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Elbe River, Hamburg

Elbe River, Hamburg: Our most recommended tours and activities

Hamburg: 1-Hour XL Port of Hamburg Cruise Tour

1. Hamburg: 1-Hour XL Port of Hamburg Cruise Tour

Discover Hamburg on a harbor cruise and admire views of the warehouse district and HafenCity. See the city with the most bridges in Europe, with approximately 2,400 structures over water, canals, channels, and docks. Climb aboard the boat and discover the many different attractions and sights in the city, depending on the tides and the day's events. Explore the historical Speicherstadt (warehouse district) with its canals, the modern HafenCity, the numerous bridges over the Elbe River, busy locks and container terminals, the Köhlbrand Bridge, and much more. Along the way, learn more about the city, its history, the incoming and outgoing ships, and anything else that interests you. Sit back and admire the views of the city on the sun deck or in the air-conditioned lounge with large panoramic windows.

Hamburg: 1-Hour Harbor Cruise

2. Hamburg: 1-Hour Harbor Cruise

Embark on a harbor cruise of Hamburg and listen closely to live German narration as you pass the Speicherstadt district, HafenCity, Köhlbrand Bridge, Elbe Philharmonic Hall, and more. See the most iconic of the city's 2,400 structures crossing over the waterways, canals, and harbor basin. Climb aboard the boat and explore the various attractions of the city, depending on the tide and the time of day. Along the way, learn interesting facts about the city and its history as well as the incoming and outgoing ships. Simply sit back and enjoy the fantastic views from the water. Admire the historical Speicherstadt (warehouse district) with its narrow waterways, the modern HafenCity, the numerous bridges over the Elbe River, busy locks and container terminals, the large Blohm and Voss shipyard, and the Köhlbrand Bridge. Finally, finish your tour and disembark at the departure point.

Hamburg: Friday and Saturday Night Boat Party

3. Hamburg: Friday and Saturday Night Boat Party

Get the party started aboard this boat tour on the Elbe. See Hamburg light up at night as you enjoy a buffet dinner with unlimited drinks and dance to the rhythms of the on board DJ. For more than 20 years, this boat and its crew have been celebrating with like-minded people over good food and cold drinks. Enjoy a good time aboard this party boat every Saturday night. Indulge in a dinner buffet, refreshing drinks, and the exuberant party atmosphere. Take in the views over the Elbe and the Hanseatic city of Hamburg as you pass by. The DJs heat up the guests properly and create the perfect atmosphere for an unforgettable party evening on the Elbe. This boat party is ideal for company celebrations, stag parties, club trips, or simply enjoying a great time with friends.

Hamburg: 2-hour Harbor Boat Tour XXL with Live Commentary

4. Hamburg: 2-hour Harbor Boat Tour XXL with Live Commentary

Enjoy captivating moments as you cruise through the Port of Hamburg on a boat tour that takes you to huge ships, impressive container terminals, and significant landmarks. Listen to live commentary from your captain to learn about the harbor's history and how it operates today. Board your boat at the Landungsbrücken. From here, set off to see the port's attractions like Speicherstadt, Hafen City, and the Elphilharmonie. Make your way down the Elbe to the city's industrial harbor. Cruise by locks and canals, the shipyards, the container terminals, and eventually to the port of Waltershof to see its huge container ships. Turn back to the Elbe via Övelgönne, passing beaches, restaurants, and bars on the waterfront to Landungsbrücken. During your tour, listen to experienced captains and barge guides as they explain the highlights and background of Hamburg's port. Also, hear about technical and economic aspects of the port.

From Hamburg, Brunsbüttel or Cuxhaven: Day Trip to Helgoland

5. From Hamburg, Brunsbüttel or Cuxhaven: Day Trip to Helgoland

Take an exciting day trip from to Heligoland, Germany's only island not in the vicinity of the mainland. Over 40 miles off the coast, the island is known for its spectacular red cliffs, upon which sit the white sands of sprawling dunes, surrounded by unspoiled nature. The boat departs from Hamburg early, with the ride lasting approximately 3.5 hours. Zip down the Elbe river to Cuxhaven and out onto the North Sea on a sleek, ultra-modern catamaran, passing the port of Cuxhaven. Enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi, gazing out across the vast waters from the open-air deck, or from the comfortable cabin. Modern flat screens all over the ship will teach you fun facts about the Elbe, Northern Germany, and the North Sea during the cruise. Arriving on Heligoland, wander the stunning island for approximately 4 hours. Gaze out over the dunes and onto the north sea, before doing some shopping — all tax free because of the island’s duty-free laws. Soak in the idyllic charm of the area, before hopping back on to the comfortable boat for your trip back to Hamburg.

Family Port Tour

6. Family Port Tour

Throughout this tour you will receive the answers to your questions about Hamburg’s port, such as why are the merchants’ houses standing in the water? What is inside the famous warehouses in the Speicherstadt? How do the huge ships get into a dry-dock? And what is an “English closet”? Explore Hamburg’s waterfront on foot and by ferry and hear fascinating stories of merchants and pirates, spices and goods from all over the world, and of old ships and modern container vessels. Take a guided walk along the canals and waterways of the historic port area in the Speicherstadt and Hafencity, as well as in the historic Deichstraße. You can also see the famous Elbphilharmonie and the Landungsbrücken and enjoy impressive harbor vistas. Throughout your tour you will be able to enjoy the maritime atmosphere along the canals and the river Elbe, taking in stunning views along the way.

Hamburg: 1.5-Hour Evening Lights Harbour Cruise on a Ship

7. Hamburg: 1.5-Hour Evening Lights Harbour Cruise on a Ship

Take part in an evening lights tour in Hamburg Harbor that lasts for 1.5-hours and is unquestionably one of the highlight tours of Hamburg. Receive a unique opportunity to experience the fascinating landmarks of the harbor in a nighttime setting while enjoying a relaxed atmosphere that will make your harbor tour an unforgettable experience. This 1.5-hour adventure is popular year-round, and for good reason. Choose a guaranteed departure that makes it easy for you to enjoy the tour with friends, family, your partner, or even by yourself. In this relatively short time, you'll have the opportunity to explore the captivating world of Hamburg Harbor from a new perspective. Be enchanted not only by the breathtaking views but also enriched with fascinating information about the visited attractions. This allows you to discover these places in a deeper and more enriching way, deepening your knowledge of the rich history and culture of Hamburg Harbor. Immerse yourself in the relaxed atmosphere of the evening lights tour and let yourself be enchanted by the glittering lights of the harbor while creating memories that will stay with you for a long time.

Hamburg: Traditional Harbor Tour with Commentary

8. Hamburg: Traditional Harbor Tour with Commentary

Get to know Hamburg from the water on this harbor cruise along the Elbe river. Depending on the tide and day, the focus of the tour can be on plenty of different areas and topics. Visit the historic warehouse district featuring picturesque canals, see the ultra-modern Hafencity, or pass under the impressive Elbe Bridge. See Hamburg busy's container terminals and locks, the impressive Blohm & Voss shipbuilding docks, or the famous Köhlbrand Bridge, all while hearing entertaining stories and interesting facts about the city, its port, and the amazing number of incoming and outgoing vessels every day. Learn all about the importance of this bustling port, not just for the city of Hamburg but for the entire world's trade.

Hamburg: 1-Hour Harbor Cruise original

9. Hamburg: 1-Hour Harbor Cruise original

Admire the most beautiful side of Hamburg's harbor during a relaxing boat cruise. Starting in the famous warehouse district, or Speicherstadt, journey up the Elbe River and into the harbor with its world-famous attractions. Explore the harbor basins and quays, while observing the current ocean-going ships. See other famous sites of the harbor, including the St. Pauli landing bridges, the Blohm and Voss shipyard. Continue by the Tollerort container terminal, the cruise center in HafenCity, the large and small museum ships, and the new Hafen City itself. Learn more about the history of the harbor, and its development throughout the decades to the present day.

From Kiel: All-in-One Hamburg Shore Excursion

10. From Kiel: All-in-One Hamburg Shore Excursion

If you are travelling on a cruise ship to the port of Kiel and have only one day on shore, let us take you on a fascinating, all-encompassing journey to Hamburg! Hamburg is second largest city in Germany after Berlin and it is one of the most beautiful and exciting cities in Europe. It became a well-known tourist destination due to its wild, red light district but is now attracting a more discerning clientele with its modern architecture in the form of the Elbphilharmonie, Speicherstadt, and the Hafencity, not to mention the canals, Alster, stunning Rathaus and high end shopping. This shore excursion is adjusted to each ship’s docking times and starts promptly after your vessel’s arrival, returning with plenty of time to spare before its departure. Our expert team has been organizing these tours for nearly a decade. We have never missed a cruise ship’s departure and imparted our knowledge and enthusiasm for our unique and beautiful city to thousands of satisfied passengers!

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What people are saying about Elbe River, Hamburg

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 3,367 reviews

The one-hour tour in XL Boat was really pleasant and allowed us to comfortably sightsee the port area. The app worked very well and the English version had quite illustrative explanations. We also got a good discount buying the tickets online in advance.

Very nice to see the harbor and the Speicherstadt from a different perspective. The guide was super funny and had a broad knowledge of the history of the port and the city! I would recommend the trip! :)

I have to say: the best guide I have ever experienced. Great sayings, great knowledge and a super pleasant manner! My wife and I really enjoyed it!

... a must for every visit to Hamburg ... great boat guide with a lot of interesting facts ...

Really interesting trip, more than an hour, great audio description and well worth the money.