Discover Hamburg by Boat!
We know we said it before. But Hamburg simply IS surrounded by water. How to be part of the action? Choices are plentiful. Here is a selection:
If you purchased a day pass for the public transport just take a ferry from the piers at Landungsbrücken and cruise to Finkenwerder island. The 30-minute trip takes you along the most important water front sights. Disembark at Neumühlen if you fancy a walk back into town.
A harbour boat trip on a traditional Barkasse (former dockworkers ferry) is another classic water experience. Guided tours are operated from the piers at Landungsbrücken and take you to the docks, historic Speicherstadt warehouses, and latest developments such as Hafencity Hamburg and Elbphilharmonie Hamburg concert house.
To explore the backyards of Hamburg's rich and famous take an Alster-boat from Jungfernstieg wharf or hire paddling gear from operators along the Alster lake. The canals off the Aussenalster lake offer access to tremendous real estate and might disclose some gardening mishaps. Choose from various themed routes, e.g. the Fleetfahrt (canal tour) which takes you under the numerous bridges between harbour and Alster. Unfortunately, the white boats of the Alster fleet do not operate in Winter.
As the Alster is not officially considered a waterway you can hire a dinghy and go sailing without having to obtain a license. However, a sailing class might be the safer option. Several clubs along the shore offer classes for all ages.
Pedal boats are an option for the athletic travellers and another fun way to experience the many canals off the Alster lake. Lately, a few venetian style gondolas have been spotted on the lake, too...