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In the North Sea spa Cuxhaven there is a lot of maritime to discover - admire the passing ships or experience thalassotherapy live during a walk along the mudflat Sea. You will make many interesting discoveries along the "Maritime Mile". The starting point is Ritzebüttel Castle, where the Hamburgers hoisted their flag as early as the 14th century and subsequently built the first harbour facilities in Cuxhaven in the 16th century. The tour has a total length of 20 km and from the "Alte Liebe" to Sahlenburg you can take a leisurely ride on the "Jan-Cux- Strandbahn" and the "Cuxi-Bahn" during the summer months.
The brick castle of Ritzebüttel forms the historical core of Cuxhaven. Built around 1340 by the Knights of Lappe, who lived here, as a defence tower, it passed into Hamburg ownership in 1394. It was converted into a castle by the Hanseatic League. Today, Cuxhaven has belonged to the federal state of Lower Saxony for over 50 years and the castle serves as a backdrop for weddings and the city of Cuxhaven as a function room for receptions.
Around 100 years ago, the old harbour extended into the city centre. Remnants from this time are the "Schleusenpriel", on the banks of which the Elbe ships once unloaded their cargo. Today, the "Schleusenpriel" is a small lake where the refurbished 19th century cargo ship "Hermine" is a reminder of its past.
The historic buildings serve as sales and production premises for numerous shops and businesses. A large number of maritime shops and restaurants have settled here in recent years. The harbours often offer an impressive sight when the many crab and deep-sea cutters are moored next to each other in the harbour basin. The "Kutterhafen" offers the opportunity to buy crabs freshly caught from the cutter or to enjoy the numerous sea products.
Unfortunately, sea fish auctions no longer take place in the new fishing port today, as cargoes are already auctioned off on the high seas via the internet. But even today, numerous fish trawlers return to Cuxhaven from their fishing trips off Greenland and Iceland and unload their fresh fish. Around the fish processing plants there are a whole range of fish shops and restaurants where you can enjoy the theme of "fish" at first hand.
In the eastern part of the harbour there are gigantic halls where the offshore wind turbines, which are installed far from the coast in the sea, are pre-assembled and ready for their journey to the North Sea. Adjacent to the halls, you can admire a test field with onshore wind turbines.
Adjacent to the American port and the Mützelfeld shipyard, cars, containers and trailers are shipped all over the world at the RoRo terminal. Regular freight ferry connections to England and Norway run here several times a week.
In the summer months, the Steubenhöft and the Hapag Halls - the world's only historic emigrant facility still in operation - come to life when the large cruise ships are dispatched there. This facility was decisively influenced by the director of the Hapag shipping company, Albert Ballin, and passenger ships regularly sailed from here to New York, the "New World", until the 1960s. Albert Ballin invented today's cruises here as early as the 19th century, offering luxury trips for well-heeled Hamburg residents during the winter months.
The two-storey wooden bulwark directly at the mouth of the Elbe is a must for every visitor to Cuxhaven, no matter what time of year it is. The Alte Liebe, whose origins as a breakwater and jetty date back to the 18th century, is an unparalleled excursion platform. Large and small boats sail right past it. At the inner edge, you can set off on boat tours through the harbour facilities or take an excursion to the seal banks or the island of Neuwerk. The high-speed catamaran takes 90 minutes to reach the deep-sea island of Helgoland. The history of manned lightships can be experienced at first hand on the lightship "Elbe 1", which now lies as a museum ship on the inner edge of the Alte Liebe. From 1948 to 1988, the beacon floated in the Elbe estuary and showed ships the way. Today, the ship is still seaworthy and sometimes takes part in maritime festivals or makes trips to the North Sea.
In the marina behind the Seebäderbrücke, hundreds of small and large sailing boats are moored during the summer months. Of course, a certain number of berths are always reserved for guests who want to visit Cuxhaven from the seaside. Cuxhaven is also the city of ocean sailors. Most of the world's circumnavigations have started from here and the Trans-Ocean Association has its headquarters in Cuxhaven.
From the ferry port you can take the seaside boat to Helgoland from May to September.
This is the cradle of the Cuxhaven seaside resort, which was founded here in 1816 by the bailiff Amandus August Abendroth. He had already been trying for some time to put into practice the suggestion of the Göttingen philosopher and physics professor Georg Christoph Lichtenberg to found a seaside resort near Cuxhaven. Now the first bathhouse has been opened here. Even today, Grimmershörnbucht offers a colourful picture with the possibility of bathing directly in the North Sea, admiring the passing ships and diving a little into maritime adventurousness.
Many emigrants called the sea mark that is also found in the coat of arms of the city of Cuxhaven "the last corner before America": the Kugelbake. As early as the beginning of the 18th century, a wooden beacon is said to have stood there, where an imaginary line separates the North Sea and the Elbe, as an orientation aid for seafaring. Today, the Kugelbake is a popular excursion destination and is used by many holidaymakers for their personal photo shoot. Directly behind it is the "Fort Kugelbake", the only preserved naval fortress from the 19th century. There is much to discover here about the history of Cuxhaven as a naval location.
Starting at the Kugelbake, a continuous beach promenade stretches all the way to the nudist dune in Duhnen. Here you can walk for kilometres along the beach or enjoy the unique expanse of the "UNESCO Mudflat Sea World Heritage Site". Families with children feel very much at home on the beaches with the Kugelbake, Strandhaus Döse and Duhnen lidos, as the shallowly sloping water offers young guests unrestricted bathing pleasure before and after high tide - and all this against the unique backdrop of passing ships on the horizon.
Germany's only permanent beach stadium hosts a wide variety of beach sports events from mid-June to the end of August, with professionals, amateur athletes and amateurs and, above all, the numerous spectators on the centre court getting their money's worth. Beach volleyball, beach handball, beach basketball and beach soccer take place in Cuxhaven's largest sandbox. Every year, several thousand athletes take part in these events and are marvelled at and admired by tens of thousands of visitors.
Walk along the seabed to the offshore island of Neuwerk - the starting point is the lighthouse in Duhnen, a cosy restaurant where you have a wonderful view of the Mudflat Sea and Neuwerk all year round. Whether on foot or comfortably by Mudflat car - an excursion to Neuwerk Island is part of every holiday in Cuxhaven.
Enjoy the North Sea and the benefits of the sea climate under one roof - adventure pool, physiotherapy, thalasso and spa treatments and fitness at any time of year with a direct view of the Mudflat Sea - that's pure relaxation and recreation at the Thalasso Centre ahoi!
The Cuxhaven coastal heaths begin between the districts of Duhnen and Sahlenburg. Thousands of seabirds breed on the offshore salt marshes, and the unique expanse of the Cuxhavener Küstenheide nature reserve stretches along the adjacent geest ridge. Starting at Duhnen, this landscape stretches along the districts of Sahlenburg and Holte-Spangen towards Berensch-Arensch, Oxstedt and Altenwalde. A signposted network of paths and many information boards as well as wild cattle and horses invite you to visit off the beaten track.
The shortest connection to Neuwerk Island is directly from Sahlenburg. From here, holiday guests from the offshore island are also picked up by tidal flat car. Approx. 2 hours before and after the respective high tide, the mudflat Sea off Sahlenburg offers an ideal sailing area for catamaran sailing. Catamaran sailors have their berth directly at the wading trolley entrance.
Kitesurfers and surfers have their base at the end of Sahlenburg beach. On beautiful summer days or during rough autumn winds, you can watch kitesurfers and surfers performing daring feats on the North Sea. If you feel like it, you can learn the sport at two local kitesurfing schools.
In the 19th century, this forest, unique on the North Sea, was planted by the Hamburg bailiff Werner at the time. Numerous hikers and walkers use the area to explore and admire the Finkenmoor with its interesting flora and fauna as a special attraction. On frosty winter days, you can also go ice skating here.
Then you should visit the "Dicke Berta" lighthouse and beach house in the Altenbruch district. The lighthouse is located directly at the mouth of the Elbe, in the immediate vicinity of Altenbruch's small sailing harbour. A cosy restaurant invites you to linger here. The lighthouse can be visited or is used frequently throughout the year for marriages at a special location.
A green beach with a bathing area is located directly on the world shipping route at Strandhaus Altenbruch. Here you can see the big ships passing by and watch them from the cosy restaurant all year round, regardless of the weather.
Interesting insights into the UNESCO World Heritage Mudflat Sea are offered by the UNESCO World Heritage Mudflat Sea Visitor Centre in Sahlenburg, near the Watt Wagon Approach. In the pilot quarter - Schillerstraße, Alter Deichweg and Deichstraße - you can discover some historic buildings, stroll, shop and continue your way along the old Deichstraße along the marina complex towards the city centre with its shopping mile.