The harbor area is the heart of the German city of Hamburg. The history of the city is closely linked to its importance for maritime life – and a lot of key sights are in the area. There are rather modern places like the Elbphilharmonie (Elbe Philharmonic Hall) or Miniatur Wunderland – and sights related to that history. One of the most famous museum ships in Germany is the Rickmer Rickmers, which I visited in summer 2021. Here is a review of my visit.
Rickmer Rickmers – Location & Admission
The Rickmer Rickers is located at the St. Pauli side of Hamburg Harbor, close to the Landungsbrücken. Other touristic sites like the Cap San Diego museum ship or the quays for Hamburg public ferries, harbor cruises (I did a trip with the Ehlers company) or the Halunder Jet ferry to Helgoland are in short walking distance.
The museum is opening daily from 10:00 to 18:00 hrs. The gastronomic service (see below) opens one hour later. Adult admission to the ship is 6 Euro.
Rickmer Rickmers – The Visit
There is a nicely signed route through the ship. Most of the documentation is in German and English, the Rickmer Rickmers is also holding basic written documentation in some 15 languages. The directions are quite clear, you start on deck and then more and more examine the under deck facilities. Of course, it is already quite enjoyable to enjoy the views of Hamburg Harbor from this legendary vessel.
You really feel to explore all parts of the ship. However, some places were missing. The original captain’s cabin, for example, was part of the escape room adventure (see below) during my visit. However, I feel that the pictures below speak for themselves. The ship, which is driven by a private foundation without any public funding, is in an excellent condition and it is a lot of fun. From time to time, the self-guided visit brings you up on deck again before you explore other parts of Rickmer Rickmers.
During your visit, you also learn a lot about the history of the boat, including former captains and cruises. The vessel has been in Portuguese ownership for a certain period. During that time, the Rickmer Rickmers also received the possibility to navigate with engine power. The engine room is also part of your tour. Towards the end of your visit, there are also some dedicated exhibition spaces, which give you additional fact about the stories around Rickmer Rickmers, but also host temporary exhibitions. One section of the ship is typically reserved for art exhibitions, for example.
Rickmer Rickmers – Services
The Rickmer Rickers management added a lot of services to the museum ship over time. First of all and most traditionally, you can dine inside the ship. They also drive kid’s birthday parties and give visitors the opportunity to climb the shrouds in special occasions. Last, but not least, there is an escape room on board the ship.
Rickmer Rickmers – My View
Visiting this piece of naval history is truly a memorable part of your visit in Hamburg. Bad luck that there are so many options – and the German Harbor Museum, which is already open, but may add some additional exhibits, will even increase the range of options. If you compare to the Cap San Diego, the cargo vessel might be a bit more exciting in size and the things you can explore during your visit – on the other hand, the Rickmer Rickmers feels very rich as well and the visit also felt better organized and more relaxed to me. Thus, I decided to end up in a draw and assign the same rating to both vessels. Finally, you should visit them both anyway.
Museums with Maritime Background
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