story in German.
The QM2 was in Hamburg on 19th July 2004 for the first time. The second visit was on 1st August. Other dates and times can be found further up. Champagne Breakfast - click here for recipes
Property of Cunard

nicolls d.zine - > > >



Three photos immediately above by HEP on 19th July 2004 - more in the Hamburg Gallery. The summer visits in 2006 were not covered by Hamburg English Pages

The first visit to Hamburg. The day starts at 4am. At 5am HEP left for the Fireship, next to which the chartered boat is moored, in Hamburg Harbour just near Baumwall. The banks of the River Elbe are lined with hundreds of people waiting for the big moment

Now time to head downstream to meet the QM2 on her way into Hamburg. The ship was spotted just after 06:45 hrs in a haze of morning mist and also spray created by a fire service ship using water canons

The spectacle unfolds, as the sun begins to shine through a thin veil of clouds. We then followed the QM2 towards the temporary cruise terminal and into an armada of boats of all kinds

After a bonus tour of the harbour and the historic warehouse area, we arrived at Kehrwiderspitze

All other QM photos on this page - Cunard © - Click photos for source

Property of Cunard Property of Cunard
Property of Cunard Property of Cunard
Property of Cunard Property of Cunard
Property of Cunard Property of Cunard
Photos not taken by HEP were reproduced with kind permission of Cunard UK and Cunard Images (permission given: 14.07.2004). All images remain the property of Cunard and permission is required to reproduce them
Interesting German Website
Queen Mary 2 - July 2004: 19th July 2004 at ca. 07:00 hrs. Left: 20th July 2004 at ca. 07:00 hrs
Queen Mary 2 News - New Port - New York + Cunard Website + Queen launches QM2 +
Super liner sails into Southampton + In pictures: Queen Mary 2 arrives +
A new Queen to rule the waves + Queen Mary I website
The Cunard Line luxury ocean liner, to be named Queen Victoria, is currently under construction in Fincantieri near Venice Italy. The new 85,000-ton, Panamax vessel will accommodate some 1,850 passengers and will enter service in January 2007. She will be built by Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiani SpA, at its Marghera (Italy) shipyard, and is expected to have an all-in cost of approximately € 390 million. She will be Cunards second largest cruise liner at 290 m long and 32 m wide. More info and more here. We hope to do a feature on the QUEEN VICTORIA when Cunard/P&O Cruises has finished building it. Last update of this feature: December 2004

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EXTRA: AIDAblu was spotted on Madeira - 26th February 2005. This ship visited Hamburg twice in 2005 Photos HEP ©. All rights reserved
All rights reserved 2005 All rights reserved 2005
All rights reserved 2005 All rights reserved 2005


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QM2, A380 & Michel
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