Hamburg's senator for economics, Michael Westhagemann, said Hafengeburtstag was subject to COVID-19 developments, but went on to add, ‘I am, though, very confident that, thanks to the excellent cooperation of all players, we will finally be able to offer the people of Hamburg and our guests a unique maritime experience again in September.’
The first highlight of the season at the Port of Hamburg is AIDAcosma's naming ceremony on April 9.
The Hafengeburtstag festival usually takes place in early May, however due to the pandemic the planned date was suspended last January.
The event typically sees 300 ships and one million visitors visit the port, and this year is expected to receive large numbers after its two-year break.
The number of cruise ships anticipated to attend Hafengeburtstag, which coincides with the cruise season in Northern Europe, is so far unknown.
Hamburg Cruise Days
At least five cruise ships are so far scheduled to arrive at the port for Hamburg Cruise Days in August. The event had been arranged to take place in September 2021.
A record-breaking cruise season ahead
After two weaker years where the port received 81 and 108 cruise calls in 2020 and 2021, respectively, the port is facing a revival of cruise operations with more than 320 calls booked so far this year, which includes eight ships’ maiden calls.
In 2019, it received 209 calls with some 815,000 passengers and in 2018, the port received 212 calls carrying 900,562 passengers.
The German source market is currently experiencing increased demand for local cruises which could see operators based in Germany stand to benefit and encourage further passenger volumes in Hamburg.
Itinerary changes in the Baltic, including a number of calls to St Petersburg being dropped, are unlikely to impact Hamburg which mainly serves as a base for cruises to Norway, as well as Western and (mainly on repositionings) Southern Europe.