Port of Hamburg anniversary celebrations return to month of May

Preparations for 884th anniversary underway
17 March 2023
Port of Hamburg anniversary celebrations

Preparations are underway for the Port of Hamburg's 884th anniversary celebrations from May 5-7, 2023. The celebrations in the merry month of May mark a return to the usual date after the pandemic forced its postponement from May until September last year. Around 250 sailing ships, traditional vessels, modern emergency vehicles, cruise ships and sports boats will parade through the port at the start of the weekend. Events ashore will be held along the stretch from the Fish Auction Hall to the Elbphilharmonie with even more attractions in the Traditional Ship Harbour, the Speicherstadt, the Hansa Harbour and the Museumshafen Oevelgönne or harbour museum.

Partner country South Korea 

"The port anniversary celebrations are very special for Hamburg. The port is both the economic centre of Hamburg and our gateway to the world and part of our Hanseatic identity," said Dr Melanie Leonhard, Senator for Economics whose ministry organises the events with Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH. The port also stands for the openness and tolerance of people in Hamburg and are welcoming South Korea with the Port of Busan as partner country. The Korea-Busan Festival on the Kehrwiederspitze near the Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall will give visitors a taste of Korean delicacies and glimpses of its culture.


The celebrations begin on Friday (May 5, 2023) with an ecumenical service in the church of St. Michaelis hosted by pastor Alexander Röder. The TV presenter, Ingo Zamperoni, will give a sermon. Then, around 250 ships will enter the harbour in a grand parade led by the "Frigate Hamburg". Later, visitors can go aboard most of the vessels briefly as part of "Open Ship". Rock concerts and classical music will be performed along the Elbe River. The highlights include open-air broadcasts of music the forecourt of the Elbphilharmonie. The festival concludes with the parade of departing ships on Sunday afternoon. The Port of Hamburg's anniversary has been celebrated since 1977 and is the largest festival of its kind worldwide. It attracts more than one million visitors annually, around 300 ships and features all kinds of stage acts.