Three characterful islands that will satisfy your longing for the sea and wide open spaces - combined with the special atmosphere on board the HANSEATIC nature this is an autumnal delight for explorers.
Individual travel arrangements to Hamburg, departure 19.00 hrs
Cruising on the Elbe
Why travel to distant lands when there's so much to see close by? This short cruise along the German North Sea coast will show you the gems on Europe's doorstep. Get to know the North and East Frisian landscapes with their fine sandy beaches, nature reserves surrounded by mudflats and wild, romantic dunes, as well as the island jewel of Helgoland. The evening departure from Hamburg provides an atmospheric start to your cruise on board the HANSEATIC nature. From the bustling port to the district of Blankenese, which was once popular among pilots and captains, the illuminated banks of the Elbe will enhance the special ambience on board your small expedition ship.
Borkum, from 9.00 to 17.00 hrs
In the golden autumn light on the island of Borkum, the last warm rays of sunshine lift the spirits and make it the ideal time for in-depth experiences of nature. Take a deep breath of Borkum's fabulous ocean air and let the iodine-infused breeze invigorate your sense of adventure. There is an impressive wealth of scenery here, with beach grass, heather and other plants exuding the East Frisian charm. The salt flats and dunes also provide a natural habitat for a fascinating variety of birds. Relax and enjoy the diversity on a tour by vintage bus*. The knowledgeable driver will share interesting information about the island, its history and the sights as you pass by. Safety at sea is also an important part of Borkum. How exactly do rescue operations work in the North Sea? The German Maritime Search and Rescue Service (DGzRS) will provide expert answers to this and many other questions on a visit to a DGzRS search and rescue cruiser*. Take a look behind the scenes with a small group of like-minded seafarers. When else will you get the chance to explore an engine room from the inside or learn more about operational planning on the ship's flying bridge? Alternatively, explore more of the natural environment between the mudflats and tidal creeks. Experience the UNESCO World Heritage Site in an unusual way with Watt'n Konzert - a musical mudflat walk*. A real northern star will not only tell you about the flora and fauna, but also provide a musical accompaniment on accordion. Wade through the soft sediment of the Wadden Sea and get to the bottom of the fine sand deposits.
List/Sylt, from 7.00 to 17.30 hrs (lay time subject to the tides)
The typical North German greeting of "Moin" awaits you on Sylt, one of Germany's most popular islands. List, its most northerly community, is also well worth a visit. Experience the inimitable character of this natural paradise, a living artwork of lush green salt flats, heathland and dunes as far as the eye can see. A walk on the mudflats of Blidsel Bay* offers a panoramic view of the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's incredible to think that thousands of mussels, snails and worms live in each square metre (10.8 square feet) of mud. Marvel at the area's biodiversity and be astounded by a panoramic trip across Sylt*. Your journey will take you through a wandering dune landscape and the North Frisian villages of Keitum and Tinnum, where the views are filled with thatched-roof houses. Riding by e-bike across the island* is another active way to explore. With an electric motor to help, even the wind won't keep you from discovering List and the famous "elbow". Stunning views along the northerly peninsula will bring peace to your soul before your mouth waters at the freshly baked speciality cakes in one of Kampen's traditional cafes.
Helgoland, from 7.00 to 20.00 hrs
Discover one of North Germany's most imposing natural landmarks: Lange Anna on Helgoland. The red stack of rock rises 47 m (154 ft) off the island's coast, attracting not only day trippers but also a great number of marine creatures. Did you know that Germany's largest predator lives here? The grey seal, which shares the dunes with common seals, reaches speeds of up to 40 km/h (25 mph) in the water as it hunts for sardines and cod. You, meanwhile, will hunt for spectacular panoramas on a 2.8 km (1.7 mi.) circular walking route along the cliffs. Say goodbye to the North Sea and continue your journey back to Hamburg, the metropolis on the Elbe. It's hard to believe how many North Sea stories you'll take home from this short cruise.
Hamburg, arrival 7.00 hrs
Individual travel arrangements from cruise arrival point
* The shore activities are not included in the cruise price and are in the planning stage. Subject to change.
The itinerary depends on the weather conditions. The natural experiences and wildlife sightings described are possibilities on this cruise and are not guaranteed.
The following programmes can be booked.
Please note that our pre- and post-cruise programmes are conducted in German and are charged additionally to the travel package. The prices and conditions for these programmes can be found on the German travel details page and are charged additionally to the travel package. For individual programmes kindly consult your travel agent.
The following programmes are offered in German:
Our travel concierge would be happy to put together travel arrangements tailored to your very own preferences. Whether you’re interested in boutique hotels, luxurious beach resorts, theatre-ticket reservations or restaurant recommendations in the most exciting cities, you can find exclusive tips here and by visiting www.hl-cruises.com/travel-concierge. Our travel concierge will be at your service before the cruise and when on board, of course.