After forty-nine years in Europe I am no longer sure whether to write it harbor or harbour. It doesn’t look quite right either way.
In any case, I’m a fan of harbor tours (I’ll revert to the American spelling, okay?) because harbors are, by definition, sheltered from the wind and waves, so you can get out in a boat for an hour or two and breath in some fresh nautical air without starting to feel queasy.
Kiel harbor tours leave two or three times a day from this dock by the main railway station. The ship I took was called “Heikendorf”, which is also the name of a village further up the harbor on the right (starboard) side.
(Despite being a notorious landlubber, I do know that the right side of the ship, when I’m facing forward, is starboard and the left side is port, which is easy to remember in English because port and left each have four letters. This does not prevent me from getting muddled about the German and French terminology, however.)
If I had come to Kiel a few days later I could have seen lots of large sailing ships under full sail, as part of the Kieler Week (Kiel Week). But when I was there the main sights in the harbor were cruise ships and ferries. This ship that we saw off the back (stern) of our tour boat is “Mein Schiff 1” (= “My Ship 1”), a luxury cruise ship that was getting ready to depart for Copenhagen and points north.
We were told (over loudspeaker) that these Stena Line ferries make daily crossings from Kiel to Göteborg, Sweden, in 13 ½ hours.
These Color Line ferries make daily crossings from Kiel to Oslo, Norway, leaving Kiel at 2 in the afternoon and arriving in Oslo at 10 the next morning.
This Spanish sailing yacht (which also has a motor for calm days) had just arrived in Kiel the night before.
This modern drawbridge at the lower end of Kiel harbor folds up when a ship wants to pass though.
My photos and text in this post are from 2019.