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Port festival in Hamburg

The world’s largest port festival is taking place this weekend in Hamburg. This year Norway is the festival’s partner country and today His Royal Highness The Crown Prince visited the long-running event.


The Hafengeburtstag Hamburg port festival has roots stretching back over eight centuries and attracts some 1.5 million people to Hamburg every year. This weekend the festival is being celebrated for the 822nd time. Every year a different country participates in the Hafengeburtstag celebrations as the festival’s partner country. This year the partner country is Norway, which has clearly left its mark on the programme.

Ships’ parade par excellence

Every year the festival opens with a major parade of ships. According to tradition it is a ship from the partner country that leads the parade, and this year that honour was given to the Norwegian frigate KNM Otto Sverdrup. In addition, eight naval vessels from Germany and Belgium, five large sailing ships from countries such as Russia and Poland, the museum ship Cap San Diego and several other large and small vessels took part. Crown Prince Haakon opened the parade by ringing the ship’s bell on board the museum ship Rickmer Rickmers, a three-masted sailing vessel built in Bremerhaven in 1896.

Norwegian festival

The Crown Prince also opened the Norwegian festival -Norwegenfestival, which forms part of the weekend celebrations. A separate exhibition in the port area showcases what Norway has to offer in the fields of culture and tourism, trade and industry, and important areas of cooperation such as the fisheries and energy sectors.

Over 600 000 German tourists visited Norway last year. Tourist information about Norway is displayed at various stands at the festival to inspire others to visit Norway. The cultural programme includes showings of the films Trolljegeren (The Troll Hunter) and Kon-Tiki, a concert given by Oslo Cathedral Choir and an exhibition of projects by the architect firm Snøhetta AS. Children can visit a Viking village and learn about life during the Viking period.

Norwegian trade and industry is also heavily represented at the festival, by companies such as Color Line AS, which transports large numbers of German tourists to Norway every year, and the sports equipment and apparel company Bergans of Norway AS, which is displaying its latest collection.

In the course of the day the Crown Prince was given a guided tour of the area and talked to people at many of the stands.

Seminar on resource management

A Norwegian-German seminar held today focused on Norway’s commitment to sustainable resource management. A number of representatives of German industry, the wholesale and retail trade and the trade press were present. In his opening speech Crown Prince Haakon stressed the fact that access to natural resources also brings with it a responsibility for ensuring sound and sustainable resource management:

“Norway is blessed with a multitude of natural resources. The sea provides one of the most important ones. The fisheries. We have an opportunity to provide the world with healthy seafood with exquisite quality. At the same time we have the responsibility to manage these vulnerable resources in a sound and sustainable way.”

Peer Gynt in Hamburg

As part of Norway’s participation in the Hafengeburtstag festival, actors from the theatre company Peer Gynt AS in Gålå created a special production to be staged in Hamburg. The production will be performed later this evening for Crown Prince Haakon and an audience of over 500 other invited guests at the Fish Auction Hall in Hamburg – a venue that was originally built as a fish market in 1894.

Official Dinner

Earlier today, Crown Prince Haakon attended an official luncheon in the Town hall, hosted by Hamburg mayor Olaf Scholz. The day’s programme will be concluded this evening with a dinner based on ingredients from Norway, hosted by Norwegenfestival.


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