Hamburg, Germany - Maritime Circle Line-HoHo-Boat-Service

Willkommen in Deutschland
Welcome to Germany

There is a difference between the classical port cruises, canal/lake cruises and the Maritime Circle Line.

It's only 8 EUR for the whole day but it's a Ho-Ho-Liner-Service which goes every 2 hours and you do not see the things you normally see on the other port cruises and you do not get any English explanations. So if you want to discover Hamburg history it's good to use this line.

As ususally your tour starts at Landing Stages (Landungsbrücken) which I reached here by commuter rail or subway:

Just follow the sign for the boats and you cross over to St. Pauli Landing Stages. You see here all the activities on the street because it was one day ahead of the port anniversary celebration.

Some of the port cruises also starts walking distance about 10 minutes alongside the waterfront. So ask exactly for price and route and English explaination before you choose anyone and you are disappointed.

It's good to have an overview: Stage 1 is to the left and Stage 10 is to the right. We need to go for Stage 10.

Opposite you find Blohm and Voss shipyards. In their drydocks you find currently CELEBRITY CONSTELLATION and BRAEMAR.

So follow the sign to Maritime Circle Line.

Stage 10 is somehow a little hidden.

Sorry but this is our ship: a classical "Barkasse" which is a Hamburg port cruise barge.

Due to the limited numbers of departures you shoud plan your visits very carefully.

As you see the stops are fixed but the route can vary due to tide.

Toilets are available, but no beverages are sold - Do not laugh: there was a board photographer for 2 EUR (as bargain instead of 2.50 EUR...).

When you choose for another port cruise: both sides of the landing stages are the departure points.

Unfortunately here is no stop but as the first boat leaves at 10.00 hrs it is too late anyhow: St. Pauli Fish Market which is a big attractions Sunday early morning (05.00 hrs) with a lot of great market dealers.

They explain about the big ships on the way but also smaller ships like this which are accidentially on the way.

The first stop it's Ballin Stadt - the emigration museum which you cannot see due to high wall.

Since emigrants were dreaming of their new life this part of the port also called Port of Dreams - Hafen der Träume:

If you love architecture you might interested to visit IBA-exhibition which is opposite of Ballin Stadt.

Normally we should berth at the Hamburg Port Museum. But to missing berth we could not stop there.

Next stop was Hafen City (Port City) - the new living, office, amusement district in Hamburg where formerly warehouses were.

Some other options to discover the port. So you really must look for an option which meets your personal taste.

Hamburg's famous St. Micheal's Church (St. Michelis - or short just Michel) is not far away to visit. You can walk up the tower to have a great view over Hamburg.

That's typical in Hamburg for low tide.

So we were not allowed to go into the Speicherstadt - the historical warehouse district. But you might want to see the museum since you cannot go through with your boat...: Speicherstadtmuseum.

A church on a boat for crew members of the river ship crews: Flussschifferkirche.

The historical light vessel (Das Feuerschiff) is meanwhile a good restaraunt and hotel.

There are so many historical ships in Hamburg during the port anniversary celebration: no idea which one is just guest and which one is here all the time.

Another attraction is this museum freight ship Cap San Diego:

There should be a stop at Cap San Diego but we did not call.

And another museum: Rickmer Rickmers:

After 90 minutes we are back. If you are looking for a nice hotel for your Hamburg pre- or post-cruise stay with a great view to the port: Hotel Hafen Hamburg. Personally I do not like them. Great location but somehow a little bit typical Hamburg: snobbish and elite...

Have a good time in Hamburg.


Hamburg, Germany - Buying ticket for local transportation

Willkommen in Deutschland
Welcome to Germany

It could be that there is a need to buy tickets for public transport.

To buy tickets for intra-Hamburg destinations see here:

The only difference is that the machines of DB Deutsche Bahn German Railways also accept credit cards. But normally you might walk around to a subway station and cannot pay with credit card.

Some of you need to return to Kiel or you want to go for an excursion for Lübeck.

That's the way how to buy these tickets once you need to buy in Hamburg. All prices are 2010.

Tickets to Lübeck or Kiel are not available with bus drivers in Hamburg!!! So you need to buy a ticket to the next train station with the driver or you walk to town hall according to these instructions to get access to the rapid transit system:

Once you found the touch-screen ticket machines of HVV (Hamburger Verkehrsverbund - Hamburg Transport Association) you can choose that you need your menu in English by pressing the "Union Jack" (English flag):

And the menu changes to English - If you have a destination within Hamburg you may see the other instructions as above linked to get your correct ticket.

But now let's go to Lübeck and you need to find the area "Tickets for HVV-Area and Schleswig-Holstein"

Normally you want to buy a ticket from the place you are. Here I was at the Landing Stages (Landungsbrücken) and so no reason to change. So enter the first letter für Lübeck like "L".

You can either scroll for all destinations starting letter L or you add the next letter "Ü" (do not forget the two dots over the letter U - so it is sorted last in the alphabet).

Now you have "Lübeck" as option and you should select it.

See if you go to Lübeck and return: One single ticket is 11.90 EUR but a day pass is just 22.00 EUR. And if you start after 09.00 hrs on weekdays you get also the option to buy a group pass for 5 persons for just 29.40 EUR which is cheaper if you are a party of 2 upto 5. Let's take such a "Group Ticket 5 Persons" as most of you are not travelling alone.

I guess most of you want to go on "2nd class", you do not purchased annual discount passes for German Railways before so "no discount". And as most of you want to travel the same day there is no need for changes of the day of travel. So just "Buy".

So only cash (machine will change) but no credit cards if you do not have a German bank card with a chip.

Few variations if you want to go to Kiel but it worked nearly same.

For Kiel you get three different ways to get there. But if you want to go on the most direct and fastest train connections you need to choose the first option via "Elmshorn * Wrist * Neumünster".

Same way you also buy tickets für Lüneburg.

I am sure you understood.

Have a great time in Germany.


Hamburg, Germany - Access public transportation at Cruise Center Altona (Alternative Cruise Terminal)

Willkommen in Deutschland
Welcome to Germany

As Hamburg becomes more and more attractive for cruise ship calls a second cruise terminal will be added in their plannings.

So some cruise ships (mostly Germans but in 2010 also MSC POESIA (after her drydock stay) and CELEBRITY CONSTELLATION (before her drydock stay) will be diverted to Altona instead and we be handled at the former Ferry Terminal for the Harwich-bound ferries.

Nicest way will be to go on the port ferry boats of line 61 or 62 which leave from the Landing Stages (Landungsbrücken) and get off here:

When you reach the street level you can see here how much more you need to walk.

In future you will find here a real dedicated cruise terminal which is under construction.

So far you are still using the former passenger hall for the England ferries.

You need to get to the train station (from Hamburg Airport by train or bus) Altona and change here to bus stop F for Bus 383 which does not go on Sundays.

You should get off from the bus at "Fährterminal"

From here you see the way to walk to the former Ferry Terminal.

In this districts there are now many new restaurants. But before you go on your ship you might want to have a snack. This little fish snack bar is also open on Sundays. You get great fish soup or rolls with fish.

Have a good time in Hamburg