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2014 offers even more ways to experience Hamburg’s connection with the sea


Defined by its close proximity to major waterways, hamburg celebrates city’s seafaring history, port and maritime traditions.

With two inner-city lakes, one river, almost 2,500 bridges, a world-renowned sea port and two oceans close by, the people of Hamburg identify strongly with the city’s maritime heritage. Defined by tides and fresh ocean air, traditions and modern living, Hamburg owes its prosperity and cosmopolitan attitude to its port. You know it is summer, when locals once again flock to the waterfront to celebrate the sea, the harbor, ocean liners and their maritime culture and its nautical past, present and future.

Festivals & Celebrations:
The city’s affection for and pride in its sea faring tradition becomes evident during the summer waterfront festivals. In 2014, Hamburg will celebrate the 825th Harbor Birthday (May 9-11). Touted as the world’s biggest harbor celebration, the “Hafengeburtstag” continues a tradition going back to 1189, when Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa granted the people of Hamburg exemption from customs duties for ships on the Elbe river. Centered around the Landungsbrücken (landing docks), the four-day birthday bash is expected to draw some 1.5 million visitors who come to witness the parade of the world’s most impressive cruise liners, a tug boat ballet, dragon boat races and more.
On July 19, 2014, the city of Hamburg and Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 will be celebrating Ten Years Queen Mary 2 in Hamburg. Ever since 400,000 spectators welcomed the cruise liner ten years ago, July 19, 2004, the people of Hamburg have expressed great fondness every time “their” ship docks at the city’s port. The anniversary party will happen on land and on the water.

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Taking place every two years, the Fourth Hamburg Cruise Days and Blue Port (August 1-3, 2014) will be the highlight of Hamburg’s summer events calendar. Spotlighting the Hanseatic city’s long standing cruise tradition, the Cruise Days officially set sail, when a fleet of boats takes the party out on the river Elbe for the Cruise Night. On land, the festival offers a three-day program of cruise ship entertainment on several stages, culinary delights, arts and crafts, and a historic nautical market. The blue harbor illumination will round off the magical summer experience.

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