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Record ship numbers, new B2B aspect at Hamburg Cruise Days

© CHLPhotodesign/J.Schugardt
AIDAprima is depicted in a past Hamburg Cruise Days ship parade with the Blue Port illuminations PHOTO: ©CHLPhotodesign/J.Schugardt
A record 12 cruise ships are scheduled to participate in this year's Hamburg Cruise Days, Sept. 13-15, and a new workshop is going to stimulate B2B interaction at the world's biggest public cruise ship festival.

These details were released by the festival's organisers, Hamburg Marketing GmbH. Hamburg's tourism entity, Hamburg Tourismus, expects about 500,000 visitors to attend, including two-thirds coming from outside the city.

Ocean and river vessels

This seventh edition of Hamburg Cruise Days is going to see more ocean and river cruise ships participating than ever. Calls by AIDAperla, AIDAsol and AIDAvita (AIDA Cruises), Amadea (Phoenix Reisen), Costa Mediterranea (Costa Crociere), Europa and Europa 2 (Hapag-Lloyd Cruises), Mein Schiff 4 (TUI Cruises), MSC Preziosa (MSC Cruises), World Explorer and Frederic Chopin (Nicko Cruises) and Sans Souci (Plantours) have been confirmed. Frederic Chopin and Sans Souci are river vessels operating on the Elbe.

Five ships will also take part in the Cruise Days parade down the Elbe the night of Sept. 14. AIDAperla will lead this parade, which is going to be accompanied by 20 escort ships and a large fireworks display.

Blue Port illuminations

The ship parade will be illuminated by the Blue Port Hamburg installation, a spectacular light display that opens this Friday.

Between the Elbbrücken bridges and the beaches of Oevelgönne, more than 100 objects — including buildings, terminals, port vehicles, cranes and ships — will be illuminated by the light artist Michael Batz. In addition, Costa Mediterranea will be part of a separate light and laser show, with sound effects, on Friday night, the event's opening day.

Business Deck workshop

While Hamburg Cruise Days is mainly a B2C communication and cruise tourism promotion event, recent strides were made to strengthen B2B communication within the cruise industry. As part of this, the Cruise Days became linked to the Seatrade Europe convention in 2015, and now start on the trade fair's closing day.

Sept. 13 will see the launch of a new 'Business Deck' workshop for cruise professionals to discuss industry topics. The focus is ‘What can the cruise industry do to be a valued long-term partner of holiday destinations?’

Extensive visitors programme

Throughout Hamburg Cruise Days, the waterfront will be transformed into themed islands that enable onshore visitors to explore the world of cruise travel, complete with maritime markets, cultural highlights, live music and dance, culinary specialties, recreation and sports.

In addition, the participating cruise lines will set up their own locations and activities, including ship visits. AIDA Cruises, the festival's premium partner for the fourth time in a row, is setting up the 'AIDA Holiday World' at Kehrwiederspitze, complete with a beach club, a kids' zone and a show cabin. Guided tours with a buffet lunch aboard AIDAsol, AIDAperla and AIDAvita are available for purchase.