Warnemunde, Germany, wasn’t on our itinerary when my daughter and I booked a cruise on Viking Jupiter, the sixth ocean-going vessel in the Viking fleet. But the war in Ukraine forced Viking to change its sea routes and reconfigure port stops and tour itineraries
An unexpected visit to Warnemunde
Warnemunde, one of the new ports of call on our rejiggered itinerary, is located two to three hours by train or bus from Berlin. For centuries, the town (a district in the city of Rostock) as a small fishing village. But due to its strategic access to the Baltic Sea, it played a major role in safeguarding the northern city of Rostock.
And then, in the 19th century, Warnemunde gained popularity as a seaside resort. Now, the industrial area of the town is home to the NordicYards shipyard and a modern cruise terminal.
Walking around Warnemunde
Undaunted by intermittent rain, we spent a lovely afternoon touring and photographing Warnemunde’s historic buildings and lovely seascapes. One of the port’s oldest buildings is the white-glazed brick lighthouse, built in 1897 and still in use. For two euros, visitors can climb the tower for breathtaking views of the sea.
The historic Teepott building, constructed and opened in 1926, is an example of East German architecture. Burned down during World War II, it was rebuilt and reopened in the 1960s. Today, it houses restaurants and gift shops.
Old fisherman-style cottages converted to chic shopping and cozy restaurants line the Alter Strom (Old Channel). Nearby, Fischbroetchen boats line up to sell numerous versions of fresh fish sandwiches and nibbles.
Our impromptu walk also took us past the Edvard Munch House. The renowned Norwegian painter of The Scream lived here in 1908.
Exploring the beach
Warnemünde’s large, sandy beaches, the broadest on the German Baltic coast, stretch over nearly two miles of coastline.
It is not unusual for visitors to rent a Strandkorb (a style of beach seating) for the afternoon. A German weaver invented these wicker-covered structures to protect beach lovers from sun exposure and the strong Baltic winds. They are available for rent for 7-12 Euros a day and are popular because visitors can enjoy lunch on the beach and lock up their valuables while swimming in the Baltic Sea.
After lunch at an outdoor restaurant that resembled the Strandkorbs, my daughter and I popped into a historic bakery for a sinful ending to our stroll.
Although not on our original Viking cruise itinerary, we delighted in this unplanned adventure that provided an unexpected opportunity to savor the customs and culture of Warnemunde, Germany.
What’s appealing to the over-50 luxury traveler??
- A walk from the ship to the resort area of Warnemunde is a relaxing alternative to a full-day excursion and train trip to and from Berlin.
- Walking or running along the waterfront offers an opportunity for exercise.
- The restaurants along the Alte Strom will appeal to seafood lovers.
- While credit cards are accepted at most retail outlets, euros may be needed for local taxis.
- The area is known for having strong winds; be sure to use sunscreen if you are spending time near the beach and water.
- In addition to German, most locals speak English.
Disclosure: The author’s ocean cruise was hosted by Viking.
All photo credits: Bonnie Carroll (unless otherwise shown); lead photo Warnemunde Visitors Center.
IF YOU GO
- Read about a voyage on Viking Star, the first ocean-going vessel in the Viking fleet: Celebrating in Style On Viking Star
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