About Kiel Canal

The Kiel Canal is a 61 mile long canal that links the North Sea at Brunsbüttel to the Baltic Sea at Kiel- Holtenau. In June 1887, construction work started at Holtenau near Kiel and it took over 9,000 workers eight years to build.

On June 21, 1895 the canal was officially opened by Kaiser Wilhelm II who laid the final stone.


Shore excursions in Kiel Canal

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Kiel at a Glance

Activity low

Duration: 1½ hours

Discover the charms of Kiel at a glance on a panoramic tour of the city.

With your guide, you’ll embark on a panoramic drive passing by the old town and the Kiel fjord promenade, which is deemed the unofficial heart of the city. En route, you’ll pass Germany’s first ever pedestrian precinct, Holstenstraße which opened in 1951 and is today one of the most popular shopping miles.

Enjoy a stop for photos at the entrance to the Kiel Canal. View the sluices that regulate the world’s busiest artificial waterway, stretching for almost 100 km from Kiel to Brunsbüttel, linking the Baltic Sea with the North Sea.

En route, you will also see the T-750 Flandernbunker, one of 120 of its kind, used during World War II to protect up to 750 people. The bunker was partially destroyed by Allied forces after the war to prevent its further use. Enjoy a glimpse of the city’s world renowned university, an integral part of Kiel’s maritime tradition, specialising in scientific marine research. It was here where the famous scientists, Max Planck and Heinrich Hertz led the way for a new generation of young scientists.

Heading out to the more rural east, admire the small villages that line the fjord and enjoy beautiful views over the fjord to your ship.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by bus and on foot. Passengers are advised that there is a minimal amount of walking during this tour.

Lovely Lübeck

Activity mediumShopping

Duration: 7 hours

Once known as the ‘Queen of the Hanseatic League’, the Free Imperial and Hanseatic City of Lübeck is steeped in history and tradition.

Lübeck is a city, which is simply beautiful and its proud old patrician houses and red brick churches are now included on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list.

On arrival in Lübeck, you will set off on a historical walk of the city. The old town is located on an island and is one of the most impressive intact examples of medieval Gothic architecture. Enjoy the ambiance of the old town with its well-known Holsten Gate – the landmark of the city. Pay a visit to St Mary’s Church, the model for many other brick-built churches in the Baltic area. You will also pass by the City Hall, known to be one of the oldest in Germany. Throughout your guided walk you will notice that the red brick Gothic architecture still dominates the old town today.

Continue past one of the first old age homes in Germany, the Heiligen-Geist-Hospital as well as Buddenbrooks House, the home of the famous writers Heinrich and Thomas Mann, who were both born in Lübeck.

During your visit to Lübeck, you will have approximately 1½ hours of free time to purchase lunch, explore the shops or maybe visit the world famous Niederegger Café.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There will be an English-speaking escort on board the coach for the transfer to and from Lübeck. A local guide will join the tour in the city. The journey time to Lübeck is estimated at 1¼ hours each way. There is approximately 2½ hours’ walking on this tour. Flat, comfortable walking shoes are essential. Lunch is not included on this tour and so passengers are reminded to take local currency with them.

Mighty Maritime & Naval Heritage

Activity medium

Duration: 4 hours

Kiel is a traditional maritime and naval city which was originally founded in 1233. It’s seafaring importance can be seen throughout the city.

Embark on a panoramic drive, passing the locks that regulate the world’s busiest artificial waterway, the Kiel Canal. Along the way you will see the T-750 Flandernbunker, a flak-bunker used to protect 750 people during World War II.

Your leisurely drive will take you out to Laboe where you will visit the German Naval Museum and Memorial. Enjoy some free time to explore independently and perhaps venture up to the lookout platform where you will have spectacular views over the Kieler Fjord. The subterranean Commemorative Hall is the central memorial decorated with wreaths and flower arrangements, and the subdued mood lighting creates a solemn atmosphere with unique acoustics. Visit the Historical Hall where the history of German navigation and navy is documented using various charts and ship models.

A short walk will take you to the U-995 submarine that has been refurbished as a museum. Explore the interior and experience the cramped conditions of those who served aboard. This particular submarine became famous in 1981, through the making of the film, ‘DAS BOOT’ - it was the most expensive German film ever made at a cost of about 15 million Euros, written and directed by Wolfgang Petersen.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately 2½ hours of walking on this tour with several steps to negotiate. This tour is not recommended for passengers who suffer from claustrophobia, due to the cramped conditions on the submarine. Flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

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