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.

Hamburg: New Year's Eve Harbor Barge Cruise

5. Hamburg: New Year's Eve Harbor Barge Cruise

Ring in New Year's Eve on the Elbe River and the Port Hamburg on a luxury barge cruise. Enjoy the views of the spectacular fireworks from an unparalleled vantage point and admire the sight of the magnificent skyline of Hamburg. Board the barge at the St Pauli Landing Bridges and set off through the heart of the Port of Hamburg along the Elbe River. Admire the enchanting site of Hamburg's bustling port area and glittering skyline, and feel the excitement build as midnight approaches. When the clock strikes twelve, you'll be in the perfect spot to witness the awe-inspiring fireworks display that illuminate the night sky. Avoid the crowds of the city and enjoy a memorable start to 2024 with your family and friends. You can also purchase drinks onboard, and choose from an open seating plan, ensuring you get a great spot to celebrate the New Year. After the show, return to port so you can continue the celebrations.

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: Hanseatic Guided Boat Tour

9. Hamburg: Hanseatic Guided Boat Tour

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

Make the most of your time onshore and explore Hamburg on a guided tour from Kiel. Learn about Hamburg's essential role in the historic Hanseatic League, visit the ruins of St. Nicholas Church, and stroll down Hamburg's oldest street, Deischstrasse. Meet your driver in front of your cruise ship just after docking and climb aboard a comfortable, air-conditioned bus. After a relaxing journey, arrive in Hamburg and meet your local tour guide. Enjoy a stroll through the historic heart of Hamburg and see the stunning Town Hall. As you walk, learn about Hamburg's role in the Hanseatic League from your guide. Continue to cross the ancient Trost bridge and visit the St Nikolas Church. As you stand next to this burnt-out shell of a church, learn how it acts as a way to remember the near-total destruction of the city during World War II. Leave the church and head down Deichstrasse, the oldest street in Hamburg. As you walk down this historic street, enjoy the view of the nearby Elbe River. Before returning to the bus, continue wandering down the river and through the scenic Landungsbrucke river walk. Drive over to the UNESCO World Heritage site, Speicherstadt, and see where historically traders stored their goods. Explore the Hafencity, the newest area of Hamburg which includes the iconic Elbphilharmonie. After your guided tour ends, enjoy 1 hour to explore Hamburg on your own. Grab lunch, buy some souvenirs, or explore one of Hamburg's museums. After returning to Kiel, you will have about 1.5 hours before your cruise departs, giving you time to explore Kiel or relax with a coffee.

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What people are saying about Elbe River, Hamburg

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 3,367 reviews

Excellent trip. Spacious and comfortable boat. Necessary to go to bridge 4 for big boat where is possible to go aboard in advance. In one hour you see everything important (harbour + coastal buildings).

The excursion was very interesting and the guide was very informative and knowledgeable. The booking was made very quickly and without stress. Always my pleasure!

Nice trip around main area of hamburg harbour and its iconic buildings

Ideal if you don't have much time but still want to see a lot.

Very entertaining and informative moderation on board!