Next year, Hamburg will hold the title “European Green Capital 2011.”  And at this year’s 821st Hafengeburtstag, that took place from May 7 to 9, one of the highlights was the solar-powered catamaran Tûranor PlanetSolar and the exhibition PlanetSolar Village.

At 31 meters, the catamaran Tûranor PlanetSolar is the world’s largest solar-powered vessel. She was making her maiden call at the port of Hamburg, before starting on a global circumnavigation in 2011, powered by solar energy alone.

At the accompanying exhibition, PlanetSolar Village, visitors can learn more about Hamburg as the “Green European Capital 2011” and make suggestions about protecting Hamburg’s environment. Topics such as solar technology, energy savings and renewable energy were covered.

The date on which the Hafengeburtstag Hamburg is celebrated goes back to the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, who, on the May 7 1189, granted the tradesmen of Hamburg a charter, providing an exemption from customs duty between Hamburg and the North Sea. This day is generally regarded as the birth of the port of Hamburg.

During what is considered one of the world’s largest port festivals, 300 seafaring vessels, including five cruise ships, plus a variety of activities provided entertainment to more than 1 million visitors from around the world.