Transit the Kiel Canal, Germany

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Main port photo for Transit the Kiel Canal, Germany

Kiel, capital of Germany's rich agricultural Schleswig-Holstein region, has also been a bastion of German naval power since the 19th century. This Baltic port hosts a large regatta each year, attracting yachtsmen throughout Europe and beyond. The famous Kiel Canal begins here, where it stretches some 60 scenic miles from the Baltic to the North Sea.

The North Sea-Baltic Canal, as it is formally named, took approximately 9,000 workers 8 years to build, and was officially opened in 1895. Today, over 40,000 vessels pass through each year, and its set of locks are sometimes referred to as the "Busiest Locks in Europe."

Not far from the Kiel Canal, incredible Hamburg awaits. It is the third largest port in Europe, established by Charlemagne in the early 9th century. Though it fell to Viking attacks and foreign raids, lost over half its population to the Black Death and was later obliterated by the Great Fire of 1842, the city rebuilt and prevailed. It maintains much of its medieval character, thanks to a series of restorations that took place after World War II. Its unusual cityscape is devoid of traditional skyscrapers, though several magnificent church spires reach towards the clouds. From its fascinating museums and rich culture to the hundreds of bridges crossing its rivers and canals, Hamburg is a delightful city to stroll through as your ship transits the Kiel Canal.

Note: Tour passengers rejoin the ship in the canal. Immigration regulations permit only passengers on Princess organized tours to go ashore.

Tour not available until 2020 due to construction at Brunsbuttel Locks.

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  • St. Michael's Church St. Michael's Church

    Tour this stunning Baroque Church from its lavish interiors and crypted vault to the towering copper-roofed spire. Take the elevator for the panoramic views to fully experience this iconic landmark.

  • Kramer Amtsstuben Kramer Amtsstuben

    Explore the narrow alley lined by 17th-century, half-timbered houses to experience an authentic piece of old Hamburg. Visit the widow's house, browse the shops and capture picture postcard images.

  • Alster Lake Alster Lake

    The shimmering lake is the centerpiece of life in Hamburg. Joggers and parents pushing strollers circle its shore while families picnic upon its tranquil banks.

  • Hamburg Hamburg

    Hamburg offers culture and contrasts. Baroque churches, tidy 17th-century courtyards, a bustling harbor and river scene and "the most sinful mile in the world" in the St. Pauli red light district.

  • Schleswig-Holstein Schleswig-Holstein

    The northernmost of Germany's 16 states has miles of stunning coastline, enticing health resorts, medieval castles, numerous lakes and lush countryside billed as the Switzerland of northern Germany.

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