Thursday, December 20, 2007

Private Tour to Berlin

One of the ports we visited on our 14 Night Scandinavia / Russia Cruise on Celebrity Constellation was Warnemunde, Germany. We booked a private tour with Berlin Sightseeing with three other people from our Cruise Critic group. Our plans originally included taking the Celebrity "Berlin - a 20th Century Experience" tour with a train to Berlin and sightseeing once we arrived there. We had also considered doing this on our own, but due to the construction port advisory, we decided to take an organized tour.

When we arrived in Warnemunde, it began to rain. Around 7:30 AM. our driver met us by the exit of the port terminal. We got into the Merecdes van without getting wet. Off we went on our 2.5 hour ride to Berlin. We met our guide, Klaus, next to the Charlottenburg Palace at 10 AM.
which you can see in this photo. For more photos, see this album. After a photo stop, we were on our way to the Olympic Stadium , one of the sights of the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

As you can see from this photo, taken from the tower which provides this aerial view, there was lots of activity as preparation was being made for the games to begin. Click here for more Olympic Statdium photos.

Other sites that we visited included Brandenburg Gate , Checkpoint Charlie , Berlin Cathedral and Museum Island . Read Berlin Tour Description for more details about our Berlin tour. We had free time in Berlin and went to KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens) Department Store where we had a fantistic meal in the food court.

The entire town was tranformed for the World Cup. Notice the large soccer ball in front of Brandenburg Gate for example.

No trip to Berlin would be complete with the stops we made at Checkpoint Charlie and the Berlin Wall. Just like during our Normandy trip, our tour to Berlin brought history to life.

I've often heard people debate about going to Berlin from cruise ports such as Warnemunde or Rostock. I believe it was worth the 2.5 hour drive from port to Berlin proper. The choice of how to get to Berlin is yours. I would recommend checking things like construction before you make a decision about venturing out on your own. We had plenty of time between the end of our tour and the actual departure from port at 9:30 PM, so we were comfortable taking a private tour.

If you are worried about missing the ship, then I'd advise taking one of the ship's tours instead. But no matter which way you go, I do believe you should include Berlin in your itinerary if your plans take you to this area of Germany.

For more pictures from Germany and the rest of this cruise, see our Photo Album page.

1 comment:

Mikey said...

beautiful pictures, amazing experiences, soft writing. Thank you for sharing!