Climb aboard the largest seaworthy museum ship in the world. It was once a cargo ship and is today an important part of the panorama of Hamburg Harbor.
The Cap San Diego is a restored museum ship berthed in Hamburg’s harbor. The ship is the last of the “White Swans” of the South Atlantic, a series of six express cargo ships built for the Hamburg Süd shipping company in the 1960s. Today it is testimony to an almost forgotten era of maritime history.
For 20 years the ship carried cargo and passengers across the Atlantic to South America. The ship is still seaworthy, and though mostly kept in port, it sets sail regularly with passengers on board for short trips. It was bought by the city-state of Hamburg and designated as a museum and event space. The ship also features four single and four double passenger cabins, which have been restored to their original state and are available as floating hotel rooms. Check the museum’s official website for details about how to reserve a room or take part in a trip.
Shipping enthusiasts and those looking for something a little different will enjoy a visit to the Cap San Diego. If you don’t have time for an overnight stay or trip at sea, it’s still worth stopping by to take a look around. Walk through the ship to get an idea of what life onboard was like between 1960 and 1980. Most areas of the ship are open to visitors, including cargo holds, the chart room and communications room, the captain’s cabin, dining room, swimming pool, galley, pantry and crew cabins. A team of helpful volunteer staff, some English-speaking, is on hand to answer questions and demonstrate the equipment onboard.
Browse the permanent exhibition, "A suitcase full of hope - Hamburg as an Emigration Port” which tells the stories of the tens of millions of Europeans who left for South America via Hamburg between 1824 and 1920.
Cap San Diego is open daily. Receive a discount for family tickets. The ship is located at Überseebrücke in the harbor, a short walk from the Baumwall U-Bahn station.