New member: Ruegen – Cruise Europe
At 974km2, Ruegen is Germany’s largest island, having a population of 64,000. Reasons to visit include the Unesco world heritage sites of Stralsund and 13th century beech forest of Jasmund National Park, the oldest lighthouse on the Baltic Sea coast – 1826 Leuchtturm Kap Arkona – and Ummanz, the largest crane resting places in Europe.
Cruiselines can call non-tidal Mukran Port where there are two quays and one more under construction: Berth 6 has a length of 250m and permissible draught of 9.5m with a passenger terminal with adjustable gangway which is directly connected to the railway; Berth 8/9 which is 365m in length with the same draught.
A new berth with a length of 400m and draught of 8m is now under construction which will accommodate both cruise and other vessels. The turning basin is 600m, there is no channel navigation and no compulsory pilot nor towage.
In future a shuttle bus will be available to take passengers the 7km drive to Sassnitz where there is a City Harbour quay (Berth 5-7). This has a length of 175m and permissible draught of 6.5m. There is no compulsory channel navigation for vessels from 85m in length.
Last year there were five calls, this year four are booked and in 2020 six are scheduled. Companies calling include Saga, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, AIDA Cruises, Birka Cruises and Phoenix Reisen. In the past companies such as Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, Silversea Cruises, P&O Cruises and Holland America Line have visited.
The Hanseatic town of Stralsund on the mainland is just 45 minutes drive from Mukran. It is home to the popular German Oceanographic Museum in the former St Catherine’s Monastery as well as the Ozeaneum in the harbour with Humboldt penguins housed on the roof terrace.
On the island are attractions such as the KdF seaside resort in Prora which is a listed monumental construction of the Nazi regime, built for 20,000 to spend their holidays simultaneously. In contrast is the Natural Heritage Centre Ruegen with its treetop path and 40m high observation town providing views of the island and its surroundings.
The resort towns of Binz, Sellin and Putbus are connected by 750mm narrow gauge railway with 100 year old Racing Roland steam train making the journey. Activities include 800km of hiking and cycling trails as well as a summer toboggan run.