Driving force for cruise shipping in Hamburg

Hamburg Cruise Net e.V. (HCN-) – that is the cruise initiative for Hamburg! Our statutory mission is to enhance Hamburg’s attractiveness as an international cruise metropolis and as a location for cruise-related companies. Our association manages a network of almost 100 private and public companies from all sectors of this industry, such as cruise lines, port service providers and tourism businesses, in the form of a public-private partnership (PPP).

How do we succeed in this? We see ourselves as a communication platform for the industry and try to unite the combined cruise expertise of the metropolitan region. Together we identify challenges, represent common interests internally and externally and engage in dialogue with politics and administration. In this way, as an innovative pioneer, network manager and representative of the interests of the cruise industry, we succeed in promoting the added value of the industry in Hamburg through appropriate activities and in increasing the acceptance of cruising in the location.

Our association statutes regulate our association activities.

Our fields of activity

The five city organisations with a cruise connection have agreed on a joint development concept for Hamburg as a cruise location (reference/link), which also guides our work. The following four fields of action are decisive for this:

Cruise Service & Intelligence

We organise systematic contact and exchange between all relevant companies. The industry’s partners are shaping the future of cruising through alliances. Hamburg can thus expand its pioneering role in the field of “green cruising”. For us, this also includes the exchange of companies with vocational schools, universities, research institutions and start-ups.

Infrastructure development and value creation

Hamburg has a very good infrastructure for cruise ships and passengers. The HCN actively supports the development of this infrastructure and the dialogue between the stakeholders. We regularly analyse the value added contribution of the cruise industry in Hamburg and connect shipping companies and destination with each other.


Together with our members, we present Hamburg’s attractiveness as the leading cruise port in Europe and as an interesting destination for cruise passengers. Suitable measures include trade fair appearances at home and abroad, advertisements, media cooperations and an appealing presence in the social media. We regularly accompany first calls and ship launches and provide passengers with Hamburg information at the terminals.

Public Relations & Social Responsibility

In order to further improve the acceptance of cruising and the general conditions for our members at the Hamburg location, cruise-related public relations work is important. For example, regular company visits are offered as part of a “Behind the Scenes” format. With this format we support the industry and enable it to enter into direct dialogue with decision-makers and the population.

History of the association and development of the cruise shipping industry in Hamburg


With 284 ocean cruisers expected, Hamburg is well above 2019 levels. Hamburg Cruise Net celebrates its 25th anniversary this year – the founding meeting took place at HHLA on 7 May 1998.


The Hamburg location draws a positive balance of the cruise season, despite the restrictions still in place due to Corona. With 280 calls by cruise ships and 41 calls by river cruise ships, this is the busiest season ever for Hamburg!


The Corona crisis brings cruising in Hamburg to a standstill in the spring. The industry tries to counteract the standstill with sophisticated hygiene concepts and trips from/to Hamburg. With success: isolated trips take place again, especially short trips as so-called “Blue Cruises” (without shore excursions).


Hamburg’s cruise industry is consolidating at a high level. The number of calls and the number of visitors to Hamburg is increasing every year: Hamburg almost doubled the number of overnight guests to 15.4 million visitors in the period 2009-2019. In the same period, the number of cruise passengers rose to 810,000 with a tripling of ship calls to 210 (p.a.).


Hamburg Cruise Center e.V. becomes Hamburg Cruise Net e.V. The association, a public-private partnership (PPP), has almost 100 members and is open to both private and statutory companies. As a central point of contact, HCN coordinates the industry network for cruise shipping in Hamburg and reinforces external marketing of the city.

After several months of testing, the shore power facility installed at Cruise Center Altona enters normal operation. Hamburg plans further shore power facilities at the HafenCity and Steinwerder Terminals. The HafenCity terminal will be redeveloped by 2022 as part of the southern Überseequartier development.


As a wholly-owned subsidiary of HPA, Cruise Gate Hamburg GmbH assumes operational responsibility for all three terminals (Altona, HafenCity and Steinwerder) and is the central point of contact for cruise lines.

Demolition of temporary Terminal 2 at Cruise Center HafenCity. Terminal 1 will remain fully operational until 2021.


Cruise Terminal Steinwerder (CC3) opens in the former free port, with a 405-meter long quay enabling very large cruise ships to dock here.


Establishment of cruise shipping initiative, Hamburg Cruise Net (HCN).

Cruise Office in operation 2014 – 2017 as precursor to network management. HCC and Hamburg consulting company HPC Hamburg Port Consulting collaborate within this project to develop the foundation for institutional establishment of Hamburg Cruise Net e.V.

Foundation of terminal operating company Cruise Gate Hamburg GmbH as joint venture between Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) and Flughafen Hamburg GmbH (FHG).


Cruise Terminal Altona (CC2) extends Hamburg’s capacity with an additional berth and a modern passenger terminal.


Cruise Terminal HafenCity (CC1) opened.


Almost 20 founding members establish Hamburg Cruise Center e.V, (HCC) association, laying the foundation for a new era in cruise shipping in Hamburg.

Contact Partners

Christine Beine

T: +49 40 30051-390

Brigitte Burmeister

Assistentin der Geschäftsleitung
T: +49 40 30051-394

Julia Gelbe

T: +49 40 30051-397


Dr. Stefan Behn

Chairman of the Board formerly HHLA Chairman Segment Container

Katharina Riggert

Head of Marketing and Communication
HafenCity Hamburg GmbH

Simone Maraschi

Managing Director Cruise Gate Hamburg GmbH

Antonius Heuer

Managing Partner
Otalio GmbH

Michael Otremba

CEO Hamburg Tourismus GmbH

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees advises and supports the Executive Board and the management of the association, Hamburg Cruise Net, in strategic network-building matters. Chair of the Board of Trustees is Dr. Melanie Leonhard. This expert committee is made up of representatives of 17 institutions, companies and associations from among the central players in the cruise shipping initiative.

Photo: Polizei Hamburg