© Timo Sommer
Where to watch ships

Extraordinary places to watch ships

The most beautiful and famous cruise ships in the world regularly arrive and depart in Hamburg, which makes Hamburg a popular place for shipspotters - 12 months of the year. Locals and thousands of guests long to welcome new and beloved Ocean Liners. They especially get their money's worth at christenings, first calls, anniversaries and events in the harbour, which is why major events such as the annual Harbour Birthday and the Hamburg Cruise Days are a special highlight. No binoculars are needed to get close to the graceful dream ships: Hamburg offers enough good opportunities for this. Firstly, the ships approach slowly (there is a strict speed limit on the Elbe), secondly, they have to manoeuvre on the river and thirdly, there are countless pontoons and viewpoints from which the giant ships can be viewed from every angle and from which you can take THE photo.

Show moreShow less

1.The landmark - On the Elbphilharmonie Plaza

elbphilharmonie_aussicht_c-2016-joerg-modrow
© Iwan Baan
elbphilharmonie_c-iwan-baan-14
© Iwan Baan
elbphilharmonie_plaza_c-2016-michael-zapf-2
© Michael Zapf
elbphilharmonie_plaza-der-elbphilharmonie_c-2017-michael-zapf
© Michael Zapf
elbphilharmonie_plaza_c-2016-michael-zapf-6
© Michael Zapf
elbphilharmonie_c-iwan-baan-11
© Iwan Baan
elbphilharmonie_plaza_c-oliver-heissner-1
© Oliver Heissner
elbphilharmonie_c-iwan-baan-13_1
© Iwan Baan
elbphilharmonie_plaza_c-2016-michael-zapf-3
© Michael Zapf
elbphilharmonie_c-iwan-baan-10
© Iwan Baan
elbphilharmonie_plaza_c-2016-michael-zapf
© Michael Zapf
elbphilharmonie_c-iwan-baan-12
© Iwan Baan
elbphilharmonie_plaza_c-2016-michael-zapf-7
© Michael Zapf
elbphilharmonie_plaza_c-2016-michael-zapf-5
© Michael Zapf

Hamburg's new concert hall has a publicly accessible viewing platform at a height of 37 metres, which can be reached via the longest escalator in Europe, "The Tube". In principle, admission to the Plaza is free, but for ship christenings, first calls or concert days it is advisable to purchase a ticket in advance for 2 euros. From the Plaza you have a fantastic view of the Elbe and its ships.

 

Show moreShow less

The landmark - On the Elbphilharmonie Plaza

  • Address Am Kaiserkai 62
    20457 Hamburg
  • Opening hours
    • Mon09:00 - 23:30
    • Tue09:00 - 23:30
    • Wed09:00 - 23:30
    • Thu09:00 - 23:30
    • Fri09:00 - 23:30
    • Sat09:00 - 23:30
    • Sun09:00 - 23:30

Elbphilharmonie: Besucherzentrum & Plaza

Am Kaiserkai 62
20457 Hamburg

More

2.The Adlerhorst - At the vinyard am Stintfang

Those who leave the subway at the Landungsbrücken  should definitely climb the last steps to the Stintfang above the station. Nowhere else on the North German coast do large ships sail so far into the city. The Stintfang gives a view of the Norderelbe and the shipyard Blohm+Voss. The colours on the chimney indicate which cruise ship is currently in the dock.
 

Show moreShow less

The Adlerhorst - At the vinyard am Stintfang

  • Address

3.The fish sandwiches connection - On the Landungsbrücken

landungsbruecken_sonnenaufgang_c-thisisjulia-photography-1
© ThisIsJulia Photography
landungsbruecken_wasserseite_c-thisisjulia-photography-5
© ThisIsJulia Photography
landungsbruecken_wasserseite_c-thisisjulia-photography-6
© ThisIsJulia Photography
landungsbruecken_landseite_c-julia-schwendner-2
© ThisIsJulia Photography
landungsbruecken_landseite_c-julia-schwendner-2
© ThisIsJulia Photography

Eating crabs and shipspotting are easy to combine in Hamburg: At the Landungsbrücken, you have the widest choice (but the crowds are also the biggest at major events). If you're smart, you'll arrive in time for "Brücke 10", the last snack bar before Strand Pauli. The crab rolls are real protein shockers, richly topped, "without anything green, only with fresh onions". The beer costs 2,50 Euro.

 

Show moreShow less

The fish sandwiches connection - On the Landungsbrücken

  • Address Bei den St. Pauli-Landungsbrücken
    20359 Hamburg

Landungsbrücken

Bei den St. Pauli-Landungsbrücken
20359 Hamburg

More

4.The journey back in time - At the Museum Harbour Övelgöne

museumshafen-oevelgoenne_c-thisisjulia-photography-1
© ThisIsJulia-Photography
museumshafen-oevelgoenne_details-leuchtturm_c-thisisjulia-photography
© ThisIsJulia-Photography
museumshafen-oevelgoenne_c-thisisjulia-photography-5
© ThisIsJulia-Photography
museumshafen-oevelgoenne_details-boje_c-thisisjulia-photography
© ThisIsJulia-Photography
museumshafen-oevelgoenne_details_c-thisisjulia-photography-6
© ThisIsJulia-Photography
museumshafen-oevelgoenne_c-thisisjulia-photography-3
© ThisIsJulia-Photography
museumshafen-oevelgoenne_details-doens_c-thisisjulia-photography-1_1
© ThisIsJulia-Photography

The museum harbour Övelgönne in Altona is a tranquil place. If the arrival of the announced cruise ship is delayed, you can travel back in time: The museum harbour has historic ships such as the steam tug CLAUS D., the lightship ELBE 3 or the traditional ocean-going cutter PRESIDENT FREIHER FROM MALTZAHN.

 

Show moreShow less

The journey back in time - At the Museum Harbour Övelgöne

  • Address Oevelgönne 42
    22763 Hamburg

Museumshafen Oevelgönne

Oevelgönne 42
22763 Hamburg

More

5.The opposite side - Stage Theatre and more

disneys-der-koenig-der-loewen_musical_c-stage-entertainment-bent-weber
© Stage Entertainmant / Bent Weber
Disneys DER KÖNIG DER LÖWEN
© Disney / Stage Entertainment
disneys-der-koenig-der-loewen_musical_c-stage-entertainment-denn-van-meer-2
© Stage Entertainment / Denn van Meer
disneys-der-koenig-der-loewen_musical_c-stage-entertainment-6
© Stage Entertainment
disneys-der-koenig-der-loewen_musical_c-stage-entertainment-denn-van-meer-1
© Stage Entertainment / Denn van Meer

On the other side of the Elbe, ship worshipers can find special vantage points, as the city panorama forms the background here. The best observation points: The Rüschpark on the Rüsch peninsula, the theatre in the harbour, from where you can admire an exceptional view. The Bubendey shore, with its long poplar avenue and very few people. And from the top of the Australiakai you have a view of the Cruise Center Altona.

 

Show moreShow less

The opposite side - Stage Theatre and more

  • Address Norderelbestraße 6
    20457 Hamburg

Theater im Hafen

Norderelbestraße 6
20457 Hamburg

More

6.The Ahoi variant - On a barge

barkassen-meyer-flotte_c-stephan-bestmann-1
© Stephan Bestmann
barkassen-meyer_c-barkassen-meyer-1
© Barkassen-Meyer
barkassen-meyer_grosse-hafenrundfahrt_c-thomas-gamlow_1
© Thomas Gamlow
luette-deern_queen-mary_c-andreas-kreutzer_1
© Andreas Kreutzer
barkassen-meyer-flotte_c-stephan-bestmann-2
© Stephan Bestmann
ms-commodore_barkasse_c-thomas-gamlow_1
© Thomas Gamlow
ms-commodore_barkasse-innen_c-barkassen-meyer_1
© Barkassen-Meyer
barkassen-meyer-flotte_c-stephan-bestmann-3
© Stephan Bestmann
ms-commodore_c-barkassen-meyer-1
© Barkassen-Meyer

Ride on board one of the many launches and steamships that offer special tours during spectacular ship calls and harbour events so that you can take pictures of your favourite cruise ship. For shipspotters, the captain will put the launch in an ideal position. The most economical way is with the harbour ferries 61, 62 or 71 from the Landungsbrücken.

Show moreShow less

The Ahoi variant - On a barge

  • Address Bei den St. Pauli-Landungsbrücken, Brücke 2+6
    20359 Hamburg

Hafenrundfahrt

Bei den St. Pauli-Landungsbrücken, Brücke 2+6
20359 Hamburg

More

7.The quiet ball - Altona balcony

altoner-balkon_altona-ottensen_c-2018-timo-sommer-lee-maas
© Timo Sommer / Lee Maas
altoner-balkon_altona-ottensen_c-2018-timo-sommer-lee-maas-2
© Timo Sommer / Lee Maas
altonaer-balkon_c-vera-mueller_01
© Vera Müller
altonaer-balkon_c-vera-mueller_03
© Vera Müller
altonaer-balkon_c-vera-mueller_04
© Vera Müller
picknick_c-2018-catrin-anja-eichinger
© Catrin Anja Eichinger

On the Altonaer balcony at the Altonaer town hall, the locals play boule, while shipspotters can look over almost the entire harbour and the Köhlbrandbrücke. In winter, daredevil sled riders race down the slopes; in summer it's a popular picnic spot.

 

Show moreShow less

The quiet ball - Altona balcony

  • Address Klopstockstraße
    22765 Hamburg

Altonaer Balkon

Klopstockstraße
22765 Hamburg

More

8.The beach - On the Elbe beach Övelgönne

strand-oevelgoenne_c-2016-mediaserver-andreas-vallbracht
© mediaserver.hamburg.de / Andreas Vallbracht

Övelgönne is a popular meeting point for all those who want to relax in the sand and take one or two pictures with their smartphone. The cruise ships pass by directly. Meanwhile, your dog plays with the local dachshunds and pugs.

 

The beach - On the Elbe beach Övelgönne

  • Address Övelgönne 66
    22559 Hamburg

Elbstrand Wittenbergen

Övelgönne 66
22559 Hamburg

More

9.The deckchair - Die Strandperle

strandperle-oevelgoenne_c-thisisjulia-photography
© ThisIsJulia Photography
strandperle_c-2007-christian-spahrbier_1
© Christian Spahrbier

Hamburgers swear by the Strandperle  at the end of Övelgönne beach. On summer evenings this is the snack bar with the longest queue in town. Lying in a deck chair and dreaming on deck - in addition to the Strandperle, you can also do this in the Beach Club Strand Pauli below St. Pauli in an area with sand piled up directly on the banks of the Elbe, or in Park Fiction, also near the neighbourhood, above the Elbe.

 

Show moreShow less

The deckchair - Die Strandperle

  • Address Övelgönne 60
    22605 Hamburg
  • Opening hours
    • Mon10:00 - 23:00
    • Tue10:00 - 23:00
    • Wed10:00 - 23:00
    • Thu10:00 - 23:00
    • Fri10:00 - 23:00
    • Sat09:00 - 23:00
    • Sun09:00 - 23:00

Strandperle

Övelgönne 60
22605 Hamburg

More

10.The Nobles - In the Hotel Louis C. Jacobs

Shipspotters with style appreciate the events at the Hotel Louis C. Jacobs, where the Queen Mary 2 is bid farewell with a cannon shot and fluttering sheets. The Restaurant Süllberg also celebrates the passage of Hapag-Lloyd Cruise ships in a similar way: on the way out, top gastronome Karlheinz Hauser raises an orange flag from the tower of the Villen-Hill; employees swing bed sheets.

Show moreShow less

The Nobles - In the Hotel Louis C. Jacobs

  • Address Elbchaussee 401-403
    22609 Hamburg

Hotel Louis C. Jacob (Hamburg) - 177

Elbchaussee 401-403
22609 Hamburg

More

11.The bulls - At the pier Op'n Bulln

Those who go to Blankenese have a fantastic view of incoming and outgoing cruise ships from the Op'n Bulln pier. Here, you can also catch the big dream ships that moor at the Cruise Terminal in Steinwerder and therefore "turn off" in front of the Landungsbrücken.

 

Show moreShow less

The bulls - At the pier Op'n Bulln

  • Address Strandweg 30
    22587 Hamburg

Anleger Op'n Bulln

Strandweg 30
22587 Hamburg

More

12.The classic - At Willkomm Höft

lee_maas_timo_sommer_elbvororte_wilkommenhoeft_3000px_argb_188
lee_maas_timo_sommer_elbvororte_wilkommenhoeft_3000px_argb_188
lee_maas_timo_sommer_elbvororte_wilkommenhoeft_3000px_argb_188

You don't want to miss a single boat? For example at the Hamburg Harbour Birthday? Then Willkomm Höft is the right place. The world's only ship welcoming facility just behind the city limits in Wedel in Schleswig-Holstein has been in existence since 1952. On the terrace of the Schulauer Fährhaus, fans have the cruise ship of their dreams right in front of their eyes.

 

Show moreShow less

The classic - At Willkomm Höft

  • Address Elbstraße
    22880 Wedel
  • Opening hours
    • Mon11:00 - 23:00
    • Tue11:00 - 23:00
    • Wed11:00 - 23:00
    • Thu11:00 - 23:00
    • Fri11:00 - 23:00
    • Sat11:00 - 23:00
    • Sun11:00 - 23:00

Willkomm-Höft

Elbstraße
22880 Wedel

More

OUR RECOMMENDATIONS Interested in Hamburg?

Limited Contingent
Hamburg Cruise Days on the Commodore
© Ressourcenmangel

Hamburg Cruise Days on the Commodore Cruise spectacle

  • overnight stay in a hotel, with breakfast
  • 3-hour boat trip
  • Hamburg CARD (3 Days) – ticket worth € 26,50
    Hamburg Cruise Days on the Commodore
    To offer
    From 317.00
    Disney´s THE LION KING
    © Stage Entertainment

    Disney's THE LION KING Successful Musical

    • overnight stay in a hotel, with breakfast
    • musical ticket in your chosen price category
    • Hamburg CARD (3 days) – ticket worth € 26,50
    Disney's THE LION KING
    To offer
    From 129.60
    Buzzing City by the Water
    © Andreas Vallbracht

    Buzzing City by the Water Discoverer Experience

    • overnight stay in a hotel, with breakfast
    • Sightseeing tour on a red double-decker
    • 1-hour harbour tour on the Elbe
    Buzzing City by the Water
    To offer
    From 128.00

    More Hamburg
    Experience & Save

    Free travel by bus, train & harbour ferries,
    up to 50% discount on over 150 activities,
    attractions and restaurants.

    More Hamburg
    Info & Booking
    from 10,50*

    Free travel

    Free travel everywhere by bus, train & harbour ferries

    Many discounts

    Up to 50% discount on over 150 tourist attractions

    Buy now

    Online, tourist info, hotel or ticket machine

    BOOK NOW Our travel offers to Hamburg

    Bahnhit
    © Andreas Vallbracht

    Train special Our Bestseller

    • overnight stay in hotel, with breakfast
    • Return journey by ICE (1st or 2nd class coaches, as booked)
    • Hamburg CARD (3 Days) – ticket worth € 26,50
    Train special
    To offer
    From 204.00
    Buzzing City by the Water
    © Andreas Vallbracht

    Buzzing City by the Water Discoverer Experience

    • overnight stay in a hotel, with breakfast
    • Sightseeing tour on a red double-decker
    • 1-hour harbour tour on the Elbe
    Buzzing City by the Water
    To offer
    From 128.00
    including UNESCO World Heritage Site
    Maritime Cultural Heritage
    © Escape Filmproduktion

    Maritime Cultural Heritage Culture Travel

    • overnight stay in a Hotel, with breakfast
    • guided tour Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District
    • Hamburg CARD (3 Days) – ticket worth € 26,50
    Maritime Cultural Heritage
    To offer
    From 131.00

    THIS COULD ALSO INTEREST YOU Further Recommendations

    © mediaserver.hamburg.de / Jörg Modrow

    Shipping & Cruises

    Experience the metropolis on the Elbe before or after your cruise or just watch the ships. Be there live and up close when the most amazing cruise ships arrive at Hamburg's cruise terminals.

    Shipping & Cruises
    hamburg-maritim_luftaufnahme-elbe-westen_c-andreas-vollbracht
    © Andreas Vollbracht

    Arriving in Hamburg on the Elbe

    Experience the Elbe from its delta to Hamburg and the port of Hamburg!

    Arriving in Hamburg on the Elbe
    © ThisIsJulia Photography

    The Hamburg Fish Market

    The fish market and its long tradition belong to Hamburg just like the harbour. Since 1703, you can find anything here you desire.

    The Hamburg Fish Market

    WANDERLUST IS HERE: @hamburgahoi

    Languages

    Google translator for other languages

    Please note that this is an automatic translation.
    For better information, you can always switch to the German or English version

    Add to watchlist
    Bookmark