A long and narrow red sandstone island
Characteristic and picturesque villages
The Lange Anna

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Let the coloured buildings surprise you

Helgoland is a long, narrow, red sandstone German island that we will come to along the route of the MSC Cruise of Northern Europe.
Once an important naval base, Helgoland was occupied by the British for a long time, and it effectively became German only at the end of the 19th century. Bombed during the second world war, the British tried to eliminate it from nautical maps by using it as a firing ground for the RAF even after the war.

Today, as you will see during your MSC Cruise, Helgoland is a popular tourist destination divided into a lower part (Unterland) and a higher part (Oberland). First you will see the buildings of the port, where ships coming from the continent lay anchor, the sanatorium and the town hall. An interesting site to visit is the Aquarium Biologische Anstalt in Kurpromenade, dedicated to marine fauna and flora of the North Sea.

And thanks to the Gulf Stream, the fauna and flora of these lands is truly unique. The villages on the island are characteristic and picturesque with the most colourful homes. A thermal springs oasis, Helgoland is in fact formed by two islands as you will see during your excursions: in the main island you can clearly see the red sandstone rocky cliffs known as Lummenfelsen, the bird rock; the second island, instead, known as Düne, is a stretch of beach that hosts colonies of seals.

In 2011 the inhabitants held a referendum to reject a project that would join the two islands with a land bridge. Helgoland is characterized by an unusual rocky formation known as Lange Anna (the Upper Anna), a red “bell-tower” isolated from the rest of the cliff, rising fifty metres tall, on the northern tip of the island which romantically contrasts with the blue waters of the North Sea

Must see places in Helgoland

  • A white gannet

    A white gannet

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Discover our excursions

    The excursions program for this port is under progress. Come back soon to find out the best way to discover this destination!


On the routes of the Hanseatic League
On the routes of the Hanseatic League

Nowadays a holiday to northern Germany will take you to visit a region of bucolic charm.

Notwithstanding the Land’s capital Kiel, a brusque, working port, it is free of urban development, its gentle Baltic coast notched by fjords, its west coast wind-blown and wild, and everywhere canopied by colour-washed skyscapes that have long captivated many an artist’s imagination. Even Lübeck wears its history lightly. Sure, the one-time city-state has a tale as rich and complex as any plotline by its local son, Thomas Mann. Yet at the core of its appeal is nothing more complicated than one of the most enigmatic old towns in Germany, with a heritage and sense of cultural worth handed down from centuries at the head of the Hanseatic League.

Once you’ve ticked off the cultural heavyweights of Hamburg and Lübeck, a holiday to Schleswig-Holstein during your MSC Northern Europe cruise – with Schleswig’s fine beaches and marram-grass dunes, candy-striped lighthouses, commercial ports on deep fjords, and changeable weather, and Holstein’s distinctly Nordic feel – will be one of pure natural wonder.  

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