The 2011 cruising season was the most successful Hamburg has ever had. The Hanseatic metropolis is increasingly coming to be a destination for all year round cruising. During the month of December, four cruise calls are scheduled. These include one double arrival, plus the first appearance of a river cruise ship.
Cruise fans in Hamburg will have a lot of treats to enjoy in December. Almost every Sunday in December a ship will be arriving or has arrived already at the Hamburg Cruise Center in HafenCity. Mainly British visitors will be taking Christmas Market Cruises, exchanging their traditional tea time for mulled wine and Spekulatius.
At the second Advent weekend, on 4 December, the Balmoral of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines moored at the Hamburg Cruise Center HafenCity. It remained in port until around 4.00 pm on 5 December.
On the third Sunday in Advent the Saga Pearl II of Saga Cruises will be returning to Hamburg in the run-up to Christmas. It is almost exactly a year since the ship celebrated her first appearance in the hanseatic city. On her Christmas Markets of Europe Cruise she will also visit Belgium and Holland.
The official end of the season, on 17 and 18 December, will be marked by a double arrival. On the evening of 17 December at 6.00 pm, the Albatros and the Amadea of Phoenix Reisen will make fast at the Cruise Center in HafenCity. Before both ships continue on their big global trips, going in the direction of South America, on the fourth Sunday in Advent singing Santas at the terminal will put the cruise passengers in a festive mood.
When it comes to Christmas cruises, Hamburg has a lot to offer. Eight thematic Christmas markets at once are held in the vicinity of HafenCity Cruise Center, creating an unforgettable festive atmosphere. Once again these include the Christmas Market of the Überseequartier district, which takes place in full view of the terminal – this year with an extended programme, lots of surprises and atmospheric lighting.
And then there are even more cruise ships to admire. Two cruise liners have been on view at the docks opposite since last weekend. Back on November 16 the Oriana of the P&O Cruises shipping company docked near Blohm + Voss. And since 26 November Cunard's Queen Mary 2 has also been in port, for what is now its fifth maintenance visit to the traditional shipyard. The QM2 left on 5 December for another big trip. The Oriana, on the other hand, is likely to be staying at the dock until 17 December.
But the last cruiser of this year is not an ocean-going giant. On 27 December the Frederic Chopin of Nicko Tours will be in Hamburg. She offers a New Year's river cruise, exclusively to mark this special turn of the year. Travelling eastward on the Elbe, she will be visiting the towns of Wittenberge, Meissen, Dresden and Bad Schandau.