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

Designed for both comfort and style, the 4-star AMERON Hamburg Hotel Speicherstadt is not far from the HafenCity cruise terminal. It offers cruise packages for guests and is the ideal place to start or end your cruise. As well as complementary drink on arrival and the Vitality Spa, other services include packed lunches for day tripping and free parking for the first 24 hours. Special rates on application.

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 Safe Side

With the cruise arrangement of the Grand Elysée Hamburg vacationers don’t need to worry about the accommodation of their car any more. It is parked in its own underground car park during their cruise. Also included in the offer are the tourist tax, a welcome drink at the Bourbon Street Bar, the overnight stay in a Grand Classic room with breakfast and the transfer to the cruise ship in the Port of Hamburg. High-speed Wi-Fi and use of the Elyseum Wellness & Spa are free on top.

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).


Hamburg, on the banks of the Elbe, has unique cruise experiences in store — on board and on land. Celebrities launching ships, the thousands of lights making up the Blue Night illuminations, first visits, and ship parades with firework displays and stunning backdrops for photographers. The highlights of the calendar are the major festivals, the Hafengeburtstag port festival every May and 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.

832th Hamburg Port Anniversary

Every year, at the start of May, Hamburg hosts the biggest port festival in the world, to commemorate the founding of the port in 1189. The name says it all — it’s German for “Port Birthday”. Windjammers, ocean liners and historic ships are all part of the festival, along with tugboat ballet, fireworks and “open ship” on various vessels. From 07 to 09 May 2021, under normal circumstances, the Elbe would once again have been the scene of spectacular ships parades as the many vessels arrive for the start of the festival and then leave at the end, and the banks of the river would have been a bustling open-air fairground. Unfortunately, however, due to the pandemic, the 2021 Hafengeburtstag is not taking place.

Hamburg Cruise Days

The Hamburg Cruise Days event was scheduled for 10 to 12 September 2021. Due to the current situation, this superlative cruise event has had to be postponed until next year.

Drenched in blue light, the port and the traditional warehouse district provide the backdrop for a whole fleet of majestic ocean liners as they parade down the Elbe. This open air festival, held every two years, is a veritable visitor magnet.

Seatrade Europe

From 08 to 10 September 2021, in the buildup to Hamburg Cruise Days, experts from all over the globe gather in Hamburg to discuss challenges and trends for Europe’s cruise shipping industry. The conference takes place in Hamburg every two years and is one of the most important events on the industry calendar. In 2019, Seatrade Europe saw 5,000 visitors and more than 260 exhibitors from over 45 countries.

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.

Cap San Diego


Stettin Ice-Breaker

Mare Frisium

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