Travelling like it’s still the roaring 20s: on the elegant Schaarhörn steamer, every room takes you on a trip back in time. An art nouveau lounge with large windows, a wheel house with plenty of original parts and a fully-intact engine room are just some of the fascinating features of this floating classic of seafaring.
Today, the white steamer is mainly used for round trips up and down the Elbe river. It can be booked for private events and charter cruises. The small galley is still intact, so that drinks and food can be prepared on board. During the winter months, the Schaarhörn lies at the Sandtorhafen museum port, while in summer, she is moored at Norderelbstraße.
History of the Schaarhörn
In 1907, Hamburg officials had to be innovative: they wanted a representative steamer but had only been allocated the means to commission a survey vessel. The original plan was to use the newly-built luxurious steamer to give Emperor William II. a suitable passage over the Elbe river. Hence, a fast two-propeller state-of-the-art steamer was built that could used for both purposes - only the Emperor likely never set foot on the ship. So, the Schaarhörn served in its other purpose instead and was used for measuring works until WWI. Like so many non-military ships, the steamer functioned as a quarters and supply vessel during both wars. From 1945, it went on numerous evacuation missions in the Baltic Sea and after the flow of refugees had receded, the Schaarhörn went back to serving as a science vessel. Until its decommissioning in 1972, it was responsible for measuring the Elbe estuary region.
From Hamburg to England and back
In 1973, the Schaarhörn was sold to an English owner and served as a Newcastle-based restaurant. In the late 1970s, the vessel was destined to head for Scotland, where it was supposed to become a museum ship, but instead wasted away without a clear purpose. In 1990 the ship finally returned to its birthplace in North Germany. In 1993 it was the first ship to be inducted into Hamburg’s monument protection list. After extensive restorations (1993 - 1995), the ship has been used for traditional voyages on the Elbe river. Whether the speedy steamer is seen from ashore or visited first hand, the Schaarhörn is an important part of the city’s maritime and cultural heritage.