Stretching 396 metres long, the “CMA CGM Marco Polo”, arrived at 3:45 am in the northern German city to. Despite sub-zero temperatures, a die-hard group of onlookers, regional paper the Hamburger Morgenpost reported.
Although loaded with thousands of containers, the ship was not full. If it were, it would skim the bottom of the city's harbour. But if the hotly debated deepening of the Elbe River goes ahead, the Marco Polo would be able to arrive in Hamburg bearing all 16,020 containers.
With 110,000 horse-power and a travelling power of 21 knots, the ship creates enough energy for a town of 16,000 residents.
Despite its strength, the Marco Polo had to be pulled into the harbour and depending on how windy it is, up to four tug boats could be needed for this in the future.
The arrival was the first of many expected for the 54-metre-wide ship, which requires two spots in the quay and flies a British flag.