Hamburg is Germany's largest seaport and one of the world's largest cruise ports. The port is Europe's 2nd-largest (after Rotterdam Holland) and currently the world's 15th-largest. Hamburg port's location also makes it an Elbe River cruise port. The city has population around 1,8 million (metro over 5 million). As cruise port, Hamburg is Europe's 2nd largest (after Southampton England) and the world's 9th largest.
The port's harbor area is approx 74 km2 (29 ml2), of which usable 65 km2 (25 ml2), and of that 43 km2 (17 ml2) is land and the rest are waterways. The port's location by the branching River Elbe creates ideal conditions for a well structured complex of various port facilities, such as roads, railways, storage areas (warehouses), transshipment facilities, etc. Until 2013, an extensive portion of the port was a free-trade zone, which enabled toll-free storing of goods and equippment.
Hamburg is a major turnaround cruise port in Northern Europe and one of the continent's largest ports of call along itineraries across the Atlantic Ocean and in the Baltic Sea (Norwegian Fjords, Scandinavia and Russia). The port has 3 cruise ship terminals - named HafenCity, Altona and Steinwerder. They all are capable of handling the world's largest cruise liners.
- Port of Hamburg (aka "Hafen Hamburg") is located on Elbe River, approx 110 km (70 ml) from the North Sea. This is the Germany's largest marine shipping (cargo / containership) port. The port has renown shipbuilding / repair yards for designing and building and for repairs and refurbishments of mega yachts and cruise ships.
- A big part of the port's cruise ship schedule has listed (as home-ported) vessels from the fleets of the German lines AIDA, TUI, Hapag-Lloyd, Fred Olsen. Often here are home-ported one or two of the CroisiEurope riverboats.
- in the period October – April, the city has to offer a lot of sightseeing tour options, starting with the harbor waterway. There are enough places for leisure, dining, shopping and entertainment.
HafenCity is an inner-city district of Hamburg. In the year 2000 (February 29), the city's Senate gave its approval to the Masterplan for building the new district. This grandeous project transformed the port's fringes (around the city center).
- The plan originated in 1991 (after the fall of USSR / Cold War's end). Since 1995, the port's owner HafenCity Hamburg GmbH company started acquiring (secretly purchasing) crucial land areas that were private properties, adding them to the port's city-owned land.
- In May 1997 was officially presented the "Vision HafenCity" design plan to the public. The plan required the inner city to regain its waterfront land (primarily Altona's River Elbe embankment, between Fischmarkt and Museumshafen). This affected only narrow land areas on the riverfront.
- An area of approx 1,6 km2 (0,6 ml2) had be developed into a luxury inner-city district with mixed types of buildings (residential, leisure, cultural, business). The HafenCity area was removed from the Port of Hamburg territory. Under public law, a special fund was established to hold public lands in the city's ownership. The new Altenwerder container terminal was also funded by the city budget.
- HafenCity urban development planning was launched in April 1999. The Hamburgplan project's official approval was announced in October 1999. HafenCity's urban redevelopment plan was approved by the city's Senate in February 2000. The plan was then opened up to discussion through various public events.
- The Masterplan integrated existing and new buildings with the port's waterways. It also included elevation of buildings (for flood protection) and development of HafenCity's neighborhoods.
- All the city's cruise tourist activies are managed by "CGH Cruise Gate Hamburg". The company is co-owned by Hamburg Airport (49%) and Hamburg Port Authority (51%). The company was established in 2015 and is in charge of berth assignments at Steinwerder Terminal and (since 2016) also at the cruise terminals HafenCity and Altona.
Cruise itineraries to and from Hamburg Germany
Follows a list of destinations visited by cruise ships leaving out of Hamburg:
- Round-trip Baltic cruise itineraries leaving from Hamburg visit Norway (Norwegian Fjords) or Scandinavia and Russia (with overnight stays in St Petersburg). Most round-trips are to Norway (7-days in length) operated during summer.
- The week-long Northern Europe (Nordeuropa) itineraries visit UK (Southampton), France (Le Havre-Paris), Belgium (Zeebrugge-Bruges), Holland (Amsterdam).
- Longer southbound roundtrip itineraries visit Canary Islands and Madeira combined with other ports in Portugal, Spain, France and often England.
- Round-trips to Iceland from Hamburg visit Akureyri, Isafjord, Reykjavik, often combined with UK ports.
- British Isles itineraries (around Britain) visit ports in Scotland (Invergordon, Kirkwall, Greenock-Glasgow), Ireland (Dublin, Cork) and England (Southampton, Portsmouth).
- Regularly, the Cunard QM2 liner offers 2-day cruises to Southampton England and 9-day Transatlantic crossings to NYC New York.
- Short-break (mini cruises) leaving round-trip from Hamburg are offered mainly by AIDA (4-nights) and visit Holland (Ijmuiden) and England (Dover).
- The list of offered one-way departures from Hamburg to major home-ports in Northern Europe includes itineraries ending in Kiel Germany or Amsterdam Holland.
- Scandinavia and Russia itineraries visit the Baltic capitals of Denmark (Copenhagen), Sweden (Stockholm), Estonia (Tallinn), Russia (St Petersburg /overnight stay).
- Transatlantic crossings on repositioning cruises from Hamburg to USA and Canada-New England are one-way itineraries offered at the end of the season (late August - early September). These westbound ship relocation routes often include stops in Iceland and Greenland, UK (ports in England, Scotland, Ireland) and end in New York City. Longer crossings may end up in Florida (Miami or Fort Lauderdale) with included stops in the Azores and often - Bermuda.
- Relocation cruises to the Mediterranean leaving from Hamburg are offered mostly by Costa and MSC ships repositioning to their home-ports in Italy (Savona, Genoa, Civitavecchia-Rome, Venice).
- For all current and future (scheduled) cruise itineraries, lines and ships to and from Hamburg, see at the port's "Schedule" section above (located to the right of the "Map" button).
Hamburg cruise port news
- (statistics) the port handles 10000+ ship calls per year, has a total of 43 km / 27 ml quay walls, serves 1200+ freight trains per week, has 4 top-modern containership terminals, 7300+ logistic firms.
- The port handles over 0,5 million cruise tourists annually.
- In 2015, MSC Cruises brought to the city over 100,000 tourists in all 13 itineraries.
- In 2015, MSC Splendida (max capacity 3929 pax) became the biggest cruise vessel homeported in Hamburg.
- On June 1, 2015, while berthed in the port (at Altona Terminal), the new AIDAsol cruise ship was powered pierside by a LNG Hybrid Barge. The barge is a floating power plant, on which LNG (liquefied natural gas) is heated and passed on to generators (5 motors) to produce electricity for the hotel operations on the ship while docked in port. The total power output provided by the barge is 7,5 MV. The new practice reduces greatly bad emissions and particle discharge in port (NO emissions by up to 80%, CO2 emissions by 30%).
- In October 2015, Costa Group (a Carnival Corporation's subsidiary controlling all vessels in the fleets of AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises and Costa Asia) opened in Hamburg its new Carnival Maritime facility. The Carnival Maritime center (supported by Lufthansa Technik) improves ship-to-shore communications by processing in real time port traffic data with a single goal - to reduce to minimum cruise ship incidents in the port. Carnival Maritime also monitors the ships' fuel consumption and and waste water.
- On October 13, 2015, at Blohm+Voss shipyard (Dock Elbe 17) berthed the largest cruise ship ever visiting Hamburg - the NCL ship Norwegian Escape. The new ship arrived to receive adjustments of its scrubber system and for final inspection, then sailed to Bremerhaven for final equipment. NCL Escape visited again on Oct 23, docking at the Steinwerder terminal. The ship departed on Oct 25 on a 2-night maiden voyage to Southampton, followed by a Transatlantic crossing to Miami (Oct 29).
- In February 2016, Carnival Corporation announced its collaboration with the Hamburg port's Vessel Coordination Center (abbrev HVCC) in order to facilitate port entries for the vessels of its subsidiary companies AIDA and Costa. Carnival will share the ships' expected port arrival/departure times with the port's NTK department, which will match the provided info with the port's current vessel traffic data and adjust (if necessary) the ship's speed. The optimized speed control results in fuel savings (lower fuel consumption and bad emissions) and reduced wait times in port. The HVCC center serves ocean-going ships (cruise vessels, feeder and inland waterway vessels) in Port of Hamburg, while its NTK department is controls the traffic flow. The HVCC is a joint venture of the port's 2 containership terminal operators - HHLA and CTH (Eurogate).
- On May 7, 2016, in Hamburg was christened the new AIDA ship AIDAprima. The vessel arrived in port together with AIDAaura. The event coincided with the port's 827th anniversary and featured a grandiose firework show. Prima docked at Altona, while Aura berthed at Steinwerder. Between May 5-7, 2017, over 1 million people enjoyed Germany’s largest maritime festival live (on TV or social media). Over 355,000 passengers watched the Prime Time Special broadcasted live on AIDA's media channels.
- In 2017, AIDA had 6 vessels deployed here for a total of 82 ship calls.
- In 2018, MSC homeported here the company's ever-largest vessel - MSC Meraviglia (launched 2017, max capacity 5714 pax), together with the fleetmate MSC Magnifica (max capacity 3605 pax).
- In 2018, AIDA Cruises homeported here AIDAperla (launched 2017, max capacity 3400 pax). Between March-October 2018, the ship operated on a 7-day itinerary to Southampton, Le Havre, Zeebrugge, Rotterdam.
Hamburg Blohm+Voss shipyard
Port Hamburg is also famous for the shipyard Blohm+Voss (Blohm und Voss). Since 2016, this German shipbuilding and engineering company is owned by the Bremen-based Lürssen shipyard.
Blohm+Voss (founded in 1877) is a shipbuilding and engineering company that provides services to both the military and civil sectors. The company also builds oil rigs, manages a drydock yard and provides regularly scheduled maintenance, refit and shiprepairs for large-sized cruise vessels.
Blohm and Voss is also famous as the world's leading shipbuilder of mega-yachts. Here were constructed the world's ever largest yachts, owned by billionaires, businessmen and sovereign states. The list of private mega-yachts constructed here features (in brackets are shown LOA length and shipowner's name):
- A (119 m, Andrey Melnichenko)
- Dubai (162 m, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum)
- Eclipse (163 m, Roman Abramovich)
- Lady Moura (105 m, Nasser Al-Rashid)
- Savarona (136 m, Emily Roebling Cadwallader)
Highlights: City, Berlin, Lubeck
Hamburg cruise terminal
Hamburg cruise port center Altona was inaugurated by Olaf Scholz, Hamburg City's first mayor. The construction of the center started in the autumn of 2008. In 2009 the cruise ship berth was finished and the terminal building was inaugurated in April 2011. The area is 3100 m2 (33,400 ft2).
The berth has a quay with length 360 m (1180 ft). It can accommodate vessels with length up to 300 m (985 ft). Water depth (max draft) is 12 m (40 ft). There is an integrated gangway (boarding bridge) for passengers.
Hamburg-HafenCity cruise terminal
- terminal address - "Grosser Grasbrook, 20457 Hamburg, Germany"
- location (GPS coordinates) - latitude=53.538847, longitude 9.996607
- The port's HafenCity cruise ship terminal is located in the Hamburg-Mitte district (on the river Elbe islands formerly named Wandrahm and Kehrwieder). The terminal is just 50 m (160 ft) away from the port's subway station. During the area's redevelopment (2,2 km2 / 0,8 ml2 landmass), the old port warehouses were replaced with residential and business buildings (hotels, shops, offices). HafenCity was removed from the Hamburg's duty-free port zone in 2003 and was declared as a separate district in 2008. The new district includes Grossen Grasbrooks and the warehouse district on the Kehrwieder-Wandrahm islands.
- The HafenCity port complex houses over 12,000 people and is a workplace for over 40,000 (mostly in the office blocks). The area has the headquarters of Kuhne & Nagel (shipping conglomerate), Spiegel Group (news magazine), Unilever (consumer goods), Greenpeace and Hamburg-America Center.
- HafenCity cruise terminal has two ship berths (quays) with lengths 295 m (968 ft) and 330 m (1080 ft). The terminal has a short term parking area (max capacity 350 vehicles) located some 200 m / 660 ft away. The terminal is located some 50 m away from the nearest metro station.
Hamburg-Altona cruise terminal
- terminal address - "Edgar-Engelhard-Kai, 22767 Hamburg, Germany"
- location (GPS coordinates) - latitude=53.5435964, longitude 9.9372181
- The port's Altona cruise ship terminal is located in the Bezirk district, on the river Elbe's right bank. To the east is Hamburg-Mitte district, and to the north - the Eimsbuttel district. The Altona is sized 78 km2 (30 ml2). The terminal is at 15 min drive distance (via public transport) from the inner city.
- The Altona cruise terminal (single-story building) was inaugurated in June 2011. The construction started in 2008. The ship berth (360 m / 1180 ft long quay) was finished in 2009. The terminal's area is sized 3100 m2 / 33400 ft2. The berth's restrictions are vessel length 300 m (985 ft) and draft 12 m (39 ft).
(new) Hamburg-Steinwerder cruise terminal
- terminal address - "Buchheisterstrasse 14, 20457 Hamburg, Germany"
- location (GPS coordinates) - latitude=53.5296218, longitude 9.9603356
- The port's newest cruise ship terminal Steinwerder ("Cruise Center 3" / aka CC3) is located at Kronprinzkai. Its construction started in July 2014 and was opened on June 9, 2015. The 2-building Steinwerder terminal cost around EUR 64 million.
- The 9000 m2 / 96900 ft 2 area is surrounded by cargo containers and other multi-purpose terminals, also shipyards and warehouses. The berth's restrictions are vessel length 360 m (1180 ft) and draft 12 m (39 ft).
There are 2 separate buildings (for passenger embarkation and disembarkation) with a total capacity 8000 served by 2 parallel boarding bridges (mobile). The terminal has its own 35000 m2 / 376740 ft2 parking area (max capacity 1500 vehicles) plus 20 lots dedicated to taxis, buses and trucks. The inner city is at some 20 min drive distance away. There is also a public waterbus stop part of the HADAG ferry network.
Hamburg-Uberseebrucke cruise terminal
The Uberseebrücke terminal serves sailing boats and smaller-sized cruise ships. It is located close to St Pauli-Landungsbrücken. Originally, its building dates from 1930, but during WW2 (1939-1045) it was destroyed and later rebuilt.
Hafen Hamburg port has dedicated terminals for handling all types of cargo (TEU containers, general, bulk, grab, project, agri, liquid, oil, gas), reusable waste products, recyclable materials. The port's site area is sized over 70 km2 (30 ml2) with more than 50 handling facilities, 290 ship berths (including for containerships bulk/break bulk cargo carriers, tankers, ro-ro, feeders, inland waterway vessels.
- port address - "Hamburg Cruise Center, Steinstrasse 7, 20095 Hamburg, Germany"
- UN-LOCODE (United Nations location code) - DEHAM.
- supported by excellent road, rail and air infrastructure
- sheltered harbor, large turning/swinging basins, deep water berths
- professional services - stevedoring, luggage, logistics, security,
- shore-to-ship power (shore-side electricity supply by an LNG barge) reduces significantly the levels of emissions, noise and vibration in port.
- Cruise ships usually arrive in Hamburg in early morning (7, 8, 9 am) and depart from Hamburg in late afternoon (5, 6, 7 pm).
Hamburg tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
- Port of Hamburg: also known as the German “Gateway to the World.” do not miss to take a look at the whole port area. Take a walk along the promenade of the industrial part and discover the history of the German connection to the world. The top tourist attraction are the floating piers St. Pauli Landungsbrücken.
- Altstadt: the oldest Hamburg’s quarter is also know as the Old City. It dates from the 17th century. The most famous buildings are the Kontor Häuser and Chilehaus. Here are the famous baroque church St. Michaelis Church and the Jewish cemetery from the early years of the 1600s.
- Zoo and parks: visit the Hagenbecks Zoo or the Tierpark Hagenbeck. Try riding camels or just give food the the friendly elephants and giraffes. Spend a fun day with your family. Hamburg offers beautiful parks for leisure. Visit Stadtpark and Planten un Blomen.
- Beatlemania museum: it dates from 2009 and represents historic rock period. The place where Beatles had been playing night after night before they became famous. Here they met Astrid Kirchherr, their friend photographer.
- Beatles-Platz: next to the museum is the Beatles square. The form of the square resembles a huge vinyl record. Statues of John Lennon, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Paul McCartney and Stuart Sutcliffe are made of stainless steel.
The Hamburg cruise port map is interactive. It shows the port's exact location, along with the real-time cruise ship traffic (if any) in its vicinity - today, and right now. By zooming-out you can see other cruise ship ports located near Hamburg, Germany.
If you lose the Hamburg location on the map, simply reload the page (also with F5 button). This feature is integrated with the CruiseMapper's cruise ship tracker tracking the vessels' current positions at sea and in ports.
Port Hamburg cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Hamburg, Germany. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
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For the first time in its corporate history, NCL (Norwegian Cruise Line) is positioning a ship in port of Hamburg scheduled for multiple cruises...June 5, 2017
Bremen-based shipyard Lurssen acquired Blohm+Voss Hamburg shipyard (famous for the QM2 refit), aiming at strengthening its portfolio in...October 5, 2016
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