To enjoy the Hamburg Cruise Days Parade, you should be well prepared. You can either book a boat trip in advance even with a champagne reception and buffet or you can watch the parade from the shore. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages. But this time we will give you tips to watch and enjoy the incredible spectacle from the port.
Before you start, you have to keep an eye on the essentials: The parade starts usually around 9 or 10 pm in the evening. So if you want to have dinner before 10 pm, you should make sure that you get some food much earlier. The best way to enjoy the atmosphere, the harbor setting and views of the large cruise ships could be for example to visit the Hard Rock Cafe Hamburg and drink some delicious cocktails. Here we had of a beautiful view over the harbour city from the rooftop terrace. There are large, comfortable sofas and rustic wooden tables as well as a couple of tables with chairs and wooden galleries with small side tables. You can choose whatever seating option you like. We had two delicious, non-alcoholic cocktails at the Hard Rock Cafe Hamburg and absolutely loved it. We had our own sofa overlooking the harbor and could take a good rest. Then we went back to the hotel in order to put on some weatherproof, warm clothes and to eat a juicy burger next door our hotel at Jim Block.
What you should wear at the parade and what you should put in your bag?
- weatherproof , comfortable shoes
- warm sweater
- Something to drink ( bottle of sparkling wine and water )
- A good camera !! ( possibly a tripod )
So we packed our bags and went back to the harbour. Next stop: Landungsbrücken.
TIP 2: Be there on time!
This year, the parade started at 9:30 pm. We were already at the harbour around 8 pm and were surprised how crowded it was. First row places were reserved everywhere. We went to the secret spot: The Hostel “Auf dem Stintfang”. There is a slope and a platform from where you can see the fireworks and the passing ships very well. You just go to the left of the subway station and take the small stairs up to the platform. We had a lot of luck. There was one gap left between the many photographers for us and our tripod. We stood on the slope in front of the platform. The cool thing about the location: you can see the ships passing by twice! Once they pass by the harbour to set up close to the Elbe Philharmonic Hall and another time they pass by during the fireworks. But if you do not want so stand uncomfortably downhill on the slope for 3 hours, you need to look for a cozy place on the platform already around 6 or 7 pm. Then you are also able to place your tripod or camera stable and safely in front of or right on the wall surrounding the platform to take some amazing pictures. How about taking a bottle of champagne and some snacks with you and enjoy the view! By the way, that evening it rained twice, so it was a good idea to have an umbrella in our bags.
Some of our best pictures of the parade:
TIP 3: After the parade go for a walk along the harbour!
After the last ship passed by, the crowds will walk towards the subway. Do not follow the masses, but go for a walk and enjoy the wonderful Blue Port Hamburg. Just go in direction to the subway station “Baumwall”. That lasts just long enough to avoid the crowds and then comfortably have a seat in the subway on your way home. In addition, you are now almost undisturbed and can take some great photos of the Elbe Philharmonic Hall and the HafenCity , because many bridges to the ship berths are now completely empty. Some tourists will still stroll along the tents and the harbour to enjoy the night. Remember the amazing fireworks of the parade and watch the quiet harbour life.