Haynes World - ships, ferries, a laugh on the ocean wave, and other interesting things...

25 May 2012

Hamburg Harbour 823rd Birthday

Hamburg Harbour 823rd Birthday
Day 3, 13th May 2012 (the final one)

I stayed in the city last night, and arrived by train back at the harbour this morning. Luckily my camera was ready as I stepped off the train onto the platform:

Grimaldi's Grande Africa was way over the other side of the River Elbe, with Grande Togo nearby

Queen Mary 2 arrived, with much whistling and cheering

Stern view, right in front of me


Deutschland was at the cruise ship quay, but it was almost impossible to get near her.

QM2 Day Village and Viewing Point

Goodbye QM2, I'm off to see other things


A mass of masts, with the last of the sun glinting on them

I was so pleased to have been part of the Hamburg Harbour 823rd Birthday celebrations, and the AIDA MAR christening ceremonies which we viewed from SEUTE DEERN on Saturday. One of my friends has given me the link to Aida's video of the event: http://www.aida-kuesst-hamburg.de/ The fireworks were fabulous - difficult to photograph but memorable for all that.

I had seen hundreds, if not thousands, of all sorts of vessels on the River Elbe, and travelled on many of them, and being part of the Parade was great fun on Friday on board CAP SAN DIEGO.

The weather had been warm, cold, dry, sunny and overcast during the three days, but that didn't stop us in any way. The Sunday morning was fascinating from the moment I stepped off the train and watched an Aida ship sailing away, QUEEN MARY 2 arriving, another Grand Parade forming up and STAR FLYER preparing to sail. I'm told that over a million people attended the events over the three days, and I am so pleased that I was one of them.

Hamburg Harbour 823rd Birthday

Hamburg Day 2
12th May 2012

Aida Mar naming day

The day's events

Harmonie ferry

Blohm + Voss Dock Elbe 17

Elbe 3



Crash and Burn

Emergency evacuation demonstration

Towed away by the Police

Alexander von Humboldt

Aida Mar

HMS St. Albans

Loth Lorien

Aida Mar close up

A floating crane with toilets. A friend in Hamburg says: This crane is still in business for the HHLA, but every harbour birthday we have a party on that crane with about 400 guests, and therefore toilets are added.

Le Boreal arriving

Lunch on the Bergedorf

Looking the other way

A floating crane with a tent. My friend in Hamburg says: the floating crane with the tent is an older version of a HHLA crane, which retired some years ago to the museum habour in Övelgönne.

Wolfgang Borchert


Ida Rambow

No, it isn't a real man...

Seute Deern ticket for the evening

Fireworks Programme

Seute Deern

Plan of the Aida ships on the River Elbe

Aida Ships together

A few of the fantastic fireworks

To be concluded....

20 May 2012

Hamburg Harbour 823rd Birthday

Hamburg Harbour 823rd Birthday
11-13 May 2012
This promised to be a birthday like no other, and it certainly was. On Thursday evening 11th May I flew into the city airport, and stayed appropriately enough at the Stella Maris Hotel near the River Elbe; early on Friday 12th May I walked onto the pontoon that led to the CAP SAN DIEGO. My friends and I had tickets to sail on her for the day, with food and drink all provided, plus a bar for those who needed a little more refreshment.

Hamburg celebrates her birthday, and everyone comes to the party: old ships, new ships, museum ships, local ships and visiting ships from near and far. This year there was also going to be a christening, when the new Aida cruise ship would be named. We were soon surrounded by vessels of all shapes and sizes as we cast off from the quay at the pontoon and set off in the day's Parade. Hamburg Harbour's Birthday celebrations are a very important part of the city's calendar and it was astonishing to see so many people for the three day event, both afloat or ashore.

Rickmer Rickmers

Star Flyer

Cap San Diego-style magradome roof protecting some tables when it rained


MSC Lirica

Carlos Fischer in dry dock

Blohm & Voss dry dock number 11


Airbus factory runway

An Airbus Super Guppy. Just beside it was D-NORA. It's one of three former Luftwaffe Noratlas transports that apprentices at Airbus work on, and this is one that they have cosmetically restored to display with some other historic aircraft there.

A new Airbus doing taxi-ing practice

A passing submarine

Weddel Welcome Point

Marina masts

View forward


Aft and flags

A spare






Part of the flotilla



Halunder Jet

Adler Princess

Crowds near the silver balls marking the Aida Mar naming position



Band farewell

To be continued...