Today we did a Hamburg harbor tour, but we didn’t know that at the beginning. We actually got into the Hafengeburtstag unintentionally.
Bus in water
In advance we had booked a ride with the Hafencity Riverbus. This amphibious vehicle, specially built for the port of Hamburg, can only enter the water at a certain point in the east of the port, which naturally limited somewhat the attractiveness of the sights. In fact, however, the moderation was so entertaining and funny that the time flew by and this form of harbor tour should be chalked up more to entertainment. And can easily complement it before or after with a launch ride through the harbor.
The Riverbus departs from Hafencity, the launch cruise from Landungsbrücken. Due to the Hafengeburtstag much was closed and Google Maps had probably not yet noticed. All our attempts to navigate by public transport failed …
Hamburg harbor tour without traffic
In fact, there are no buses to the Landungsbrücken on the Hafengeburtstag weekend, but we could have taken the S-Bahn (S1, S2, S3). We didn’t know that, so we took a makeshift bus from a makeshift stop to St. Pauli and walked the 10 minutes down to the Landungsbrücken.
Downstairs, of course, everything was full, because just the harbor birthday had just begun. A fire-fighting barge reportedly hurled water 180 meters, a naval ship named Hamburg sailed along the Elbe followed by many historic ships. Or even current large sailing ships like the Dar Młodzieży. A Polish sail training ship of the merchant navy. Translated, it means “Gift of Youth” and was built in 1982 at the former Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk, Poland for the Naval Academy. The ship is used to train prospective officers of the Polish Merchant Navy. A really beautiful sight.
Hamburg harbor tour on the harbor birthday?
Actually, we wanted to take the ferry to Ovelgönne, which many had recommended. In fact – due to the harbor birthday – we stood waiting for nothing at the landing stages and then spontaneously decided to now take the launch trip through the harbor.
This was a bit improvised, because the young and witty captain of the Hamburg harbor tour didn’t know if he was allowed to sail freely on the Elbe at all. But everything went smoothly and he asked us at some point if it would be a problem if he would sail us a little longer across the Elbe, because he wanted to show us a few more things. It wasn’t, of course. And after it had poured at the beginning like from buckets it cleared up then slowly. And we had a really great round trip. Absolutely recommendable!
From the festival on land we have then not noticed much, it was in any case also a very child-friendly way to enjoy the positive sides of the harbor birthday!
The pictures on this day were all taken with my small Leica D-Lux7. A small compact camera with FourThirds sensor and 20-70mm zoom lens. Autofocus not on par with the Sony Alphas but a very clean drawing lens in the class. During post-processing, I was once again amazed at the fine detail and dynamic range that came out of the small sensor.
Not without a camera!
Either way: If you’re taking a harbor tour, take a camera. There are so many unbelievable motifs that you will never be able to capture from this perspective. You tend to prefer wide-angle to telephoto, as you are usually photographing a much larger object from below…
Anyway, my conclusion: If you happen to come to the Hafengeburtstag like we did, try to take a Hamburg harbor tour. This is certainly the most relaxed way to experience the spectacle and opens up completely different visual perspectives than getting lost in the dense turmoil on land …