The 835th Hamburg port anniversary began with bright sunshine and only a few clouds. Large ships and small boats opened the festival with the traditional entry parade on the Elbe. The German naval fleet service boat “Alster” and the fire department fire boat “Brand Director Westphal” with its large water fountain led the famous parade.

Thousands of visitors had gathered around the jetties. Hamburg’s First Mayor Peter Tschentscher (SPD) rang the big bell of the museum ship “Rickmer Rickmers” at the start – together with the Latvian Transport Minister Kaspars Briskens. This time Latvia is the partner country of the port birthday and is introducing itself to the guests with, among other things, its own “Latvia Festival”.

Around 250 ships are once again part of the maritime festival this year. But not only watercraft could be seen at the entry parade: a propeller plane and a naval transport helicopter flew over the parade.

The celebrations will now last four days in Germany’s largest port city. The evening program includes the music show “Elbe in Concert” with traditional fireworks and a light show with drones around the cruise ship “Aidaprima”. The harbor birthday ends on Sunday with the big departure parade.

Hamburg has been celebrating the birthday of its port since 1977. The festival has been taking place on a grand scale since the port’s 800th anniversary in 1989.