A steamboat trip in Berlin is simply part of every visit to Berlin. But a steamboat trip in Berlin is also a wonderful way for us Berliners to relax.
On our last trip, we opted for a round trip of the Upper Havel Lakes with the Stern und Kreis Schifffahrt so that we could spend some quiet time on the steamer away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.
From Greenwich Promenade in Berlin Tegel, there are daily trips on different ships.
We were lucky enough to travel on the MS Havel Queen. This side-wheel steamer was modelled on a paddle steamer.
At 67 metres, the ship has a very considerable length; there are only a few steamers in Berlin that are this large. About 700 people fit on board, we were lucky that there were just 50 passengers who had planned to go steaming in Berlin at 10.30 am on a Saturday. So it was wonderfully quiet on board.
The MS Havel Queen has a really great sun deck, which is partly equipped with deck chairs. Here you can relax and enjoy the trip. I was particularly pleased when I discovered that there is a lift to the upper deck. This means that passengers with limited mobility can enjoy the trip on the upper deck, which is unfortunately very rare on steamships.
The Upper Havel Lakes Tour lasts about 2 hours.
First, the trip goes on Lake Tegler past the Borsig Villa. The former country house of the Borsig business family is located on a peninsula. Today it houses the Foreign Service Academy of the Federal Foreign Office and the Guest House of the Federal Foreign Office. Unfortunately, the grounds are not open to the public, but you can catch a glimpse of the beautiful building from the water.
There are many small islands in Berlin’s Upper Havel – for example Valentinswerder, Baumwerder, Reiswerder, Maienwerder and Scharfenberg. Most of these small islands are uninhabited and have been designated as nature reserves.
The MS Havel Queen sails past some of the islands, including Scharfenberg.
This island can be reached by a small ferry, which is used daily by many pupils. On the island is the Scharfenberg school farm, a state grammar school with boarding and external pupils.
As a pupil, I took part in an annual swimming competition called “Rund um Scharfenberg”. Depending on the age, sections of varying length were swum around the island near the shore. When we passed here on the Havel Queen, I remembered the disturbing “waves” that caused me real difficulties as a pool swimmer back then.
The trip by steamer on the Havel continued towards Konradshöhe and Heiligensee. Here there is a car ferry that connects Spandau and Reinickendorf. A great and relatively inexpensive alternative that saves many a Berliner a lot of time. I especially like the name of the ferry – “Hol-über”!
The journey continues to Nieder Neuendorf. Here we drive directly towards one of the former border towers of the GDR, which stands directly on the banks of the Havel and shows us once again clearly that Berlin ended here.
On the Nieder Neuendorfer See lake, the steamer turns around and the trip goes back to Tegel.
What I particularly liked on the tour was that information was not constantly announced over the loudspeakers. There were a few little hints, but otherwise you could lie back and just enjoy the ride and the nature. Not even loud ship engines bothered us at the bow of the ship.
Steaming in Berlin is really very diverse – from the lively city centre tour, to trips to Potsdam or a tour of the Upper Havel Lakes, everyone will find something to suit their taste. We definitely enjoy the different tours through our beautiful hometown.
End of March – mid-October:
daily 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 3:45 p.m.
Additional trips are offered on Sundays and public holidays. You can find the exact times on the website of the Stern und Kreis Schifffahrt .
Various reductions are offered.