Hamburg Harbor birthday 2015 | DW Travel | DW | 26.02.2015
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Hamburg Harbor birthday 2015

The "Gorch Fock" and the "Queen Elizabeth" will be the stars amongst what organizers say will include 300 participating vessels and welcome around one million visitors from around the world to the Hamburg Harbor.

The Hamburg Harbor birthday celebration - running from May 8-10 2015 - again offers a jam-packed program, which has now been officially released. The spectacle kicks off with a welcome parade featuring more than 300 ships - from wooden dragon boats to barges, and tall yachts to cruise ships. And they will all be led by the "Gorch Fock," the training vessel of the German navy.

Unique to the event is the so-called 'tug boat ballet,' where hundreds of thousands of visitors descend on the docks to watch 5000-horsepower tugs pirouette along the Elbe River in a giant Viennese Waltz. And while the powerful giants make the dance look both elegant and effortless, it takes a great deal of skill as the experienced captains navigate the immense boats safely and in formation.

Visitors can expect 200 events across the three day program, running from the piers of the harbor city to the famed fish market. It is the largest port festival in the world. More than one million people arrive each year to celebrate the harbor's birthday, which this year is marking 826 years in service.

ks/jt (ndr, hamburg.de)