Kiel, Germany cruises

Kiel is a captivating cruise port that offers a perfect blend of rich history, breathtaking natural beauty, delicious cuisine, and unique shopping experiences.

Whether you're immersing yourself in Kiel's maritime heritage, strolling along the waterfront promenade, indulging in local cuisine, or exploring the vibrant events and festivals, Kiel promises to be a memorable destination on your cruise to Germany.

Kiel port guide

Nestled at the end of the Kieler Förde in the north of Germany, Kiel is a vibrant and bustling port city, known for its intriguing maritime history – where the sea is an important part of daily life in the region for both business and leisure.

Sitting around 6 miles north of Hamburg, just south of the Danish border - the city was founded in 1233 and has since played host to great naval bases throughout the ages and is now home to the busiest artificial waterway in the world.

Popular with sailing enthusiasts, the city has hosted two Olympic sailing competitions, alongside the biggest sailing event in the world – Kiel Week.

Kiel is a destination that will captivate your senses, with its rich history, picturesque waterfront, and delectable cuisine.

Top landmarks and sights in Kiel

Kiel Canal

Witness the engineering marvel of the Kiel Canal, one of the busiest artificial waterways in the world. Be mesmerized as massive cargo ships, cruise liners, and sailing boats navigate through the locks and bridges along the canal, providing a unique and awe-inspiring experience.


Take a leisurely stroll along the Kiellinie, the waterfront promenade that offers panoramic views of the Kiel Fjord. Marvel at the impressive ships docked at the port and watch sailboats gliding across the water as you soak in the maritime atmosphere. Lined with sailing clubs, cafes, restaurants and even a small aquarium, the waterfront vistas offer the perfect escape from the bustling inner city.

Submarine U-995

Explore a relic of World War II and step aboard Submarine U-995. Commissioned in 1943, the submarine served in five wolfpacks of the German Kriegsmarine and was subsequently surrendered to the British at the end of the Second World War. Now, she serves as an opportunity for guests to experience the inner workings of a German wartime submarine.

St. Nikolai Church

Near the old town square sits the oldest building in Kiel. Believed the date back to 1242, the St. Nikolai church was heavily damaged during the Second World War but has since been restored to its former glory, with its unmissable green spire stretching up to reach the skies above.

Things to do in Kiel

Kiel Maritime Museum

Discover more about Kiel's fascinating maritime heritage at the Kiel Maritime Museum, housed in the historic Kiel Castle. Explore the captivating exhibits, including ship models, weapons, and artefacts that shed light on the city's naval history.

Schilksee beach

Relax and unwind on one of Kiel's beautiful beaches, such as Schilksee Beach, where you can dip your toes in the refreshing waters of the Baltic Sea or simply bask in the sun on the soft sands.

Botanical Garden Kiel

For nature enthusiasts, the Botanical Garden Kiel is a must-see. The garden features a diverse range of plant species from around the world, including a Japanese garden and a Mediterranean greenhouse.

The City Museum

Found within the oldest residential house in Kiel, The City Museum holds a treasure trove that tells the story of Kiel’s history. A superbly preserved 17th-century grand house, the estate offers guests an insight into the bygone splendor of the city, with expertly preserved rooms and art exhibitions throughout.

Eating and drinking in Kiel

Kiel is a haven for foodies, with its diverse culinary scene that showcases the best of German and maritime cuisine.

Sample the fresh catches of the Baltic Sea, from succulent fish dishes like Bismarck herring or Labskaus to mouth-watering seafood platters. Indulge in traditional German specialties like schnitzel and sausages and be sure to pair your meal with a local beer or schnapps.

For those with a sweet tooth, don't miss out on the famous marzipan, a delectable almond-based treat that has been a local favorite for centuries.

Shopping in Kiel

Kiel offers a unique shopping experience for visitors, with a wide range of shops, boutiques, and markets to explore. From local crafts and souvenirs to high-end fashion and luxury items, there's something for everyone.

The Holstenstraße, Kiel's main shopping street, is a shopper's paradise, with its bustling atmosphere and diverse range of stores. During the annual Kiel Week, the city transforms into a shopper's delight, with numerous stalls offering a plethora of products, including arts and crafts, clothing, and local specialities.

Festivals and events

Kiel is known for its vibrant events and festivals that take place throughout the year. The Kiel Week, or "Kieler Woche," is one of the world's largest sailing events, attracting sailors and visitors from around the globe. The city comes alive with concerts, performances, and colorful parades during this annual festival.

Other unforgettable events include the Kiel Maritime Festival, featuring maritime-themed activities and entertainment, and the Kiel Christmas Market, a festive wonderland with twinkling lights, vacation treats, and gift stalls.

Getting around, Kiel transport

There are a number of options available for getting to and from the Kiel port, as well as venturing further afield.

The nearby bus station and the city train station serve destinations nationwide as well as providing inner-city transportation. Taxis are available from the port but can be expensive.

Car hire is a popular option with guests, with German roads known for their excellent condition and efficiency.

Kiel port facilities

The port of Kiel is a bustling and busy port, with four cruise terminals, each with modern, well-equipped facilities, services and amenities including shopping centers, restaurants, and large parking areas.

Kiel quick tips


The official currency in Kiel and across Germany is the Euro.

Tipping is not a requirement, but it is always appreciated. Typically, guests may choose to tip around 5-10% at bars, restaurants or at the end of a taxi journey. If in doubt, guests can round up to the nearest 5 or 10 Euro denomination.


The weather in Kiel has four distinct seasons.

Springtime in Germany marks the beginning of the busiest season as the weather reaches pleasant, mild temperatures of around 13-19 °C as blossoms erupt across the green countryside.

Throughout the peak tourist season in summer, temperatures climb to around 20-23 °C, with long sunny days and limited rainfall.

Autumn in Germany sees temperatures begin to fall to around 10 °C.

Winters in Germany, particularly areas to the south, can see temperatures as low as -20°C, while daily highs reach around 2-3°C.