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MSC Preziosa Cruise Photos

From: MSC Preziosa cruise review: North Sea

Day 2: Hamburg, Germany

BELOW: MSC Preziosa arrived in Hamburg around 7 a.m. on a Sunday after traveling 77 nautical miles down the River Elbe.

Steinwerder industrial port, Hamburg, Germany

Cranes in Steinwerder industrial harbor, Port of Hamburg

BELOW: The ship moored at "Cruise Center 3" in the industrial harbor area of Steinwerder, a long way from the city center.

Cruise Centre 3, Hamburg Steinwerder port

BELOW: Hamburg was the busiest embarkation and disembarkation port on our itinerary, and a few passengers (probably German or Russian) were still collecting their bags when we went ashore around 9:30 a.m.

Hamburg cruise terminal at Steinwerder (baggage hall)

BELOW: Normally we get around on foot or by public transit, but buses weren't running to Steinwerder on a Sunday, so we bought roundtrip MSC shuttle tickets to Hamburg's main railroad station for €16,99 each.

 Despite the long lines, it took only a few minutes to get loaded onto a bus.

MSC Shuttle bus at Steinwerder cruise terminal, Hamburg

BELOW: The bus trip to the Hauptbahnhof took slightly more than 20 minutes.

Hauptbahnhof, Hamburg

BELOW: We're transportation buffs, so we couldn't resist snapping a picture of Hamburg Hbf's well-lit and airy station platforms, which hadn't changed much since our previous visits.

Station hall of Hamburg Hauptbahnhof (HBf)

BELOW: As we left the station, we discovered that a foot race was in progress. Locals and tourists watched the runners from the sidewalks.

Foot race in Hamburg, Germany

BELOW: The race's finish line was in Hamburg's main downtown retail district, which was empty on a Sunday morning (except for race fans) because of Germany's strict limits on shopping hours.

Finish line of Hamburg foot race

BELOW: Instead of wandering around downtown on a Sunday morning, we decided to visit central Hamburg's two lakes, the Binnenalster (Inner Alster) and Außenalster (Outer Alster).

The photo below shows the Inner Alster, which abuts the city center.

Binnenalster, Hamburg

BELOW: It was a warm and sunny day, so the vintage sightseeing boats that crisscross and connect the lakes were doing a lively trade.

Sightseeing boat on Binnenalster, Hamburg

BELOW: We'd hoped to find a Bratwurst vendor (something we always look for in German cities), but no joy. We ended up taking a pedestrian and bicycle tunnel beneath a Deutsche Bahn railroad line to the Außenalster, which is the larger and more bucolic of the two lakes.

Cheryl Imboden with Deutsche Bahn train

BELOW: A sightseeing boat was headed in the same direction, using the water channel between the Binnenalster and Außenalster.

Sightseeing boat between Binnenalster and Außenalster, Hamburg

BELOW: The Außenalster is many times larger than the more urban Binnenalster. It's fed by a stream from outside the city limits, and it's a haven for ducks and other wildlife.

 From a park bench near the southern shore, we watched a team from a rowing club run (or pull) through their paces.

Ducks on Außenalster, Hamburg

BELOW: As the parents of a U.S. Foreign Service officer and a USAID officer, we couldn't help noticing the United States Consulate General offices along the western edge of the Außenalster and its park.

U.S. Consulate General Hamburg

BELOW: The consulate was just one of many mansions and apartment houses next to the lake--including the fantasy castle shown here:

BELOW: As much as we were enjoying our walk in the park around the Außenalster, we wanted to see the residential neighborhoods close by.

We headed west (missing the dog park, which we later saw on a map) and passed a bike-sharing station that offered free air.

Bike-sharing station with air compressor in Hamburg, Germany

BELOW: The neighborhood of Harvestehude was filled with attractive apartment buildings. This one was equipped with a bicycle ramp made of cobblestones.

Apartment building in Hamburg's Harvestehude neighborhood

BELOW: As we continued on our walk, we passed something that one doesn't see every day: A  U-Bahn or subway station with a good-size bookstore.

Stephansplatz U-Bahn station in Hamburg, Germany

BELOW: Our next destination was Planten un Blomen, Hamburg's most famous park. The lake, flower beds, and footpaths were a pleasant place to wander on a sunny Sunday afternoon in September.

Planten un Blomen lake, Hamburg

Flower beds at Planten un Blomen, Hamburg

BELOW: Our walk led us to the River Elbe and the Landungsgebrücken (a.k.a. St. Pauli Piers), the busiest water-transportation hub in Hamburg.

, Hamburg 

BELOW: The piers are a major attraction for tourists and locals, with plenty of sights, excursion boats, and restaurants to entertain human and canine visitors.

Sailing ship and sightseeing boats at St. Pauli Piers, Hamburg

Dog on St. Pauli waterfront, Hamburg, Germany

BELOW: "All aboard" time on MSC Preziosa was 6:30 p.m., so we decided that it was time to head for the shuttle bus. We saw this handsome Hanseatic manhole cover along the way:

Hamburg manhole cover

BELOW: Our walk took us along the Elbe, where we saw another in a series of cleverly-labeled trash receptacles:

Trash bin in Hamburg, Germany

BELOW: We passed the Deutsches Zollmuseum (German Customs Museum), which had a Coast Guard vessel moored alongside.

Deutsches Zollmuseum with German Coast Guard vessel

BELOW: We got a nice view of Hamburg's HafenCity, or Harbor City, which is Europe's biggest inner-city development project. The building in the background is the new Elbphilharmonie,, which incorporates two concert halls, a hotel, and apartments.

HafeCity and Elbephilharmonie, Hamburg

BELOW: An MSC Preziosa shuttle bus was waiting when we returned to the Hauptbahnhof.

MSC PREZIOSA shuttle bus in Hamburg

BELOW: When we arrived at the cruise terminal, luggage was already being loaded onto the ship as new passengers came on board.

Baggage being loaded onto MSC PREZIOSA in Hamburg, Germany

BELOW: This photo, taken from the pier, shows balconies and lifeboats on MSC Preziosa. (Note: Most of the ship's balconies have transparent barriers under the railings, but some cabins--including our forward cabin on Deck 9--have metal walls with cutouts.)

Lifeboats and tenders on MSC PREZIOSA

BELOW: Once we were back on board, we could see that MSC Preziosa was a tourist attraction (at least for the day), with sightseeing vessels and private boats cruising by in the late afternoon.

Hamburg excursion boat

Hamburg sightseeing boat

Steam-powered Hamburg sightseeing boat

BELOW: At the scheduled hour of 7 p.m., dockworkers unhitched the ship's mooring lines, and we were on our way to Le Havre.

Dockworker removing mooring lines at Steinwerder cruise terminal, Hamburg

BELOW: Passengers who had boarded in Hamburg waved good-bye to friends and relatives on the pier.

Passengers waving good-bye from MSC PREZIOSA

BELOW: In the minutes following our departure, we sailed past harbor offices, military ships, and a containership that was arriving in Hamburg's industrial port.

Harbor building in Hamburg, Germany

German Navy ships in Hamburg

Containership on the Elbe in Hamburg

BELOW: Other sights along the river included container cranes, a public water bus, and a high-speed Helgoline ferry from the North Sea archipelago of Heligoland.

Container-handling cranes in Hamburg, Germany

Public water bus in Hamburg, Germany

Helgoline ferry

ABOVE: After we'd left the city, a boat pulled alongside, collected the harbor pilot, and headed back to port.

Hamburg pilot boat

ABOVE: Beyond central Hamburg, we passed more boats--including moored tugboats, a fireboat, and the vintage icebreaker Stettin at the Museumshafen Oevelgönne.

Tugboats in Port of Hamburg

Fireboat in Port of Hamburg

Icebreaker STETTIN at Museumshafen Oevelgönne, Hamburg

BELOW: Soon we passed the Airbus plant at Hamburg/Finkenwerder, which has its own airfield and a waterbus station. Planes of the A318, A319, A320 and A321 series are assembled here.

Note the decommissioned "Super Guppy Turbine" in the third photo, which was used to transport components to the Airbus final-assembly plant in Toulouse, France during the 1970s.

Airbus Hamburg/Finkenwerder airfield

Finished airplanes at Airbus Hamburg/Finkenwerder plant

Airbus Hamburg/Finkenwerder plant with "pregnant guppy"

Fuselage sections at Airbus Hamburg/Finkenwerder plant

BELOW: Industrial views were replaced by a hint of Freikörperkultur as we witnessed a topless-photo shoot on the river's right bank.

Topless photo shoot on the River Elbe near Hamburg

BELOW: As the sun went down, MSC Preziosa cruised past Hamburg's outer districts and suburbs--including Blankenese with its lighthouse.

Blankenese (Hamburg, Germany)

Blankenese on the River Elbe

BELOW: Our final picture of the day was a sunset on the Elbe as MSC Preziosa cruised toward the North Sea.

Sunset on the Elbe near Hamburg, Germany

Next page: Sea Day 2

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MSC Preziosa day-by-day photo diary:
Embarkation in Rotterdam
Departure, Sea Day 1
Sea Day 2
Le Havre
Arrival in Rotterdam

Also see:
MSC Preziosa cruise review: North Sea