Yearning for the sea

Watching ships in Travemünde

Big ships up close

Big ships, small ships. Sailing ships, pleasure boats, freighters and passenger ferries, elegant cruise liners, impressive, tall sailing ships and chugging fishing cutters. There is a constant coming and going in Travemünde harbour. Majestically serene and almost unimpressed by all this hustle and bustle, the four-masted barque PASSAT – the floating emblem of the resort – lies at rest on the Priwall bank of the river.

Ships in the Trave estuary

Watching ships is simply part and parcel of life in Travemünde, and even the people who live here can never get enough of it. The fascination with the to-ing and fro-ing on the water right in front of our eyes is simply too great. Sometimes small fishing boats chug past you and at others sleek sailing boats tack in the wind off the jetty. Imposing ferries slowly approach out of the distance, becoming ever larger and suddenly looming up in front of you as big as a house as they make their way into the Trave estuary to Scandinavia Quay, one of the largest ferry ports in Europe. Tall sailing ships and elegant cruise ships also steer a course to Travemünde from time to time and glide impressively past you. A unique, magnificent spectacle that you can only experience in this way here in Travemünde.

BEACH: Best Escape Anyone Can Have.

Firm opinion

Experience Travemünde in the front row

You will find the best box seat for watching ships in Lübeck Bay on Strandpromenade. From here you have a free view of the sea and you can even detect the big ships as a tiny dot on the horizon. You can experience the ships as they arrive up close from the end of the Nordermole jetty. You experience a feeling of freedom and adventure when these maritime giants plough through the waves past your vantage point. You can follow them on foot on Travepromenade on their way into the harbour. Enjoy the impressive panoramic view of the Trave estuary in one of the tempting cafés and restaurants in Vorderreihe, and allow the ships arriving and departing to glide serenely past you in a proud parade. Priwallpromenade also offers you breathtaking views of small and large ships following their course in the Trave estuary. Take a deep breath, there’s a fresh breeze blowing from the Baltic Sea!


Paar spaziert am Fischereihafen in Travemünde

Travemünde’s fishermen's harbour also invites you to “watch the ships” and stroll along the quayside. Here lie the steel deep sea vessels, colourful fishing boats, sailing yachts and some commercial vessels firmly tied up in calm water. Scandinavia Quay, arriving and departing ferries and freighters are squarely in view.

Who looks after the many ships?

Traffic on the federal waterway of the Trave is monitored by the Travemünde Traffic Control Centre. Day and night, experienced navigators sit in their control centre right on the Trave promenade. They use the latest technology to ensure that shipping runs smoothly from Flensburger Förde to the Buk lighthouse near Kühlungsborn. In the Trave estuary alone, more than 50 large ships arrive and depart every day – from huge passenger and freight ferries which dock at Travemünde’s Scandinavia Quay and pleasure boats to international cruise ships. By the way, all ships 60 metres in length or longer and 10 metres wide or wider require pilots. The marine and harbour pilots bring 2 pilot boats for the job. A few sea miles before Travemünde, command on the bridge is briefly transferred to the pilot until the ship is safely in the harbour. The same applies when the ship leaves the harbour again. 20 pilots work in the pilot station in Travemünde, and the shift operation runs round the clock.

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