Tips for cruise passengers and visitors to Hamburg

Extend your stay in Hamburg with a journey of discovery and enjoyment in one of Germany’s most beautiful cities.

Its geographic location and modern infrastructure make the city ideal for passenger change-over. As a result, Hamburg, on the banks of the Elbe, is the start and/or end port for many cruise passengers. This makes it ideal for combining a cruise with a city trip.

Our network has a few extras, especially tailored for cruise passengers. And you will find even more exciting offers at Hamburg Tourism, with HVV Website giving you the best public transport connections to get there.

Speedboat Tours

With RIB Piraten speedboat tours, you can enjoy an adrenalin-fuelled tour of the harbour. Safety comes first, of course, in terms of both crew and equipment. The boat captains are all official instructors who work full-time as captains with an unlimited patent or who gained their sailing qualifications in the navy.

Private Tours

Sea air and the aroma of coffee is Hamburg’s signature scent. offers exciting city tours that give you the flavour of this famous Hanseatic city. Take an intimate city tour for two or a half-day excursion or a small group tour. Tours are usually available all year round and bookable at short notice.

Come Face to Face …

… with Angela Merkel or Robbie Williams or any number of celebrities, public figures and megastars when you visit Hamburg’s Panoptikum. Founded in 1879, Germany’s oldest waxworks museum (located in the St. Pauli quarter on Spielbudenplatz) is an assembly of the great and the good, featuring over 120 figures form the arts, politics and history.

Extend your Stay

The AMERON Hamburg Hotel Speicherstadt shines with design and comfort in a stunning brick setting in the middle of the historic Speicherstadt. The hotel, which is in the 4-star segment, is just a short distance from the HafenCity terminal and has a cruise offer for cruise passengers in combination with their departure or arrival. Parking is easy in the adjacent public parking garage Contipark Speicherstadt and offers direct access to the hotel. The “cruise tariff” applies for parking for 5 days or more.

Terrace Views

Located on the Elbchaussee, the Hotel Louis C. Jacob is steeped in history. The hotel’s Lindenterrasse, which dates back to 1791, offers breathtaking river views that inspired the painter Max Liebermann. Transfers to the Hamburg cruise terminal are available, as is car parking for the duration of your cruise.

Hard Rock Cafe

Located in the historic manufacturing buildings of St. Pauli Landungsbrücken, the HARD ROCK CAFE HAMBURG is a magnet for music fans as well as lovers of classic American food. The roof terrace and bar offer excellent views and the shop (10 am-12 am) sells the famous Hard Rock t-shirts and other memorabilia. Our voucher entitles cruise passengers to a small souvenir (€30 min. spend).

Access all Areas

The Hamburg Card gives visitors to the Hanseatic city free access to buses, trains and harbour trips and a 50% discount at over 150 tourist attractions. The card also includes free use of the Hamburg app. The Hamburg Card is available as a single or group card, for one day or up to five days.

On the Waterfront

No visit to Hamburg would be complete without a tour of the harbour. For a tour through dikes, locks, the Speicherstadt warehouse district and the container port, head down to the St. Pauli Landungsbrücken piers, where you’ll find a wide selection of boats to choose from. There’s even a Mississippi steamer – the Louisiana Star, which is the flagship of the Abicht river tour company. Tours are also available in English (e.g. from Barkassen-Meyer, daily at 1pm).

Off on a hike

“Der Wanderer” over the Sea of Fog is a painting by Caspar David Friedrich from around 1818 – and the best-known “back figure” of the painter, whose 250th birthday is coming up in 2024. The Wanderer and many other exhibits can be found in Hamburg’s Kunsthalle Startseite. Simply wander there!

Terminal tips

Here you will find information on how to get to the terminals and parking options, among other things.


Whether on board or ashore – the Elbe metropolis offers unique cruise experiences for trade visitors and ship-loving guests: leading trade fairs for the entire cruise industry, ship christenings with prominent godfathers, first calls and parades with grandiose fireworks and the most beautiful backdrop for motif hunters. Festive highlights are the Harbour Birthday in May and the Hamburg Cruise Days held every two years in September.

Check out the Hamburg event database for this year’s highlights, current musicals, exhibitions, and tips for accommodation and restaurants.

835th Hamburg Port Anniversary

This year, Hamburg is celebrating its port birthday from May 9 to May 12, 2024. New – this time a total of four days with the public holiday “Ascension Day” on Thursday. In Hamburg, this festival is celebrated on the occasion of the founding of the port in 1189 and not, as is usual in other cities, on the occasion of the founding of the city.

You can look forward to the tugboat ballet, fireworks, spectacular entry and run-up parades. There will also be an action-packed open-air mile on the riverbank.

31st SMM

The world’s leading trade fair for the maritime industry will take place in Hamburg from September 3 to 6, 2024. More than 2,000 exhibiting companies and around 40,000 participants from more than 100 countries are expected to attend. SMM covers the entire value chain of the industry in eleven halls, brings together managers from all over the world and is the world’s most important platform for innovations and the latest technologies in the maritime sector.

Under the motto “SMM – driving the maritime transition”, the 31st SMM will focus in particular on the maritime energy transition and the digital transformation. The trade fair will be flanked by an attractive conference program and a wide range of networking opportunities. For the first time, the conferences will take place on open stages in the exhibition halls. Special routes on key topics make it easier to find exhibitors.

Hamburg Cruise Days

From 8 to 10 September 2023, Hamburg once again became the stage for the world of cruising – with the Hamburg Cruise Days! The world’s most beautiful cruise festival now returned in full after the pandemic (and a special edition in 2022), once again with AIDA Cruises as the event’s premium partner.

Visitors could enjoy nine cruise ships, a colourful shore programme, the Blue Port Hamburg and spectacular highlights such as the parade on the event Saturday. Every two years, this Hamburg open-air event following the Seatrade Europe trade fair is a real visitor magnet. The next Hamburg Cruise Days will take place from 12 to 14 September 2025.

The most attractive Lookouts for Shipspotters

Take a short cruise on a historic ship

The maritime tradition of Hamburg also encompasses a fleet of well-preserved historic museum ships that regularly tour the port and the Elbe. Passengers and groups are welcome and they may also be chartered. The view of the great liners moored at the quays of Hamburg, seen from the water, is simply magnificent. Extra tours and escort voyages are offered for special events.

Photos:, / Christian Spahrbier (Hafengeburtstag) & bcs Media (CruiseDays); Hamburg Messe & Congress / Tom Kohler; Photos of the Tips: With the friendly support of our members.