This full-day tour, in groups of no more than 30 guests, is a "must" for first time visitors to Berlin as it gives you the opportunity to see Berlin's Top 20 Sites during your visit. Enjoy photo stops at many of the sites plus free time (strictly time permitting) to pick up some souvenirs.
You will be met at the pier by your local representative (or escort) and set off for your exciting trip to Berlin. During the approximately 3 hours drive your representative (or escort) will give you general information about Germany.
Your first stop in Berlin will be at the Charlottenburg Palace, where you will have a few moments for a photo stop at the oldest surviving Prussian palace that reflects the former splendor and grandeur of the Hohenzollern dynasty.
After this visit, your tour continues past the famous Humboldt University, which was founded in 1810 and is one of Berlin's oldest universities with 185 courses and more than 33.500 students.
Pass by Berlin's most prominent Jewish landmark the "Neue Synagogue", which was rebuilt as a facade as the site of the original synagogue is wasteland, deliberately left as a memorial to what was damaged by Nazi flames and finished off by war time bombs.
From here you will continue your journey past Museum Island. The Museum Island is located in the central district of Berlin and houses five internationally significant museums, including the Pergamon Museum. As being a magnificent work of art itself, the Museum Island is the only architectural and cultural ensemble that is considered to be part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Just right next to Museum Island, at the river Spree, you will view the Berlin Cathedral, which is the largest church in Berlin. During World War II the cathedral was heavily damaged and the restoration took almost 50 years - with its magnificent dome and beautiful interior, every year the Berlin Cathedral attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world.
Your next top sight will be the Bebel Platz. It was here, in 1933 that the Nazis ordered the book burning by National Socialist students who burned the works of hundreds of free authors, publishers, philosophers and scientists. At the Bebel Platz, a symbolic underground library is left empty with the space for 20,000 books that where estimated to have gone up in flames. Time permitting you will have the opportunity to step out of the van for a short photo stop.
On the way to Gendarmenmarkt Square, which separates the Theatre, the German Cathedral and the French Cathedral, you will pass by the famous boulevard "Unter den Linden." From there, you will continue to the famous former border crossing Checkpoint Charlie and a remnant of the Berlin Wall for a photo stop. Checkpoint Charlie was the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War. The name was given to it by the Western Allies.
Continue your journey passing by Potsdamer Platz, formerly a no man's land between East and West where the first gap in the Berlin Wall was made in 1989. Today a pristine block of futuristic glass-and-steel skyscrapers includes the headquarters of Sony Europe and Europe's first traffic light built in 1924.
A few blocks from here a somber memorial commemorates the Jews who perished in Europe during the Second World War; the Holocaust Memorial, which was officially opened only in 2005 and designed by the New Yorker Peter Eisenman. A stop will be made here for a photo before making your way to the next photo stop, the famous landmark, Brandenburg Gate. This monument, more than any other site, symbolizes Berlin's history.
Close by you also pass by the Reichstag building, which is Germany's seat of Parliament. Today it is well-known for having the world's largest glass dome, designed by the famous architect Sir Norman Foster.
On the way to Bellevue Palace you will have a chance to catch a glimpse of the Victory Column, a major tourist attraction and monument in the city of Berlin which was built to celebrate Germany's victory over France in the Franco-Prussian War. Continue to the Bellevue Palace which is situated in the Tiergarten and has officially served as the residence of the President of Germany since 1994.
A drive into the former western part of Berlin, will take you along the Kurfurstendamm (Ku-Damm), which is West Berlin's most popular shopping street and also referred to as Berlin's Champs Elysee. Here you will pass by the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedachtniskirche (also known as the hollow-tooth) which since World War II has served as a reminder of the damage done by the war. Close by you will pass by the largest department store on the continent of Europe, KaDeWe. This shopping paradise is a legend and had its 100th birthday in 2007.
Depending on the order of the tour, traffic conditions and group's promptness, you may enjoy some free time for shopping or an afternoon snack at KaDeWe, Unter den Linden Boulevard or Berlin's main train station (depending on the day of the week).
A traditional German pub-style lunch is included at a local restaurant.
After this memorable day in Berlin, you will return back to Rostock / Warnemunde.
PLEASE NOTE: Groups of 7 or less will have a driver / guide who will meet them at the pier and guide them in Berlin. Groups of 8 or more will be met at the pier by an escort for the drive to Berlin and will meet their guide in Berlin. Tour duration is approximate and may vary based on traffic to/from Berlin as well as in the city.
Reviewer: Douglas P & Julia A Keenan
The Monument to the Holocaust, the Victory Column, the Brandenburg Gate, Check Point Charlie, etc. – all of the sights were seen and toured in Berlin. This trip was very enjoyable and skillfully narrated by guide Stefan Weise of E-L-S. The nicest touch was the German lunch at a Bavarian style restaurant with a beer or wine. Also, credits to the bus driver for maneuvering in the Saturday traffic on July 1. It was easy to just get off our ship, and E-L-S’s bus was right there outside the terminal tent in Warnemünde. Bus was so comfortable that we napped the way home to our ship. The unexpected event was at the end of the tour in Berlin. We witnessed one of Berlin’s 5000 demonstrations per year near the Chancellery. That was something! More police than demonstrators, but Stefan kept us informed.
Reviewer: Robin Walter
Great tour. I have wanted to see Berlin since I was last there in 1988. What a change. The tour showed me everything I wanted to see, including checkpoint Charlie and the east sector where I was. Thank you. Excellent, and back in plenty of time.
Reviewer: Rebecca Ogle
Guide made the trip! She was very knowledgeable with personal experience living in East Berlin. The group size was perfect and we all fit in a mini van. We also enjoyed our meal. Highly recommend this tour!
Reviewer: Michael Borkovich
We toured in a small van rather than a large bus. Drive to Berlin was 1 and 1/2 hours rather than the 2+ hours on a bus. Tour guide was very flexible and adjusted the length of the stops to suit our needs. Fabulous day.
Reviewer: Edward Vanderleelie
It was a long trip back and forth from the ship , but well worth it. The tour took us to all the sites we have heard about ver the years. Very educational!! The German lunch was excellent .