It is an impressive sight when the world's largest cruise ships stop in Hamburg. Even the city's most iconic landmarks dwarf in comparison to ships like the 345-metres-long Queen Mary 2. Just like her 'little' sister, the Queen Elizabeth, this maritime superstar can be frequently seen in Hamburg. From here, they leave for another cruise to the fjords of Norway or the tropical beauty of the Southern seas.
The port of Hamburg is also frequently the stage for ship christenings and the start of maiden voyages. In 2007, more than 300,000 people witnessed the launching ceremony of the AidaDiva. In 2012, Hamburg's biggest public festival, the Port Anniversary, was all about the maiden voyage of the AidaMar. Today, the ship still returns regularly to her hometown and it is always a fascinating sight. In fact, Hamburg has become so obsessed with cruise ships, that the Cruise Days have developed into a major public festival in recent years.
Hamburg is full of great places to marvel at the swimming luxury hotels. From the green lawns of Altonaer Balkon park, one can see the gigantic ships cast anchor at Cruise Center Altona. The 2011 terminal with its architectural finesse is one of three major berthing facilities for cruise ships at Hamburg harbour, along with the piers in Steinwerder and HafenCity Hamburg.