Historical story

The Schaarhörn:Hamburg's elegant steamer

With its slightly curved hull and the gold-decorated bow, the "Scharhörn" is a particularly elegant ship. The steamer built in 1908 is one of the gems among Hamburg's museum ships.

The ship doesn't have such a stylish appearance without reason:the "Scharhörn" was originally intended primarily as a so-called cruise ship to ferry illustrious guests of the city such as Kaiser Wilhelm II through the port of Hamburg. In addition, the Office for Electricity and Port Construction wants to use the ship commissioned in 1907 as a sounding steamer to measure water depths. But that doesn't happen at first. After the outbreak of the First World War, the Imperial Navy instead used the twin-screw steamer for minesweeping. During this time, Joachim Ringelnatz is also often on board. The poet, who volunteered for the Navy right at the beginning of the war, even celebrated his promotion to lieutenant on the ship in 1917.

Tracking steamer and refugee ship

Until 1972, the "Scharhörn" served as a survey ship and determined the water depths in the Elbe estuary.

After the First World War, the "Scharhörn" was temporarily used as a lodging and boarding ship for the Workers' and Soldiers' Council in Cuxhaven. It was laid up in 1919 and not put back into operation until 1925. Now it serves its original purpose as a sounding and touring steamer.

Towards the end of the Second World War, from March 1945, the steamer was used on the Baltic Sea to evacuate refugees from Sassnitz, Swinemünde and various East Prussian locations. After that it will be used again as a sounding and survey ship in the Elbe estuary near Cuxhaven. The "Scharhörn" was in service until 1972.

Sold to England

In 1973 the steamer was sold to Newcastle in north-east England and transferred to Maryport in north-west England in 1979. There the "Scharhörn" is to be exhibited in a future museum port. But instead, the ship is rapidly deteriorating. Finally, in 1990, the Commerz-Collegium Altona, an association of Altona merchants, bought the ship and had it brought back to Hamburg. There the steamer was restored as part of a job creation scheme for young people and five years later handed over to the "Scharhörn" development association.

Museum ship since 1995

The "Scharhörn" has been in operation as a moving museum ship since 1995. The owner is the Hamburg Maritim Foundation, and volunteers take care of the preservation of the ship. More volunteers are always welcome. During the season from May to October, the "Scharhörn" normally invites guests on regular trips on the Elbe and on longer trips through the Kiel Canal. The trips finance the running costs for the maintenance of the ship. However, due to the corona pandemic and the associated restrictions, no journeys can be carried out at the moment (as of October 11th, 2020).

On a trip with the "Scharhörn"

The "Scharhörn" goes on guest trips several times a year.

During the trips, guests have the opportunity to explore the ship more closely and also to take a look at the engine and boiler room. The beautiful historic Art Nouveau salon with its large windows is a reminder that the ship was originally intended to ferry important guests through the harbor. In the summer months, the "Scharhörn" is in the Hansahafen Bremer Kai/near the 50s shed, in the winter months in the traditional ship harbor at the Sandtorhafen in Hamburg's HafenCity.