Living witnesses to history
Numerous museum ships in Hamburg offer tourists the opportunity to learn more about this city's shipping history. They are witnesses to history and they document the development of the Port of Hamburg: Cap San Diego, Lightship or Rickmer Rickmers, each of these ships has influenced the history of the harbour.
A trip to the popular Hanseatic city should also include a visit to the many museum ships in Hamburg. These are former passenger liners or barges that have been converted into museums. During a visit to one of these special ships, both residents and tourists can learn about the history of the city as a shipping and trading post. Each of the museum ships, which also document the development of the harbour, have had their influence on it over the years.
In the Museumshafen Oevelgönne, you can visit around 20 vintage ships, including the German and Dutch flat-bottomed vessels, steam tugs and barges. There is also a steam crane, a high-seas cutter, as well as a harbour ferry that has been converted into a café. Visitors to the harbour can thus relax in a suitable ambience and soak in the impressions. The star of the harbour is the former lightship Elbe 3. The ships have not only been painstakingly restored but also still sail on occasion as well. The cargo ship Cap San Diego was built in 1961 and it has been permanently anchored as a museum ship at the Überseebrücke in the Hanseatic city since 1986. The elegant silhouette of this ship, which is still seaworthy, has now become a part of Hamburg's harbour promenade as much as the Speicherstadt and the HafenCity. The museum ship Rickmer Rickmers is worth seeing as well. This floating city landmark offers an insight into seafaring life. You can also take a look at the engines of the ship. Visitors will find out about the three types of marine propulsion that have been used over the past 100 years: Wind, steam and diesel. The museum ships in Hamburg are also versatile attractions that vividly convey much that is worth knowing.
The side-wheel paddle steamer Freya, built in 1905, often visits Hamburg as well. It is especially the steamer's natural, high timber construction that makes it unique. It now regularly travels the Elbe as a passenger ship.