From the “gate to the world” into the North Sea
It is worth arriving in Hamburg early. The Hanseatic city makes it easy for you to satisfy your wanderlust: for over 900 years, this metropolis on the Elbe has borne the traces of mariners. Board the HANSEATIC in the modern port city of Hamburg. From here, the ship will slowly pass the piers and the banks of the Elbe until your final sight of Hamburg is the elevated “Treppenviertel” district of Blankenese with its picturesque captain’s houses. On the port side, the old country and its impressive orchards pass by, whilst on the starboard side, you can marvel at the lush-green or sandy-yellow marshlands which have grown out of the intertidal zone. Screeching gulls flying over the deck will signal the approaching German Bight.
North Frisian treasures to fall in love with
Situated 70 km from the mainland, Germany’s only deep-sea island awaits you: Helgoland. A natural monument shaped by the erosive powers of the sea and wind: like a red, stone lighthouse, “Lange Anna”, the almost 50 m high cliff on the north end of the island, shows ornithologists the way. This is because the smallest nature reserve in the world is perched right next to it: the cliff known as Lummenfelsen. It is June – breeding season for thousands of seabirds. With a little luck, you can watch various species of gull, northern gannets, grey seals and harbour seals from the deck of the HANSEATIC as it circumnavigates Helgoland in the morning light. A completely different world awaits you when the HANSEATIC reaches Sylt. The island with many faces: with a casino, boutiques, bars and gourmet temples, the sophisticated island of Sylt offers everything the connoisseur could wish for. In contrast, the countryside of Sylt has an impeccable reputation amongst nature lovers, with its mud flats, mile-long beaches, bird sanctuaries and dune landscapes. These two different sides of the island come together to give the island its special appeal. For example, the favourite locations of many of the prominent visitors to Sylt are in the heart of its wonderful countryside. Dunes, dykes, towering cliffs, lush grassland and blooming heather – and all charmingly punctuated by thatched-roof houses. Set out from List and discover the charm and idylls of Germany’s most northern point. Landing with the Zodiacs (subject to weather conditions) is definitely the most spectacular way of setting foot on Sylt. In the island’s northernmost bay, you can explore a diverse habitat of mud, water and tidal creeks. Take a guided mud flat tour in Koenigshafen Bay* and experience the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Wadden Sea, and gain insights into the wonders between high and low tide. Thousands of mussels, snails and worms live within just one square metre. Alternatively, the panoramic trip over Sylt* will let you marvel at the beauty of the wandering dunes and the idyllic villages with thatched-roof captain’s houses. Or are you curious about the history and legends of Sylt? A tour through Kampen with Captain Eitner*, who sailed ferries between Sylt and Denmark for years, will entertain you with more than just a sailor’s yarn. On a visit to the famous Kupferkanne cafe, you will wish that time would stand still. Surrounded by a breathtaking landscape dominated by pine trees, enjoy a dreamlike view of the Wadden Sea and relax into the rhythm of the tides.
An ocean of natural experiences
Amrum has impressive sights from coast to coast. An island rich in contrasts, where the megalithic tombs and relics of the Vikings attest to the island’s history of settlements and thousands of sea birds cry. See all the facets of the Frisian Islands, starting with the youngest settlement of Wittduen on the island tour of Amrum* to the typical island municipality of Nebel. A village tour will show you the idyllic thatched-roof Frisian houses with flower gardens and the Romanesque St. Clemens church with its artistic gravestones, dating back to the 13th century. On the way, you can also see the tallest lighthouse on the coast of the North Sea, dunes over 30 m high and one of the widest beaches in Europe. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Wadden Sea, features some very special statistics. You can explore this habitat for over 10,000 types of plant and animal species in a spectacular way: take the Zodiacs to the central point between Amrum and Foehr, the tidal creek, where you can often see seals on the sandbanks. The fascinating and many unknown details in the north of Germany are what make this short cruise an unforgettable experience.
There will be plenty of impressions to take with you from your time on board when you reach Hamburg the next morning. Those who cannot find the words to bid farewell can simply say “Moin, moin!”