From mid April, tourists will be able to go on an amphibious tour of Hamburg port with the HafenCity Riverbus now that the Hamburg Port Authority has officially approved the vehicle for travel on land and sea. Up to 36 passengers and three crew can go aboard the river-bus on a land and waterborne tour beginning in Speicherstadt and onto the Landungsbrücken. “That is a real addition to the port of Hamburg and will certainly attract families with children in particular,” said Rolf Strittmatter, provisional head of Hamburg Tourismus GmbH.
Amazed reactions on Twitter
A test drive in early February around Hamburg’s harbour basin caused amazement on social media. “Ever wondered where your bus is stuck…well, on the Elbe in Hamburg port this time. What?,” tweeted one incredulous passerby on discovering the floating bus. From mid April, people in Hamburg can feast their eyes on this strange vehicle, which will offer five to six daily tours of Hamburg port.
Ramp in Entenwerder
The round trip will depart from the Brooktorkai in Speicherstadt where it will travel on dry land to Elbpark Entenwerder in Rothenburgsort. There, the bus will glide off a ramp into the Elbe. However, the land-water connection has to be extended by mid April to allow the vehicle into water at low tides. The river-bus can travel at speeds of up to seven knots for half an hour on the Norderelbe to the Landungsbrücken and then back to Entwerder from where it will head to Speicherstadt. The whole trip lasts 80 minutes.
Proximity between water and land
The operators, Jan Peter Mahlstedt and Fred Franken, are becoming pioneers with the river-bus. While city tours of this kind are already offered in Rotterdam, Lisbon and London, the attraction is unique in Germany. Hamburg was chosen early for this business idea. “No other city offers such a proximity between water and land – we are trying to take advantage of this with our vehicle,” Mahlstedt told reporters at a recent press conference.