Top shore excursions in the busiest cruise ports of Europe in summer 2023 - BREMERHAVEN, GERMANY

Exploring Bremerhaven: the Maritime Heart of Germany

Bremerhaven is a fascinating city in Germany known for its famous port and maritime heritage. Here is some practical and factual information that will be useful for your day with shore excursions in this attractive historic city

Bremerhaven new cityBremerhaven new city

  • Attractions for Cruise Tourists (8-hour visit):
    • German Emigration Center (Deutsches Auswandererhaus): This award-winning museum offers an immersive experience about the emigration history of Germany. Visitors can explore the journey of millions of people who left Europe for the New World, including interactive exhibits and personal stories.
    • Maritime Museum (Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum): This museum is dedicated to the history of shipping and seafaring. It showcases various maritime artifacts, ship models, and exhibitions about navigation, marine biology, and polar exploration.
    • Klimahaus Bremerhaven 8° Ost: A unique interactive museum where visitors can experience different climatic zones from around the world, from the Sahel region to Antarctica. It offers an educational and entertaining experience.
    • Havenwelten: This modern waterfront area features several attractions, including the Atlantic Hotel Sail City with its observation deck offering panoramic views, the Zoo am Meer (a small but charming zoo with a focus on marine life), and the German Maritime Museum.

Fishing port in Bremerhaven in the evening sun at the golden hourFishing port in Bremerhaven in the evening sun at the golden hour

  • Fischereihafen: A visit to Bremerhaven wouldn't be complete without exploring its fishing harbor. Visitors can witness the lively atmosphere, observe fishing boats, and even enjoy a delicious seafood meal at one of the local restaurants.
  • Shop Window Fishery Harbor (Shop Window Fischereihafen): A unique shopping destination where visitors can browse through local products, including fish, seafood, and maritime-themed souvenirs.
  • Lloyd Werft: For those interested in shipbuilding, a visit to the Lloyd Werft shipyard can be fascinating. It's possible to witness the construction or repair of various vessels, including luxury cruise ships.

The floating dock of the Lloyd shipyard in Bremerhaven, Germany. Inside the dock we see the tank ship "Seatrout"The floating dock of the Lloyd shipyard in Bremerhaven, Germany. Inside the dock, we see the tank ship "Seatrout"

  • Practical Information:
    • Transportation: Bremerhaven is well-connected by train and bus services. Cruise ship passengers usually disembark at the Columbus Cruise Center, which is conveniently located near the city center.
    • Language: The official language in Germany is German, but many locals, especially in tourist areas, speak English.
    • Currency: The official currency is the Euro (EUR). Credit cards are widely accepted, but it's a good idea to carry some cash for smaller purchases.
    • Local Cuisine: Bremerhaven offers a range of culinary delights, with a particular emphasis on fresh seafood and fish dishes. Don't miss the opportunity to try traditional German cuisine as well.

Remember to check the specific opening hours and availability of attractions before planning your visit, as they might vary. With these suggestions, cruise tourists visiting Bremerhaven will have the opportunity to experience the city's maritime history and attractions within the limited timeframe of 8 hours.


Nestled on the picturesque banks of the River Weser, Bremerhaven beckons travelers with its rich maritime history and bustling port. Located in northern Germany's state of Bremen, this vibrant city offers a captivating blend of historical charm and modern attractions. As one of the premier destinations for cruise tourists, Bremerhaven promises an unforgettable experience even within a limited timeframe. With its intriguing museums, captivating waterfront, and delectable seafood cuisine, this maritime gem is a must-visit for travelers seeking a glimpse into Germany's seafaring heritage. Join us on a whirlwind exploration of Bremerhaven's fascinating sights, as we uncover the treasures this city has to offer within just 8 hours.

History of Bremerhaven

Bremerhaven has a relatively short but impactful history. It was officially founded on January 1, 1827, as a purpose-built harbor town. The city's establishment was driven by the growing demand for improved maritime infrastructure and the desire to expand Bremen's trading capabilities. Here's why Bremerhaven became closely tied to sea industries right from the beginning:

  • Strategic Location: Bremerhaven's strategic location at the mouth of the River Weser and its proximity to the North Sea made it an ideal site for a seaport. Its location allowed for direct access to the North Sea and facilitated trade routes to and from Europe, making it a crucial hub for maritime activities.

The Ports of Bremerhaven

Bremerhaven is a major general cargo port specialising in container traffic, automobile imports and exports, fruit imports and passenger (cruise traffic). The port is divided into the Uberseehafen area and the Fischereihafen area. Except for 2 quays along River Weser (container, passenger and part of the fruit terminal), the port is protected by locks. The port is normally ice free; ice only occurring in extreme conditions.

  • Expansion of Bremen's Trading Influence: Bremen, a city-state in northern Germany, had a long history as a major trading power in the region. To further enhance its trading capabilities and accommodate the increasing size of vessels, Bremen needed a dedicated port. Bremerhaven was developed as an extension of Bremen's harbor, serving as a deep-water port for larger ships and boosting Bremen's maritime trade.
  • Emigration and Transatlantic Connections: During the mid-19th century, Bremerhaven played a vital role in European emigration to the New World. It served as a significant departure point for German emigrants seeking new opportunities in America. The port witnessed waves of emigration, with millions of people passing through its docks. This emigration activity contributed to the growth and development of the city's maritime infrastructure.

Emigrant MemorialFrom the New Harbor in Bremerhaven, which was opened in 1852 almost 1.2 million people left for the New World by 1890. In addition to the New Harbor, the Old Harbor, the Emperor's Harbor, and the Columbus Quay were the departure points for a total of 7.2 million emigrants who left Bremerhaven for the New World.

  • Fishing and Maritime Industries: With its proximity to the North Sea, Bremerhaven naturally became a center for fishing and maritime industries. The city's fishing harbor thrived, providing a vital source of livelihood for local communities. Over time, Bremerhaven expanded its maritime industries to include shipbuilding, maritime logistics, and other related sectors.

The combination of its strategic location, Bremen's trading influence, the emigration wave, and the thriving fishing and maritime industries all contributed to Bremerhaven's deep-rooted connection with the sea. Today, Bremerhaven's port remains a vital hub for container shipping, automotive logistics, and maritime trade, keeping its historical ties to the sea industries alive.

An example of fishing industry in GermanyAn example of fishing industry in Germany

Climate in Bremerhaven

Bremerhaven experiences a maritime climate, heavily influenced by its coastal location near the North Sea. Here are some key characteristics of the climate in Bremerhaven:

  • Mild Winters: Winters in Bremerhaven are relatively mild compared to other inland areas of Germany. Average temperatures in the winter months (December to February) range from around 1°C (34°F) to 5°C (41°F). Snowfall is possible but generally limited.

Dark storm on North SeaDark storm on the North Sea

  • Cool Summers: Summers in Bremerhaven are cool and pleasant. Average temperatures in the summer months (June to August) range from around 15°C (59°F) to 20°C (68°F). While temperatures can occasionally reach the mid-20s°C (mid-70s°F), it is not uncommon for cooler sea breezes to moderate the temperatures.
  • High Humidity: Bremerhaven experiences relatively high humidity throughout the year due to its coastal location. The proximity to the North Sea leads to a damp atmosphere and can result in foggy conditions, especially during spring and autumn.
  • Rainfall: Bremerhaven receives a moderate amount of rainfall evenly distributed throughout the year. The wettest months are typically July and August, while the driest months are February and March. Be prepared for occasional rain showers during your visit.

Storm clouds above North Sea in SummerStorm clouds above the North Sea in Summer

  • Windy Conditions: Bremerhaven is known for its windy conditions due to its coastal exposure. Strong gusts of wind are common, especially during autumn and winter months. It is advisable to dress appropriately and be prepared for windy weather while exploring the city.

It's worth noting that weather patterns can vary, and it's always a good idea to check the local forecast before your visit to Bremerhaven.

The importance and necessity of hiring a local private tour guide for visiting and exploring Bremerhaven and its ports

Hiring a local private tour guide can be highly beneficial when visiting and exploring Bremerhaven and its ports. Here are some reasons why it can enhance your experience:

Tour Guide in Germany 1

  • Efficient Time Management: With only 8 hours to explore Bremerhaven, time management is crucial. A private tour guide can help optimize your itinerary, ensuring that you visit the most important sites and attractions within your limited timeframe. They can plan a route that minimizes travel time and maximizes your chances of experiencing the highlights of the city.
  • Customized Experience: Private tour guides can tailor the experience to your specific interests and preferences. Whether you're interested in maritime history, local cuisine, or specific museums, they can design a tour that caters to your needs. They can provide recommendations, suggest lesser-known spots, and adjust the pace of the tour based on your preferences.
  • Insider Access and Local Connections: Local tour guides often have insider access to certain attractions, allowing you to bypass long queues or gain exclusive entry to certain areas. They may also have connections with local businesses, enabling you to access unique experiences or arrange special activities that are not available to the general public.

Tour Guide in Germany 2

While hiring a private tour guide comes at an additional cost, the benefits of their expertise, personalized service, and time-saving advantages can greatly enhance your visit to Bremerhaven. Consider your budget and priorities when making the decision, but having a knowledgeable local guide can significantly enrich your experience in this captivating city.

Bremerhaven on the Globus

Contemporary architecture in the new port of Bremerhaven

The New Port of Bremerhaven is known for its modern and contemporary architecture, which adds a distinct character to the area. Here are some notable examples of contemporary architecture in the New Port:

  • Klimahaus Bremerhaven 8° Ost: This striking building is an architectural marvel designed by GMP Architects. Its unique shape resembles a ship and serves as an interactive climate museum. The Klimahaus takes visitors on a journey through various climate zones around the world, showcasing innovative design elements and sustainable features.

Klimahaus Bremerhaven

  • Columbus Cruise Center Bremerhaven: Designed by Bieling Architekten, the Columbus Cruise Center is a modern terminal for cruise ships. Its sleek and angular design, characterized by glass facades and a spacious interior, offers a seamless and comfortable experience for cruise passengers visiting Bremerhaven.
  • German Emigration Center (Deutsches Auswandererhaus): While not located directly in the New Port, the German Emigration Center is nearby and features contemporary architecture. Designed by Studio Andreas Heller Architects & Designers, the building has a sleek and minimalist design, with a large glass entrance welcoming visitors to explore the history of German emigration.
  • Havenwelten Shopping and Visitor Center: The Havenwelten complex in the New Port area features modern architecture that blends seamlessly with maritime surroundings. The buildings are designed with a mix of glass facades, contemporary materials, and maritime-inspired elements. It houses the Atlantic Hotel Sail City, shops, restaurants, and the German Maritime Museum.
  • Sail City Hotel: The Atlantic Hotel Sail City is a striking high-rise hotel in the New Port area, designed by BRT Architekten. Its sleek and modern design, with a sail-like shape, offers panoramic views of the city and the river. The hotel's architecture stands out, symbolizing the maritime nature of Bremerhaven.

These contemporary architectural structures in the New Port of Bremerhaven create a captivating contrast with the historical maritime buildings in the area. They represent the city's commitment to modernity and innovation while maintaining its deep-rooted connection to the sea. Visitors to the New Port can appreciate the blend of old and new, with contemporary designs that enhance the overall charm and atmosphere of Bremerhaven.

Bremerhaven Neuer HafenBremerhaven Neuer Hafen

Lloyd's Gebäude: Lloyd's Gebäude, located near the New Port, is a modern office building with a sleek and minimalist design. It's glass façade and clean lines make it a prominent structure in the area. The building houses various businesses and organizations, contributing to the contemporary architectural landscape of Bremerhaven. These examples highlight the contemporary architectural developments in the New Port of Bremerhaven. These structures not only serve their functional purposes but also contribute to the city's modern aesthetic and create a visually appealing environment for visitors and residents alike.

Cost of Private Tour Guide Services in Bremerhaven

The cost of private tour guide services in Bremerhaven can vary depending on various factors, including the duration of the tour, the expertise of the guide, the size of the group, and the specific requests or customization required. Generally, private tour guide rates in Bremerhaven range from around €100 to €300 per hour.

It's important to note that some guides may offer fixed-rate packages for specific tours or activities, while others may charge an hourly rate. Additionally, additional costs, such as entrance fees to attractions or transportation expenses, may not be included in the guide's fee and should be accounted for separately.

Tour Guide in Germany 3

To get accurate and up-to-date pricing for private tour guide services in Bremerhaven, it is recommended to contact local tour guide companies or independent guides directly. They will be able to provide you with specific details regarding their rates, availability, and any additional services they may offer. Keep in mind that while private tour guide services may add to the overall cost of your trip, they can offer a wealth of knowledge, convenience, and personalized experiences that can greatly enhance your visit to Bremerhaven.

Kunstmuseum Bremerhaven

The Kunstmuseum Bremerhaven, also known as the Bremerhaven Art Museum, is a prominent cultural institution located in Bremerhaven, Germany. Here's more information about the museum:

  • Collection: The Kunstmuseum Bremerhaven houses a diverse collection of modern and contemporary art. The collection spans various artistic movements and mediums, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, and photography. The museum primarily focuses on works from the 20th and 21st centuries, with an emphasis on German art.
  • Exhibitions: The museum regularly hosts temporary exhibitions that showcase different artists, themes, or art movements. These exhibitions provide visitors with an opportunity to engage with a wide range of artistic expressions and explore various perspectives. The museum also collaborates with other institutions to bring traveling exhibitions to Bremerhaven.
  • Permanent Collection Highlights: The Kunstmuseum Bremerhaven's permanent collection features notable works by renowned German artists. It includes pieces by artists such as Max Beckmann, Emil Nolde, Otto Dix, and Max Ernst, among others. The collection offers a glimpse into the evolution of modern and contemporary art in Germany.

Kunstmuseum Bremerhaven, back wall

Kunstmuseum Bremerhaven, the back wall

  • Architecture: The museum building itself is an architectural highlight. Designed by Berlin-based architect Volker Staab, the building's contemporary design blends harmoniously with its waterfront location. Its sleek and minimalist exterior complements the surrounding urban landscape.
  • Educational Programs: The Kunstmuseum Bremerhaven offers educational programs and activities for visitors of all ages. These include guided tours, workshops, lectures, and special events. The museum aims to engage the community and foster an appreciation for art through interactive and educational experiences.
  • Museum Shop and Café: The museum features a shop where visitors can purchase art books, prints, and unique gifts related to the exhibitions and the museum's collection. Additionally, there is a café where visitors can relax and enjoy refreshments while taking in the beautiful views of the harbor.

The Kunstmuseum Bremerhaven is a cultural hub that celebrates modern and contemporary art, providing visitors with an opportunity to explore artistic expressions and engage with the vibrant art scene of the region. Whether you're an art enthusiast or simply curious about the world of art, a visit to the Kunstmuseum Bremerhaven can be a rewarding experience.

The famous German Emigration Center Bremerhaven

The German Emigration Center (Deutsches Auswandererhaus) in Bremerhaven is a renowned museum dedicated to the history and experience of German emigration. Here's more information about this fascinating attraction:

  • History and Concept: The German Emigration Center opened its doors in 2005 with the goal of portraying the emigration history of Germans, particularly during the 19th and 20th centuries. The museum aims to provide visitors with an immersive experience that captures the challenges, aspirations, and stories of German emigrants as they embarked on new lives in distant lands.
  • Exhibitions: The museum features interactive and multimedia exhibitions that take visitors on a journey through the emigration process. The immersive displays simulate the various stages of emigration, from the decision to leave, the journey itself, and the arrival in the destination country. Visitors can explore reconstructed historical settings, view personal artifacts, and engage with interactive exhibits that depict the experiences of individual emigrants.

German Emigration Center Bremerhaven German Emigration Center in Bremerhaven 

  • Personal Stories: One of the highlights of the German Emigration Center is its emphasis on personal stories. The museum shares accounts of real individuals and families who made the difficult decision to leave Germany in search of new opportunities. Through photographs, letters, and personal belongings, visitors can gain insight into the lives and emotions of those who embarked on these journeys.
  • Research and Genealogy: The German Emigration Center offers resources for genealogical research, allowing visitors to delve into their own family histories. The museum's databases and archives provide access to immigration records, ship manifests, and other historical documents that can help individuals trace their ancestors' emigration paths.
  • Additional Features: In addition to the main exhibitions, the German Emigration Center has a library with an extensive collection of books, documents, and research materials related to emigration. The museum also hosts special events, lectures, and workshops that further explore the theme of emigration.

German Emigrants Boarding in Bremerhaven

German Emigrants Boarding in Bremerhaven, Woodcut, based on a drawing by Johannes Gehrts, ca. 1860

  • Location: The German Emigration Center is situated in Bremerhaven, a historically significant port city that served as a major departure point for German emigrants. Its location by the water adds to the authenticity of the museum experience, as visitors can imagine the departures and farewells that took place in the very same area.

The German Emigration Center offers a captivating exploration of the emigration history of Germans and sheds light on the global impact of migration. Through its immersive exhibitions and personal stories, the museum provides a thought-provoking and emotional experience that deepens understanding and appreciation for the challenges and aspirations faced by emigrants in their quest for a new life.

German Maritime Museum in Bremerhaven

The German Maritime Museum (Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum) in Bremerhaven is a prominent museum dedicated to maritime history and culture. Here's more information about this renowned attraction:

  • History and Purpose: The German Maritime Museum was founded in 1975 and has since become one of the leading maritime museums in Europe. Its primary focus is on the history, technology, and significance of shipping and maritime activities.

German Maritime Museum in BremerhavenGerman Maritime Museum in Bremerhaven

Opening Hours:

Cog hall: Monday till Sunday 10 am - 6 pm

Ships: daily from 10 am to 5:45 pm


6 Euro

reduced 3 Euro

free entrance for refugees

  • Exhibitions: The museum features a wide range of permanent and temporary exhibitions that cover various aspects of maritime history. The permanent exhibitions explore topics such as shipbuilding, seafaring, navigation, marine research, and the relationship between humans and the sea. The displays include ship models, historical artifacts, navigational instruments, and interactive installations.
  • Museum Ship MS Seute Deern: The German Maritime Museum is also home to the museum ship MS Seute Deern, a three-masted sailing ship that serves as a floating exhibit. Visitors can explore the ship and learn about its history, construction, and life at sea.
  • Research and Collections: The museum houses an extensive collection of maritime artifacts, including ship models, paintings, maritime equipment, maps, and photographs. These collections serve as valuable resources for researchers and enthusiasts interested in maritime history and culture.
  • Special Exhibitions and Events: The German Maritime Museum regularly hosts temporary exhibitions that delve into specific themes related to maritime history, culture, and contemporary maritime issues. The museum also organizes events such as lectures, workshops, and educational programs for visitors of all ages.
  • Architecture: The German Maritime Museum is housed in a distinctive building designed by Hans Scharoun, one of Germany's renowned architects. The museum's architecture is unique and harmoniously blends with its waterfront location.
  • Location: The museum is located in the Havenwelten district of Bremerhaven, near the New Port area. Its location by the water allows visitors to immerse themselves in the maritime atmosphere and offers beautiful views of the harbor.

The German Maritime Museum offers a comprehensive and engaging exploration of maritime history, technology, and culture. Whether you're interested in the development of shipbuilding, maritime exploration, or the impact of the sea on society, the museum provides a wealth of knowledge and exhibits to satisfy your curiosity.

German submarine “Wilhelm Bauer”

The German submarine "Wilhelm Bauer," also known as U-2540, is a historic submarine that is now on display at the German Maritime Museum in Bremerhaven. Here's some information about this remarkable vessel:

  • Construction and Purpose: The "Wilhelm Bauer" was built during World War II as a Type XXI U-boat, a new class of advanced submarines developed by the German Navy. It was constructed in 1944-1945 and intended for combat operations.
  • Service History: The submarine was commissioned by the German Navy in April 1945, but it did not participate in any combat operations due to the late stage of the war. After the war, it was taken over by the British Royal Navy, who used it for testing and evaluation.

U-Boot Typ XXI U-2540 ("Wilhelm Bauer")

  • Conversion to a Research Submarine: In 1957, the submarine was acquired by the German Navy and underwent extensive modifications to be used as a research and training vessel. It was renamed "Wilhelm Bauer" in honor of the renowned German submarine commander.
  • Historic Significance: The "Wilhelm Bauer" is one of the few surviving examples of Type XXI U-boats, which were revolutionary for their advanced technology and design features. They were the first submarines capable of sustained underwater operations without having to surface frequently.
  • Museum Display: Today, the "Wilhelm Bauer" is a prominent exhibit at the German Maritime Museum in Bremerhaven. Visitors have the opportunity to explore the submarine and learn about its history, technical specifications, and the experiences of the crew.
  • Interactive Experience: The museum provides an interactive experience inside the "Wilhelm Bauer," allowing visitors to see the cramped living quarters, control room, and torpedo tubes. It offers a unique perspective on the challenging conditions faced by submariners during wartime.

The "Wilhelm Bauer" serves as a testament to the technological advancements and wartime experiences of German submarines during World War II. Its preservation and exhibition at the German Maritime Museum allow visitors to gain insights into the history of submarine warfare and the courage of those who served on these vessels.

Ancient Bremen cog

The Ancient Bremen cog, also known as the Bremer Kogge, is a historic shipwreck that was discovered in the Weser River in Bremen, Germany. Here's some information about this significant archaeological find:

  • Discovery: The remains of the Ancient Bremen cog were discovered in 1962 during construction work on the Weser River. The ship was found buried in the riverbed, remarkably well-preserved due to the protective sediment.
  • Historical Significance: The Ancient Bremen cog is believed to date back to the 14th century, making it one of the oldest known cog ships in Europe. Cog ships were sturdy, single-masted vessels commonly used for trade and transportation during the Middle Ages.

Bremen cogBremen cog

  • Construction and Design: Cogs were characterized by a wide hull, a flat bottom, and a single mast with a square sail. They were primarily used for river and coastal navigation. The Ancient Bremen cog is an example of the shipbuilding techniques and designs prevalent during the medieval period.
  • Excavation and Preservation: The excavation of the Ancient Bremen cog took place between 1962 and 1965. The ship's remains were carefully salvaged, and efforts were made to preserve the timbers and other artifacts. The cog's reconstruction and preservation are ongoing, and parts of the ship can be seen at the Bremer Geschichtenhaus Museum in Bremen.
  • Exhibition and Interpretation: The Bremer Geschichtenhaus features a permanent exhibition dedicated to the Ancient Bremen cog. Visitors can learn about the history of the ship, its construction, and its significance for maritime trade in the region during the Middle Ages. The exhibition includes reconstructed parts of the cog and interactive displays.
  • Historical Context: The discovery of the Ancient Bremen cog has provided valuable insights into medieval shipbuilding techniques, trade routes, and maritime history. It contributes to our understanding of Bremen's role as a trading hub and its connections to other ports in northern Europe during that time.

The Ancient Bremen cog is an important archaeological find that sheds light on the maritime history of the region and the significance of trade and navigation during the Middle Ages. Its preservation and exhibition allow visitors to connect with the past and appreciate the craftsmanship and ingenuity of medieval shipbuilding.

The lighthouse at the entrance to Old Harbor

The lighthouse at the entrance to the Old Harbor in Bremerhaven is known as the Alte Leuchtturm (Old Lighthouse). Here's some information about this historic landmark:

  • History: The Alte Leuchtturm is one of the oldest surviving lighthouses in Bremerhaven. It was constructed in 1853 and served as a guiding beacon for ships entering the harbor.
  • Location: The lighthouse is situated at the entrance to the Old Harbor, providing navigational aid to ships entering or leaving the port area.
  • Design: The Alte Leuchtturm is a traditional brick-built lighthouse with a cylindrical tower. It stands at a height of approximately 36 meters (118 feet) and features a distinctive red-and-white color scheme. The lighthouse's architecture reflects the typical style of 19th-century lighthouses.

  • Function: The primary purpose of the Alte Leuchtturm was to guide ships safely into the Old Harbor by providing a visible landmark and a light source. In earlier times, a fire was lit within the tower to serve as a beacon. Over the years, the lighthouse has undergone technological advancements, and its lighting system has been modernized.
  • Symbolic Importance: The Alte Leuchtturm is not only a functional lighthouse but also a symbol of Bremerhaven's maritime heritage. It stands as a testament to the city's historical connection to the sea and its importance as a port.
  • Accessibility: While the Alte Leuchtturm is a significant landmark in Bremerhaven, it is not open to the public for regular visits. However, visitors can appreciate the lighthouse's exterior from the surrounding area and take photographs of this iconic structure.

The Alte Leuchtturm is a notable feature at the entrance to the Old Harbor in Bremerhaven. It represents the city's maritime history and serves as a visual reminder of the importance of lighthouses in guiding ships and ensuring safe navigation in the past.

Zoo at the Sea with the North Sea Aquarium

The famous "Zoo am Meer" (Zoo at the Sea) in Bremerhaven is a popular attraction that combines a zoo and an aquarium, with a special focus on marine life from the North Sea. Here's some information about this unique zoo and its North Sea Aquarium:

  • Overview: The Zoo am Meer is a compact zoo located near the city center of Bremerhaven. It offers visitors the opportunity to explore and learn about various animal species, particularly those found in and around the North Sea.
  • North Sea Aquarium: The North Sea Aquarium is an integral part of the Zoo am Meer. It showcases a diverse range of marine life found in the North Sea ecosystem. Visitors can observe and learn about fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and other fascinating sea creatures that inhabit this region.

Zoo at the Sea with the North Sea Aquarium in Bremerhaven

  • Exhibits and Displays: The aquarium features well-designed tanks and displays that mimic the natural habitats of the North Sea. It provides an up-close and immersive experience, allowing visitors to observe marine life in action and gain insights into their behaviors and adaptations.
  • Seal Enclosure: One of the highlights of the Zoo am Meer is its seal enclosure. Visitors can watch adorable seals in their naturalistic habitat, learn about their behavior and conservation, and even witness seal feeding sessions and educational presentations.
  • Outdoor Animal Exhibits: In addition to the aquarium, the Zoo am Meer also houses a variety of land-dwelling animals. Visitors can explore outdoor exhibits that house species such as penguins, polar bears, otters, birds, and reptiles.
  • Educational Programs: The zoo offers educational programs and guided tours that provide visitors, especially children, with valuable insights into the animal kingdom and conservation efforts. There are informative presentations, feeding sessions, and interactive experiences that enhance the learning experience.

Polar bear - an inhabitant of the zoo in Bremerhaven

Polar bear - an inhabitant of the zoo in Bremerhaven

  • Conservation and Research: The Zoo am Meer actively participates in conservation initiatives and contributes to research projects focused on the protection and understanding of marine and terrestrial ecosystems. It plays a role in raising awareness about environmental issues and the importance of preserving biodiversity.

The Zoo am Meer with its North Sea Aquarium offers a delightful and educational experience for visitors of all ages. It allows them to explore the fascinating world of marine life from the North Sea region, observe diverse animal species, and gain a deeper appreciation for the natural world and conservation efforts.

Bremerhaven is a city for Holidays with dogs

Bremerhaven is often referred to as a city for holidays with dogs due to its dog-friendly environment and the availability of facilities and attractions that cater to dogs and their owners. Here are a few reasons why Bremerhaven is considered a dog-friendly destination:

  • Dog-Friendly Accommodations: Many hotels, guesthouses, and holiday rentals in Bremerhaven welcome guests with dogs. These accommodations often provide amenities such as pet-friendly rooms, dog beds, and designated areas for dog walking or exercising.
  • Dog-Friendly Parks and Green Spaces: Bremerhaven offers several parks and green areas where dogs are allowed. These spaces provide ample room for dogs to run, play, and socialize with other dogs. Some parks even have designated dog exercise areas and agility courses.

American beagle sitting on the table with a laptop and choosing accommodation for the next trip to German BremerhavenAmerican beagle sitting on the table with a laptop and choosing accommodation for the next trip to German Bremerhaven

  • Coastal Walks and Beaches: Bremerhaven's location on the North Sea coast provides opportunities for scenic walks along the beach or coastal promenades. Dogs are generally allowed on these beaches, making it a great place for dogs to enjoy the sand, water, and fresh sea air.
  • Dog-Friendly Cafés and Restaurants: Bremerhaven has a selection of cafés and restaurants that allow dogs in their outdoor seating areas. This means that you can enjoy a meal or a cup of coffee while your furry friend accompanies you.

Italian Greyhound Dog at one of the beer-houses in BremerhavenItalian Greyhound Dog at one of the beer houses in Bremerhaven

  • Dog-Friendly Attractions: Some attractions in Bremerhaven, such as the Zoo am Meer, allow dogs on leashes to accompany their owners. This means that you can explore and enjoy these attractions while keeping your dog by your side.
  • Dog Events and Activities: Bremerhaven occasionally hosts dog-related events, such as dog shows, training sessions, and dog-friendly festivals. These events provide opportunities for dog owners to connect, share experiences, and engage in activities with their pets.

It's important to note that even though Bremerhaven is considered dog-friendly, certain rules and regulations may apply. It's always a good idea to check specific guidelines and restrictions regarding dogs in public places and attractions before visiting. Additionally, responsible dog ownership, including cleaning up after your dog and keeping them on a leash where required, is essential to maintain a harmonious environment for all visitors.

Day tour Harbor cruises through the Overseas Harbors

Bremerhaven offers harbor cruises that provide a unique perspective on the city's overseas harbors and industrial areas. Here's some information about these harbor cruises and what you can expect:

  • Overview: Harbor cruises in Bremerhaven take you on a boat tour through the city's overseas harbors, providing a close-up view of the bustling maritime activities and industrial facilities that play a significant role in the region's economy.
  • Scenic Views: From the water, you'll have the opportunity to admire the impressive port infrastructure, including container terminals, shipyards, and docking areas. The cruises offer scenic views of the harbor cranes, cargo vessels, and other maritime sights that make up the vibrant maritime landscape of Bremerhaven.

Day tour Harbor cruises

  • Guided Commentary: During the harbor cruise, the informative commentary is usually provided by a guide or through an audio system. They will share interesting facts and stories about the history, development, and significance of the overseas harbors in Bremerhaven, as well as the types of ships and cargo you'll encounter along the way.
  • Duration and Routes: Harbor cruises in Bremerhaven typically last around one to two hours, giving you a comprehensive overview of the port areas. The exact routes may vary depending on the cruise operator and current conditions, but they generally cover the main overseas harbors and provide ample opportunities for photography and sightseeing.
  • Up-close Encounters: Depending on the specific cruise, you might get the chance to sail close to large container ships, research vessels, and other maritime vessels, giving you an up-close look at their size and operations. These encounters provide a unique and awe-inspiring experience for maritime enthusiasts.
  • Additional Services: Some harbor cruises offer additional amenities onboard, such as onboard cafes or bars where you can enjoy refreshments and snacks while taking in the views. Check with the cruise operator beforehand to see if any additional services are available.

Harbor cruises through the overseas harbors of Bremerhaven offer an exciting way to explore the city's maritime industry and gain a deeper understanding of its importance. With informative commentary, stunning views, and the chance to witness maritime activities up close, these cruises provide a memorable experience for visitors interested in the maritime heritage and industrial significance of Bremerhaven.

Look-Out-Platform SAIL City

The Look-Out-Platform SAIL City is a prominent attraction in Bremerhaven that offers panoramic views of the city, harbor, and surrounding areas. Here's some information about this lookout platform:

  • Location: The Look-Out-Platform SAIL City is located at the top of the SAIL City Hotel, which is situated in the Havenwelten district of Bremerhaven. The hotel is a striking high-rise building that stands out in the city skyline.
  • Height and Views: The lookout platform is situated at an elevation of about 90 meters (295 feet) above ground level, offering breathtaking panoramic views of Bremerhaven, the North Sea, the Weser River, and the surrounding landscape. On clear days, you can see as far as the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wadden Sea.

Look-Out-Platform SAIL City

  • Access and Admission: To access the Look-Out-Platform, visitors can take the elevator from the hotel lobby to the designated floor. There is usually an admission fee to enter the platform, and tickets can be purchased at the hotel reception or at a dedicated ticket counter.
  • Observation Deck: The platform features a spacious and open-air observation deck that allows visitors to walk around and enjoy 360-degree views. The deck is equipped with viewing telescopes and informative panels that provide additional information about the landmarks and points of interest visible from the platform.
  • Sunset Views: The Look-Out-Platform is a popular spot for enjoying sunset views over Bremerhaven. The changing colors of the sky, the harbor, and the cityscape create a stunning visual experience, especially during the golden hour.
  • SAIL City Hotel: The SAIL City Hotel, where the lookout platform is located, is a four-star hotel known for its modern architecture and comfortable accommodations. It offers various amenities, including restaurants, bars, and event spaces.

Hotel SailCity

Visiting the Look-Out-Platform SAIL City offers visitors an opportunity to enjoy breathtaking views of Bremerhaven and its surroundings. Whether it's day or night, the platform provides a unique perspective on the city's maritime charm, harbor activities, and beautiful coastal landscape. It's a must-visit attraction for those seeking a memorable experience and stunning photo opportunities in Bremerhaven.

One-Day Cruise Trips on historic frigates with voyages under full sail!

Bremerhaven offers the opportunity for visitors to embark on one-day cruise trips on historic frigates, where you can experience the thrill of sailing under full sail. Here's some information about these unique sailing experiences:

  • Historic Frigates: Bremerhaven is home to several historic frigates that have been restored and preserved. These majestic sailing vessels are a reminder of the region's maritime heritage and offer an authentic sailing experience.
  • One-Day Cruise Trips: One-day cruise trips on historic frigates allow visitors to step aboard these magnificent ships and embark on a memorable sailing adventure. These trips typically depart from Bremerhaven and navigate along the North Sea coastline, providing stunning views of the water, coastal scenery, and possibly even marine wildlife.
  • Sailing Under Full Sail: One of the highlights of these cruises is the opportunity to witness the frigates sailing under full sail. With the wind filling the sails, the ships gracefully glide through the water, recreating the experience of sailing in a bygone era. It's a sight that captures the imagination and offers a unique and exhilarating experience for passengers.

cruise under sails

  • Hands-On Experience: Depending on the specific cruise, passengers may have the opportunity to get involved in the sailing process. Under the guidance of the crew, you might have the chance to help hoist the sails, steer the ship, or participate in other sailing activities, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the experience.
  • Onboard Amenities: The frigates used for these one-day cruises are equipped with modern amenities to ensure passenger comfort during the journey. Facilities may include seating areas, dining options, and onboard commentary to provide insights into the ship's history and sailing techniques.
  • Professional Crew: The frigates are operated by a professional crew with extensive knowledge and experience in sailing these historic vessels. They ensure the safety of passengers while also sharing interesting stories and facts about the ship and the region.

These one-day cruise trips on historic frigates offer a unique and memorable experience for those interested in sailing, maritime history, and enjoying the beauty of the North Sea coastline. It's an opportunity to step back in time and witness the power and elegance of these magnificent sailing vessels as they navigate the waters under full sail.

Sailing with the wind at open seaSailing with the wind in open sea

By directly contacting the relevant authorities or cruise operators, you will receive the most accurate and reliable information to plan your one-day cruise on a historic frigate in Bremerhaven.

And now let's explore the ports of Bremerhaven

Bremerhaven is renowned for its bustling ports, which play a significant role in the city's economy and maritime heritage. Here are some key ports in Bremerhaven that you can include in your travel article:

  • Bremerhaven Container Terminal: The Bremerhaven Container Terminal is one of the largest and busiest container terminals in Europe. It handles a substantial volume of containerized cargo, connecting the city to global trade routes. Visitors can witness the impressive operations of loading and unloading containers, as well as the massive container ships that call at the terminal.

container terminalContainer terminal

  • Columbus Cruise Center Bremerhaven: As a popular cruise port, Bremerhaven's Columbus Cruise Center welcomes numerous cruise ships throughout the year. The modern terminal facilities cater to thousands of cruise passengers, providing embarkation and disembarkation services, customs facilities, and amenities like restaurants and shops. Cruise enthusiasts can marvel at the grandeur of the cruise ships and experience the excitement of the embarkation and debarkation processes.

The ”MS Disney Wish” has a handover at the Columbus Center Bremerhaven

The ”MS Disney Wish” has a handover at the Columbus Center Bremerhaven

  • Fishing Harbor: Bremerhaven's fishing harbor showcases the city's rich fishing industry. Here, visitors can witness fishing vessels returning with their catch, bustling fish auctions, and the processing and distribution of seafood products. It's a vibrant area where you can explore the fishing industry's history and its importance to the local economy.
  • Offshore Wind Energy Port: Bremerhaven is a hub for the offshore wind energy industry. The city's port facilities are used for the assembly, maintenance, and deployment of offshore wind turbines. Visitors can observe the construction and logistics activities associated with this growing renewable energy sector.

Offshore Wind Energy Port

Offshore Wind Energy Port in Bremerhaven

  • Lloyd Marina: The Lloyd Marina is a modern marina facility that offers to berth for private yachts and sailing boats. It is located near the city center and provides a picturesque waterfront setting, with views of the Weser River and the surrounding landscape. The marina is a popular spot for boat enthusiasts and offers various services and facilities for boat owners and visitors.

These ports in Bremerhaven represent the city's maritime heritage, economic significance, and connection to international trade and travel. Exploring these ports provides visitors with an opportunity to witness the dynamic activities and industries that have shaped Bremerhaven into a thriving maritime city.

The best ways to arrive in Bremerhaven for foreign tourists

Foreign tourists have several convenient ways to arrive in Bremerhaven. Here are some of the best ways to reach the city:

  • By Air: The nearest major international airport to Bremerhaven is Bremen Airport (BRE), located approximately 65 kilometers (40 miles) away. From the airport, you can take a taxi, rent a car, or use public transportation to travel to Bremerhaven. Bremen Airport offers flights to various domestic and international destinations.
  • By Train: Bremerhaven has its own train station, Bremerhaven Hauptbahnhof, which is well-connected to the German railway network. Travelers can take a train to Bremerhaven from major cities such as Bremen, Hamburg, or other German cities. International travelers can reach Bremen or Hamburg by train from neighboring countries and then transfer to a train bound for Bremerhaven.
  • By Car: Bremerhaven is easily accessible by road, with well-developed highways connecting it to other major cities in Germany. The A27 and A29 highways provide direct access to the city. If you are driving from other countries, you can enter Germany and reach Bremerhaven through the European road network.

Gray seals (Halichoerus grypus) on Helogland, GermanyGray seals (Halichoerus grypus) in Helogland, Germany

  • By Ferry: Another option for arriving in Bremerhaven is by taking a ferry. There are ferry connections from Helogland, a small island in the North Sea, to Bremerhaven. This can be a scenic and enjoyable way to travel to the city, especially for those looking for a unique experience.

Once in Bremerhaven, the city has an efficient local transportation system, including buses and trams, which can help you navigate within the city and explore its various attractions. It's advisable to check transportation schedules, ticket prices, and any travel restrictions or guidelines before your journey, as they may vary depending on the season, current circumstances, and mode of transportation. Additionally, consider using navigation apps or consulting with local travel agencies for the most up-to-date information on the best routes and modes of transportation to reach Bremerhaven.

Bremerhaven has a unique culture and cuisine

reflects its maritime heritage and diverse influences. Here are some aspects that make the culture and cuisine of Bremerhaven special:

  • Maritime Heritage: Bremerhaven's culture is deeply rooted in its maritime history. As a major port city, it has a strong connection to the sea, which is evident in its traditions, festivals, and local customs. The city celebrates its maritime heritage through various events and attractions, including ship exhibitions, maritime museums, and festivals like the Sail Bremerhaven.

 Similar to a Christmas cake: the Klaben is not just delicious at Christmas time

 Similar to a Christmas cake: the Klaben is not just delicious at Christmas time

  • Seafood Cuisine: Being a coastal city, Bremerhaven boasts a rich tradition of seafood cuisine. Fresh fish and seafood are prominent ingredients in many local dishes. You can savor delicious seafood specialties such as Nordsee Krabben (North Sea shrimp), Matjes (young herring), Labskaus (a traditional sailor's dish made with salted meat, potatoes, and onions), and various fish dishes prepared in different styles.
  • Klaben: Klaben is a traditional Bremerhaven sweet bread that is often associated with special occasions and holidays. It is a rich and dense fruit bread made with ingredients like raisins, almonds, citrus peel, and spices. Klaben is often enjoyed during Christmas time and is considered a regional delicacy.

White, wheat and dark beer

  • Beer Culture: Like the rest of Germany, Bremerhaven has a strong beer culture. You can find local breweries and pubs where you can enjoy a wide selection of German beers, including regional and craft brews. Sampling different types of beers and experiencing the social atmosphere of beer gardens or pubs is a part of the cultural experience in Bremerhaven.
  • Museums and Cultural Institutions: Bremerhaven is home to several museums and cultural institutions that offer insights into the city's history, art, and cultural heritage. The German Emigration Center, the German Maritime Museum, and the Kunstmuseum Bremerhaven are notable attractions where you can explore different aspects of Bremerhaven's culture, history, and art scene.
  • Multicultural Influences: Bremerhaven has been a hub for international trade and immigration, leading to a multicultural influence on its culture and cuisine. Over the years, various communities have made their home in Bremerhaven, contributing to its vibrant and diverse cultural fabric.

Exploring the local cuisine, visiting cultural institutions, attending festivals, and interacting with the locals will give you a deeper understanding of the unique culture and culinary delights that Bremerhaven has to offer.

If you're looking for souvenirs from Bremerhaven, here are some recommendations:

  • Model Ships: Bremerhaven's maritime heritage makes model ships a popular souvenir choice. Look for intricately crafted replicas of historic ships or modern vessels, which can serve as decorative pieces or reminders of the city's maritime connection.

Barque ship

  • Fish and Seafood Products: Bremerhaven is known for its fishing industry, so consider purchasing local fish or seafood products as edible souvenirs. Smoked fish, canned fish, or local delicacies like Nordsee Krabben (North Sea shrimp) are excellent choices.
  • Nautical-themed Items: Look for nautical-themed souvenirs such as keychains, magnets, or decorative items featuring anchors, lighthouses, or sailboats. These items are often found in gift shops near the harbor or maritime attractions.

Small blue and white ship and anchor in a beachThe small blue and white ship anchored on a beach

  • German Beer and Spirits: Germany is renowned for its beer, and you can find a variety of German beer brands in Bremerhaven. Consider purchasing local craft beers or regional spirits like schnapps or liqueurs as souvenirs to enjoy back home.
  • Bremerhaven - Board Game: Bremerhaven is a clearly structured but complex economic game about the famous harbor town in the north of Germany. Each player builds his own unique harbor and tries to reach the highest combination of money and prestige by the end of the game. Bremerhaven ends after a defined number of rounds, and the rules include both a short version and solo rules. Visually the game will be in the vein of Le Havre.

bremerhaven_board game

Bremerhaven - Board Game

  • Maritime-themed Clothing and Accessories: Look for clothing items or accessories that showcase a maritime theme, such as T-shirts, caps, or scarves with nautical designs or Bremerhaven logos. These can be found in souvenir shops or specialty stores.

When selecting souvenirs, consider their authenticity, quality, and the significance they hold in representing the unique aspects of Bremerhaven. Local markets, gift shops near attractions, or specialty stores dedicated to regional products are great places to find these souvenirs in Bremerhaven.

Sunny day on North sea beachSunny day on the North Sea beach

Bremerhaven, a vibrant port city in Germany, offers a wealth of attractions and experiences for visitors. With its rich maritime heritage, diverse cultural offerings, and unique cuisine, Bremerhaven has something to offer every traveler. Here's a summary of the highlights:

  • Port and Maritime Heritage: Bremerhaven's ports are a significant part of its identity. From the bustling Container Terminal to the Fishing Harbor and Offshore Wind Energy Port, visitors can witness the city's maritime industries in action. The German Maritime Museum and the German Emigration Center provide fascinating insights into the city's maritime history and the stories of those who journeyed through its ports.
  • Cultural Delights: Bremerhaven boasts several cultural institutions, including the Kunstmuseum Bremerhaven, where art enthusiasts can explore an impressive collection of contemporary art. The Climate Experience Center and the Zoo at the Sea with the North Sea Aquarium offer unique educational experiences for visitors of all ages.

  • Local Cuisine: Bremerhaven's cuisine is heavily influenced by its coastal location. Sample delectable seafood dishes like Nordsee Krabben and Matjes, indulge in the rich Klaben sweet bread and enjoy German beers and wines. Exploring the local food scene is a must for any visitor.
  • City Landmarks: Bremerhaven offers a range of landmarks worth exploring. Visit the Look-Out-Platform SAIL City for breathtaking views of the city and its surroundings. Don't miss the historic frigates offering one-day cruise trips under full sail, providing an unforgettable experience on the water.
  • Souvenirs: When it comes to souvenirs, consider items that represent Bremerhaven's maritime heritage, such as model ships or nautical-themed mementos. Local food products, German beers, chocolates, and crafts are also great options to bring home a piece of the city.

SAR Boat, German society for the rescue of shipwrecked people

SAR Boat, German Society for the Rescue of shipwrecked people

Bremerhaven is a captivating destination that combines maritime charm, cultural experiences, and delectable cuisine. Whether exploring its ports, immersing in its museums, or indulging in local flavors, visitors are sure to create lasting memories in this vibrant city on Germany's North Sea coast.

Read our previous article Top shore excursions in the busiest cruise ports of Europe in summer 2023 - BARCELONA, SPAIN

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