Published on :   11/20/2019

Discover Berlin on a cruise 30 years after the fall of the wall

A symbol of European history

A historical symbol

An era that those under 30 do not remember. This is about the “cold war” and the “iron curtain” when this abominable scar cut through Berlin: a 155km long and 4m high wall topped with and surrounded by barbed wire, and consisting of surveillance towers guarded by armed men. The border was physical as well as ideological, surrounding the city and cutting it into two. Built in 1961 by the Eastern German regime - under the control of the USSR - in order to try to stop the massive exodus of people to the West for a better life. The Berlin Wall came down on the 9th November 1989 under the pressure of the street welcomed by a huge rejoicing population. This historic event, one of the most important in the 20th Century, has not only marked the fall of the “wall of shame” (which over a period of 28 years cost the life of hundreds of people trying to flee to the other side), but also the downfall of the communist bloc. It precluded the German Reunification on 3rd October 1990 and the European enlargement, with several Eastern European countries joining.

A city in constant movement

The Berlin Wall was brought down, but some parts of it were kept as symbols and silent guardians of a page of history. Today, to never forget, traces of the wall can be found in various spots of the capital of reunited Germany, on the banks of the river Spree, mainly in the East Side Gallery, acting as an open-air gallery in the Friedrichshain district.

On Mühlenstrasse, a 1.3km portion of the wall was kept and served as a canvas to 118 murals for artists from 21 countries. The most famous work of art is the ‘Fraternal Kiss’ between between Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and East German President Erich Honecker. Among the other visible remains near the monumental Brandenburg Gate, you can pay a visit to Checkpoint Charlie, the famous crossing point between East and West Berlin at the time of the division, and Potsdamer Platz, an important public square surrounded by modern buildings, as well as the Mauerpark land formerly part of the heavily guarded Death Strip. The Berlin Wall Memorial contains the last piece of the wall in its entire depth. The course of the former Berlin Wall is marked through the city centre with a double row of cobblestones on public streets of a city in constant movement, and has no less than 166 museums and a large number of very interesting sites.

Elbe Princesse II sundown

Rich and enthralling itineraries

To mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a cruise is a great opportunity to discover Berlin and its array of historic sites. The German capital is the departure and arrival point of several itineraries, featuring fascinating excursions along the Northern European canals and great rivers including the Elbe, the Rhine, the Oder and the Havel. You can travel between Amsterdam and Berlin, to admire charming Dutch cities and towns and the varied German heritage. You can travel between Berlin and Strasbourg too, and the Netherlands, a romantic journey through 3 countries. You can also sail all the way to Prague, for a delightful trip to historic and enthralling traditions. You can also cruise between Berlin and Hamburg or Berlin and Copenhagen, to discover the Baltic Sea, the Chorin Abbey and the spectacular Islands of Usedom and Rügen. All our dream cruises take you to wonderful destinations, including Berlin, a teeming and attractive city linking all these irresistible destinations.

Find out more about our river Cruises from and to Berlin