The yearly PORT ANNIVERSARY is always packed with fun activities and events. From the opening ceremony and the grand arrival parade to spectacular fireworks, you won't want to miss any of the highlights at Hamburg's Hafengeburtstag!
Every May, the six-kilometre-long promenade between HafenCity, Landungsbrücken piers and the St. Pauli Fischmarkt quayside is filled with stands and podiums to celebrate the Port Anniversary. Vendors offer everything from local specialties and handicrafts to drinks, so you can toast the harbour on its 'birthday'. Live music and more get the party started early and keep it going late into the night.
Every year, the PORT ANNIVERSARY partners up with a city, country or region which hosts its own 'festival within a festival' at Kehrwiederspitze/U3 Baumwall. Previous partners include France, South Africa and Croatia, all of which treated visitors to culinary delicacies, local brews and travel inspiration for their respective destinations. In 2023, the partner country is South Korea with its port city of Busan.
International Ecumenical Opening Service
The PORT ANNIVERSARY traditionally kicks off with the international ecumenical opening service held at St. Michael's Church on Friday. The service is led by the local clergy and TV and broadcasting celebrities, and accompanied by Hamburg's most famous shanty choir De Tampentrekker.
Grand Arrival Parade
After the service., a parade of impressive sailing ships as well as marine, fire brigade and police boats grace the waters in front of the Landungsbrücken piers. During the Grand Arrival Parade, many international floating guests will enter the Port of Hamburg right before the eyes of visitors, creating a spectacular sight.
Heritage and Tall Ships
Apart from the navy and other sunctional ships, many other heritage and historic ships roam the harbour on this weekend. In 2023, for example, there was the navy frigate Hamburg, along with Polish sailing training ship Dar Młodziezy, the Dutch Eldorado and the Alexander von Humboldt II. Some of the vessels also welcome visitors on board and there are frequent free shuttle services for visitors to experience the legendary Peking in the Hansahafen on the opposite bank of the Elbe river.
DJs, live music acts and drag queens liven up the stages next to the Fischauktionshalle ('fish auction hall') in celebration of the Port Anniversary from Friday morning till Sunday night. And on Sunday, the LGBTQI* community takes part in a colourful boat cruise accompanying the Hafengeburtstag's Grand Departure Parade.
Who knew tugboats could be so graceful? Classical music accompanies the boats as they make their pirouettes at 5,000 HP. Unless you don't mind getting wet, don’t view this unique event from too close to the shore!
Don't miss the grand display of fireworks to round off an eventful day on Saturday evening! There is no better backdrop than Hamburg's port, the Elbphilharmonie concert hall and the hustle and bustle of the Landungsbrücken piers to enjoy a night of fascinating and breathtaking pyrotechnics.
Grand Departure Parade
A spectacular end to a spectacular festival: the Port Anniversary comes to an end with a second parade on Sunday afternoon. At the Grand Departure Parade, the sailing yachts, tugboats and cruise liners bid their farewells to Hamburg.