From the natural splendour of Jasmund National Park to the array of museums, opera houses and art galleries – a cruise to Germany offers an inviting mix of exciting excursions as well as hearty and flavourful dishes to try in its diverse eateries.
Whatever time of year you visit, there’s something to enthral with atmospheric Christmas markets in the winter and bustling beach resorts in summer. Germany offers a variety of all-weather attractions for cruise adventurers.
Popular Ports in Germany
Vibrant and cosmopolitan, a Germany cruise featuring Hamburg will be memorable. Superb architecture, shopping opportunities, dining and nightlife combine to make this city a multifaceted port of call. During the winter months, the Christmas markets bring the city to life with glistening stalls selling gingerbread treats and tree decorations. The summer offers many attractions, too, with an array of parks and gardens for picturesque strolls. Noteworthy museums include the International Maritime Museum which houses over 40,000 nautical artefacts from Hamburg’s seafaring past.
Whether you’re after some beach action or architectural sights, Warnemünde presents an intriguing variety of sightseeing opportunities. Wonder through its medieval streets to discover shops, eateries and the charming church of St Mary’s with its Baroque organ and astronomical clock, thought to be the oldest in the world.
One of Germany’s major maritime centres, Kiel has plenty to offer. Cycling is a popular pastime and many visitors take an invigorating ride along Kiel Fjord’s pretty promenade. There’s a large shopping district for those in search of retail therapy with everything from lavish malls to independent boutiques and market stalls. Many visitors head to nearby Laboe to check out the Naval Memorial dedicated to sailors of all nationalities lost at sea. The impressive 72-metre-high structure topped by an observation deck is a popular local attraction.
With an ornate town hall, imposing cathedral and charming old town, Bremen offers a taste of German city life at its best. The Schnoor quarter is the oldest part of Bremen, offering picture-postcard-worthy streets, half-timbered houses and arts-and-crafts shops. The Schloss Schonebeck museum is one rainy day option offering an overview of the local history of Bremen through its extensive collection of paintings and artefacts.
History and charm combine to make Wismar a highlight of any cruise to Germany. This city is small but packed with charisma, which is probably why its old town is a Unesco World Cultural Heritage Site. Explore to find an array of churches, half-timbered houses and the awesome 14th-century St Nikolai cathedral, which is one of the biggest churches in Europe. History buffs should pop into the Schabbellhaus where the town’s historical museum is housed.
The beach resort of Travemünde with its attractive beach and pine-forest backdrop offers the chance of relaxation and sightseeing. If you visit during the summer months, the beach and waters provide ample opportunity for casual bathing. Those in search of historic interest can head to the Leuchtturm Travemünde – a historic lighthouse and museum. Passat, a historic four-mast sailing ship, is another top Travemünde attraction with regular tours available.
What are the best cruise ships for a Germany Cruise?
Finding the right cruise line for your needs is a must for your Germany Cruise. Ensure you pick one that has plenty of onboard features for times in between ports.
Marella Explorer docks in Warnemunde during the fascinating Baltic Discovery itinerary. It offers an array of culinary options across its 10 restaurants with everything from tempting tapas to succulent sushi. Families can take advantage of the kids’ club as well as the Sport & Family Deck and indoor cinema. Those in search of relaxation can book a treatment in the spa or enjoy a leisurely dip in the pool. When the sun sets the action hots up with a casino, nightclub and West End-style shows.
Independence of the seas
A Northern Europe Cityscapes cruise with Royal Caribbean will see you call at the exciting city of Hamburg sailing onboard the Independence of the Seas. Part of the Freedom Class, this expansive ship is quite something. From a rock-climbing wall to a surf simulator, it has everything you’d expect from a world-class cruise company and a little bit more. There are plenty of dining options, too, and in addition to the elegant main dining room there’s an Italian trattoria, American diner and sushi restaurant. Active types can have a game of mini golf or show off some moves on the Ice Rink.
Shore excursion ideas
Germany offers an array of sightseeing variety with its castles, churches and towns providing plenty of scope for intriguing day trips.
Lubeck from Kiel
Depending on your time in port, a trip to Lubeck should be on your excursion wish-list. This full day tour taking in the delights of Lubeck will present you with a glimpse of historic Germany with iconic architecture, spires and gothic churches greeting you at every turn. Many buildings have been given UNESCO World Heritage Site status and it’s also a town famous for its confectionery, with a trip to the Marzipan Café a must for those with a sweet tooth.
Schwerin from Wismar
If you dock in Wismar during your Germany cruise, a trip to the picturesque city of Schwerin is well worth your time. With its impressive castle and imposing cathedral, there’s plenty to enjoy. The drive from Wismar to Schwerin takes around 45 minutes and this excursion is a good choice for active travellers as it involves a lot of walking.
Berlin from Warnemunde
Cruisers lucky enough to dock in Warnemunde can use this as a springboard from which to visit Germany’s bustling capital of Berlin. Here there are sights aplenty with the Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag building and Berlin wall – all being at the top of visitors’ attraction hit-lists. Museum Island, which incorporates five museums and a cathedral, is also not to be missed.
Top ports of call in this destination