Port Anniversary

Port Anniversary Tugboat Ballet

Watch real powerhouses sway and swirl elegantly to classical music and maritime tunes. The spectacular Tugboat Ballet comes only once a year at the PORT ANNIVERSARY and is a one-of-a-kind event in the whole world!


Unique Tugboat Ballet

2024 dates TBA

One of a kind in the world

One of the traditional highlights of the Hamburg PORT ANNIVERSARY, the Tugboat Ballet is the only event of its kind in the whole world and draws hundreds of thousands of fans to the Landungsbrücken piers every year. Only the most daring visitors claim the best spots right at the quay wall, putting up with chances of water showers and wet feet.

The tugboats are graceful vessels and at the same time extremely strong: with up to 3000 horsepower, their main purpose is to drag and steer the heaviest containerships reliably into the narrow dock of Hamburg’s port, and yet they are manoeuvrable enough to swirl in pirouettes and navigate to within a few centimetres of the quay.

Premiere in 2023

The Tugboat Ballet has been a crowd puller for decades now, but in 2023 the 'ballet' element of the show had a more literal meaning: for the first time, members of the Bundesjugendballett (in English, ‘National Youth Ballet’), founded by legend John Neumeier, danced on one of the five tugboats. The performance took place on Saturday, 6 May at 3 p.m. in front of the Landungsbrücken piers.

Other maritime performances

Alongside the Tugboat Ballet, there was a rich variety of other maritime highlights around Hamburg’s harbourfront on the PORT ANNIVERSARY weekend. For example, the firefighters, water police and sea rescue showed off their skills and simulated an accident with various vessels and three helicopters (Saturday 2:15 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m.). On Friday 6:30 p.m. and Saturday 7:15 p.m. the Hamburg water skiing club displayed breakneck stunts in superhero disguise.

Tugboat Ballet