Hamburg had its best year to date for cruise ship visits in 2010. Over 100 cruise ships carrying more than 200,000 passengers dropped anchor at the Elbe river metropolis, including the Queen Mary 2, which paid four visits in total. And the numbers are projected to continue rising. It was obvious for a long time that HafenCity’s cruise terminal and its two berths could no longer cope with this onslaught alone, so work started in 2008 on a second cruise terminal in Hamburg-Altona at the Edgar-Engelhard quay, with the publicly owned Fischereihafenentwicklungsgesellschaft as lead builder.
For ordinary mortals who don’t get chauffeured to work in a stretch limousine, luckily there’s public transport. In and around Hamburg, the public transportation system is made up of an extensive network of trains, buses and ferries. And no matter which means of transportation you use, one ticket is sufficient, as the 33 local transportation companies including the Hamburger Hochbahn and the S-Bahn Hamburg, are all members of the Hamburger Verkehrsverbund (HVV) integrated public transport association. In addition to greater Hamburg, the neighboring counties of Pinneberg, Segeberg, Stormarn, Herzogtum Lauenburg, Lüneburg, Harburg and Stade in Schleswig-Holstein and Niedersachsen are also part of the HVV area, which spans 8,600 square kilometers.
Residents of Hamburg can travel by ferry as well as by bus and train with an HVV ticket. Five HVV ferry lines cross the River Elbe in the port area and offer exciting sightseeing and excursions as well as normal transport trips. For example, you can take a nice round trip from the landing stage to Finkenwerder with the Linie 62 and enjoy a great view of Hamburg from the water without paying for a costly harbour tour.