Hundreds of thousands of Hamburgers flocked to the city's harbor Monday morning to witness the arrival of the world's largest cruise ship, the Queen Mary 2 (QM2), which is docking in Germany for just 24 hours.
Here she comes
Harbor officials said they expected up to 150,000 people to come and look at the ocean liner, which began its life at sea in January.
About 10,000 were already waiting at the Grasbrook docking terminal at 7 a.m., but those hoping to touch the QM2 ended up getting disappointed: Because of security concerns, pedestrians and bicyclists were only allowed to get as close as 30 meters (98 feet).
A large contingent of police officers also protected the ship, which will remain closed to visitors as a precaution against terrorist attacks.
Fireworks celebrated the maiden voyage on Jan. 12
Hamburgers still planned to celebrate the ship's visit with a big party and fireworks over the harbor. The northern German city is the QM2's only scheduled continental stop besides Rotterdam this year. During its 24-hour stop-over in Hamburg, visitors to the event will be able to send special postcards commemorating the day.
According to QM2 officials, several hundred passengers will use the stop for a day trip to the German capital, Berlin, which is about two hours away from Hamburg by train.
Welcome, Queen Mary 2!
Standing 74 meters tall and 345 meters long, the QM2 is comparable in size to container ships. It includes a planetarium and the world's largest "swimming library." There's enough space on board for 2,620 passengers and 1,254 crew members.
According to the ship's officials, the liner is completely booked up for the next several months. That's good news for the owners and operators of the nearly 800 million dollar luxury boat.