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© ThisIsJulia Photography
© SHM / Dirk Passehl
© SHM / Dirk Passehl
© SHM / Dirk Passehl
© ThisIsJulia Photography
© ThisIsJulia Photography
© ThisIsJulia Photography
© ThisIsJulia Photography
© ThisIsJulia Photography

Traditional Ship Harbour in the Sandtorhafen

At its opening in 1866, the Sandtorhafen harbour was the first artificially created harbour basin in Hamburg in which seagoing ships could be loaded and unloaded lying alongside the docks..

The Sandtorhafen is the traditional Ship Harbour of the Hamburg Maritime foundation and is the link between tradition and modernism in the heart of Hamburg. The curved pontoon of 5.600 square metres and a length of 380 m provides 20-25 berths for historic ship.

In 1866 the Sandtorhafen was the first artificial harbour basin creation in Hamburg. Over the years they developed and applied a new and revolutionised transhipment concept. By using steam-powered cranes, this lifted the goods from the holds of the ships and placed them into the quay sheds, onto railway wagons or horse-drawn vehicles. Since then the Sandtorhafen has become the foundation for the modern harbour of Hamburg. 

Over the years the harbour became too small for the increasingly large ships, therefore it turned into a terminal for smaller ships from the North and Baltic sea. In 1980s, the small harbour became more irrelevant, due to the container transport, until it was shut down. In September 2008 it was reintroduced as the traditional Ship Harbour, which has become a fundamental part of the maritime HafenCity. Furthermore, the pontoon provides berths for historic ships to uphold the history of the place.

However, the foundation Hamburg Maritime does not only operate the traditional Ship Harbour and numerous historic ships, but were the ones to bring old sailing ships, steamships, freighters and tugboats to the location. For example the working steamship ‘Schaarhörn’, the tugboat of a schooner known as ‘No. 5 Elbe’, the sailing ship ‘Catarina’ and the tourist steamer ‘Seute Deern’. However, there are more historic vessels, which can be found in the harbour during big event, such as the gaff-topsail schooner ‘J.R. Tolkien’, the ‘Loth Loriën’ or the former warship ‘Freddy’.

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Hamburg CARD

Free travel by bus, train and harbour ferries (HVV) and up to 50% discount on over 150 tourist offers

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 27.50€
Maritime Cultural Heritage
To offer
From 112.10

More on this subject

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On the go in HafenCity

Although it is by no means complete, HafenCity already offers numerous attractions, restaurants, architectural masterpieces and places to relax.

On the go in HafenCity
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CITY AREA PORTRAIT HafenCity & Speicherstadt

The world’s largest warehouse complex and UNSESCO World Heritage. On the other side, towards the banks of the Elbe, the modern, ever-growing architecture of the new harbour district HafenCity. Also, you can enjoy the view of the harbour from nearly everywhere.

HafenCity & Speicherstadt

THIS MIGHT INTEREST YOU AS WELL Further recommendations

© DoubleVision


HafenCity combines tradition and modernity in a unique symbiosis. A true architectural and cultural delight! Attractions such as Miniatur Wunderland, the Elbphilharmonie and the Speicherstadt draw tourists in.


Oasis in the city. Außenalster

The Alster divides into the Binnen- and Außenalster at the Lombardsbrücke bridge. The Außenalster in particular offers excellent recreational opportunities with its numerous parks and adjacent sports facilities. The banks of the Alster in Harvestehude, Uhlenhorst and Winterhude are the preferred living quarters of the wealthy Hamburg residents.

© ThisIsJulia Photography

Kaispeicher B

Kaispeicher B, the oldest warehouse in the Speicherstadt and HafenCity, lies where the Magdeburg and Brooktor harbours meet and forms a unique entrance to the Überseequartier.

Kaispeicher B

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