Ships & lighthouses

Anyone who loves the Baltic Sea will immediately fall in love with Kiel too, because the state capital by the sea exudes a lot of maritime charm with its many lighthouses and the hustle and bustle on the water.

Cruise ships & ferries at the Kiellinie

It's an impressive sight when the big cruise ships stop right in the middle of the city and ferries and sailboats whizzing past you on the fjord. Kiel is the port of departure and destination for more than 200 cruise ships a year, as well as ferries and cargo ships. The best view of these moving giants of the sea is from the Kiellinie
Would you like to know when which ship docks in Kiel? Then you can take a look at the Port of Kiel ship ticker here. 

You want to start your cruise relaxed? Take advantage of our Park, Hotel & Cruise package!


Where are traditional sailing vessels moored in Kiel?
Traditional sailers

Traditional sailing ships can be found in the Germaniabecken of Kiel Harbour, among other places. Here you will find traditional sailing ships and historic watercraft that were used for coastal shipping in northern Europe in previous centuries. The ships are not meant to be "firmly on the chain", but to fulfil their purpose as travelling traditional vessels. Through the coming and going of the ships, as well as through the work of the crews and owners on their ships, you will always be presented with a living port image. Location: Am Germaniahafen, 24143 Kiel

For you as a ship fan, a visit to Tiessenkai is also worthwhile. On the quay wall you will not only find countless anglers but also some traditional sailing boats. The Kontorhaus is also historically appealing, and you can enjoy a delicious piece of cake or a fresh fish roll. Location: Tiessenkai, 24159 Kiel

Would you like to join in the sailing?

Would you like to sail on a traditional sailing ship yourself? We offer a variety of sailing trips during Kiel Week.

On a traditional sailing vessel

A sea dog reports...
Water under the keel

Der Boden schaukelt unter den Füßen, ein frischer Wind weht durch den grauen Bart, der Blick schweift über den Horizont, an dem schwach die Umrisse der Kieler Skyline zu erkennen sind. Möwen ziehen ihre Kreise über die Segel hinweg und das Wasser plätschert wie Musik gegen den Bug. Andreas Köpke ist Seebär aus Leidenschaft. Bereits seit 35 Jahren macht er mit seinem Traditionssegler die Meere der Welt unsicher.

Three-master with history

The sail training ship GORCH FOCK is a proud symbol with its home port in Kiel. The GOCH FOCK is an imposing three-master that combines knowledge, expertise and adventure. When the ship is currently in its home town, it is anchored at the Tirpitzmole.

About life on the Gorch Fock - landmark and ambassador

About life on the Gorch Fock
Landmark and ambassador

On the Navy's sail training ship GORCH FOCK, officer and non-commissioned officer candidates are trained for further service in the fleet. Nils Brandt was in command for almost eight years and provides an insight into life with and on the imposing three-master in 15 questions with his answers.

North-Baltic Sea Canal

Container giants and other ships within reach! The approximately 100-kilometre-long waterway connects the Kiel Fjord with the Elbe near Brunsbüttel. Inaugurated by Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1895 after a total of eight years of construction, the connection between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, formerly known as the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Kanal, developed over the decades into one of the most important traffic arteries in Schleswig-Holstein. Today it is still the busiest artificial waterway in the world. Almost 32,000 ships - more than the famous Suez and Panama Canals combined - use the passage to "shorten" the diversions via Skagen. By travelling through the canal, they save about 250 nautical miles and thus a lot of time in the fast-moving shipping traffic.

On the lock viewing platform you are very close to the action.

"I think I would like to go all the way up the canal to the North Sea, the beauties must be numerous and manifold."

Johann Gottfried Seume (poet)

Signposts on the fjord

They are maritime landmarks, cultural monuments and exude fascination: The lighthouses of the Kiel Fjord. A longing is kindled at the sight of them. While looking at them - with the sound of the sea in your ears - just let your mind wander. Or climb the numerous steps of the Bülk lighthouse to a view over the vastness of the sea that will take your breath away for a moment!

With a pilot on the Kiel Fjord

A day at sea 
With a navigator on the Kiel Fjord

It is 10.30 am. The sun is still struggling through the clouds. It is a real splash of colour in the grey harbour of Strande: the bright orange pilot boat. Markus Böhm meets his colleague at the jetty. The watch station at the lock in Holtenau has registered 35 ships for this day - and each one needs its pilots. The captain gathers the team and sets off at 25 knots on a calm Baltic Sea towards the Kiel lighthouse.

Lighthouse Swim

Lighthouse Swim - 
Open Water Kiel

The Lighthouse Swim in Kiel is an annual swimming event that will take place on 8 July 2023 in the Kiel Fjord. It is an open-water swimming competition in which participants seek their personal challenge on various courses.