On May 7th, 1189 Emperor Frederick Barbarossa issued the people of Hamburg a license, which granted ships on the Elbe to ride through to the North Sea duty-free. Thus this was the birthday of Hamburg’s port and in 2019 it will be celebrated for the 830th time from the 10th to the 12th of May. During this breathtaking event the stars are the ships! There is a most amazing program on the Elbe in front of the jetties as well as in the historic harbor “Oevelgönne” and in “HafenCity” (the harbor city district). In 2019, more than 300 ships from all areas of maritime life will attend the celebration – including windjammers, traditional sailors and museum ships, naval and cruise ships, motor and sailing yachts as well as fire brigade, fisheries protection, water police, federal police, THW (the technical aid organization) and customs vehicles. In front of the unique backdrop of the current port in operation,  traditional highlights, such as the large parades of the numerous ships entering and leaving the harbor and  the popular open-ship actions in between.


Ashore more than 200 maritime, cultural and culinary programs ensure great pleasure for young and old. The “Colorful Harbor Mile” offers gastronomic delights and entertainment. Free concerts and live acts on stages with national and international stars transform the space of the world’s largest harbor festival into a huge festival landscape. After the successful premiere of the “Elbphilharmonie Concerts on Screen” last year, in 2019 concerts from the Great Hall will once again be shown on a big screen on the plaza up front. Exhibitions, guided tours and special offers of the museums complete the cultural program. Another atmospheric highlight is the big AIDA firework display on Saturday evening, which transforms the night sky over the Elbe into a sparkling sea of color. Each year, another country is given the opportunity to present itself as a partner of the event and to inspire visitors for its culture and way of life, including its culinary specialties. Country Partner 2019 is the French region Occitanie.