PHOTO: Hamburg Cruise Days fireworks over AIDA Cruises. (photo via Flickr/fRedi

This weekend, it’s all about Hamburg.

This year’s Hamburg Cruise Days, on September 8-10, 2017, will showcase the German city and feature a unique ship parade the flagship of AIDA Cruises, AIDAprima, leading Norwegian Jade, EUROPA 2, Mein Schiff 3, EUROPA and MSC Preziosa.

“Hamburg’s port is a uniquely fascinating location”, said Michael Otremba, Managing Director of Hamburg Marketing GmbH, the event’s licenser, in a press release.

“No other port in the world offers an experience like this, with so many wonderful contrasts, like the industrial bustle of the container port on the south bank of the Elbe, the beautiful Elbe beach at Oevelgönne, the traditional fish market, the modern buildings of HafenCity and the exciting new cultural centre, the Elbphilharmonie concert hall.”

The festivities will highlight Hamburg as a world-class cruise port and destination, attracting 171 ship calls and 710,000 passengers in 2016 alone. Those numbers are expected to increase again this year to some 200 calls and around 800,000 passengers.

In addition to the parade, ship enthusiasts will appreciate this weekend’s presence of additional vessels including Silversea Cruises’ Silver Wind, Phoenix Reisen’s Albatros and Amadea, Plantours Cruises’ Sans Souci and nicko cruises’ Katharina von Bora riverboat.

A shuttle service will facilitate interested spectators.

Saturday evening, the six featured cruise ships along with 24 escort vessels, will line up for the Grand Parade to the backing of a grand fireworks display. Meanwhile, Hamburg actor and presenter Marek Erhardt will be on hand to provide commentary on the ships’ fascinating facts and figures.

Additionally, Hamburg itself will host fifteen Theme Islands along the waterfront between the HafenCity and Altona cruise terminals. Visitors will be able to peruse a maritime market, open-air sports, wellness and beauty treatments, destination and vacation options, fine wines, gourmet foods, cabaret acts, acrobatics and live music.

Rounding out the offerings, will be cruise infotainment and Theme Islands from cruise lines presenting their ships, itineraries, activities and offers.

AIDA Cruises will also put on a “Satisfaction – the Best of the Rolling Stones” show featuring the AIDA Stars, and “Elbphilharmonie Open Air Concert Cinema with SAP” will present complimentary sets.

READ MORE: AIDA Cruises and MSC Cruises Continue to Pursue LNG Future

Illuminating the night scene will be the Blue Port Hamburg installation from artist Michael Batz. The port and its surroundings—more than 20,000 objects and around 140 structures in total—will be creatively lit in blue hues.

The event is beneficial to both the city and sponsoring cruise lines.

“The exceptional response to the previous Cruise Days directly benefited this year’s event”, said organizer Uwe Bergmann, in the press release. “The cruise lines appreciate the significance and impact of the event and have really pulled out all the stops to ensure that visitors enjoy a superlative and varied programme – both on land and on the water.”

Felix Eichhorn, President AIDA Cruises, added in the release, “We have been closely involved with the Hamburg Cruise Days as a Premium Partner since 2014, and are excited to be continuing this collaboration in 2017 and 2019. Hamburg and AIDA are a strong team! Together, we have transformed Hamburg into one of the key cruise locations in northern Europe, giving tourism and the maritime sector a significant growth boost every year.”

MSC Cruises, TUI Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Costa Cruises and Silversea Cruises are also heavily involved.

READ MORE: MSC Splendida Becomes Largest Cruise Ship to Homeport in Hamburg

Hamburg Cruise Days perfectly caps off a week of industry events including Seatrade Europe and Cruise Live.

In the release, the organizers concluded, “With the highlights on the water, Blue Port Hamburg and the great choice of activities along the waterfront, the 2017 Hamburg Cruise Days are going to be an unforgettable event for the people of Hamburg and visitors to the city, with an appeal that will reach far beyond Hamburg and Germany.”

For more information, visit www.hamburgcruisedays.com.

This post first appeared on TravelPulse.

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