Fürstenberg – Oranienburg – Berlin – Potsdam – Brandenburg – Havelberg – Wittenberge – Schwerin – Lübz – Fürstenberg

Destinations / Germany / Brandenburg / Fürstenberg – Oranienburg – Berlin – Potsdam – Brandenburg – Havelberg – Wittenberge – Schwerin – Lübz – Fürstenberg

Berlin_Brandenburg_Germany_map of the navigation area

Basic information

  • Length of voyage: 429
  • Number of locks: 21
  • Trip duration: 21 days
  • Type of cruise: there and back


Many major cities lie on rivers, but only one can be navigated on a houseboat. The metropolis of Berlin has a 183km-long vibrant network of canals with romantic arms and larger or smaller lakes (and a small number of locks). Through more than 12 waterways you can reach almost all the main tourist attractions of the city. The highlight of your trip may be a cruise in front of the Reichstag or the Chancellery.

Cruising further east, you will cross the Müggelsee to the enchanting Little Venice Canal (Kanal – Datschenlandschaft Klein-Venedig). Across the Dämeritzsee you sail into the clear waters of idyllic Rüdersdorf and Löcknitz.

Sailing westwards, you will sail along the Havel River, the so-called Untere Havel-Wasserstrasse leading from Spandau to the Elbe. You will pass Lake Wannsee and the smallest chain of lakes in the area, the Griebnitzkanal, leading to Potsdam.

Potsdam and surroundings

There are plenty of places to anchor on the Havel River, and boat crews are welcome everywhere. Potsdam's beautiful lakes, numerous castles, the Dutch quarter and tempting shops await you.

The city of Brandenburg and Lake Beetzsee

The Lower Havel River Route (Untere Havel-Wasserstrasse) is one of the most varied in Germany. North of Brandenburg lies the Beetzsee-Riewendsee-Wasserstrasse, which consists of a 20 km long system of lakes with quiet beaches and pleasant anchorages. West of Brandenburg are the lakes Quenzsee, Breitlingsee, Mösersee and Plauer See. The shores of the lakes are unusually flat, which makes anchoring very easy and well-marked.

Lower Havel River (Untere Havel)

The river flows in a wide channel towards the Elbe, through a forested nationalm park and attracts with its small number of locks and numerous opportunities for swimming and anchoring. From the new base in the Brandenburg district of Plaue, you can sail without a skipper's licence as far as Quitzobel, where the last arm of the Havel joins the Elbe. The route will take you through a landscape rich in flora and fauna to the town of Rathenow, which is famous for its horticultural show and offers numerous moorings close to the centre. Also visit the nearby tourist destination – the 10 km long system of lakes – the so-called Hohennauenere Wasserstrasse. Here, boats can take you not only to the bathing bays but also to the golf course. At the same time, you can be tempted by the specialities of the renowned local restaurants.

The Elbe between Magdeburg and Dömitz

On the route between Magdeburg and Havelberg or Dömitz, you can experience a little adrenaline rush even with a houseboat: the Elbe River flows at an average speed of 5 km per hour, if you add the speed of a houseboat of 10 km per hour, you almost get the feeling of sailing on the sea... The centre of the provincial capital Schwerin will certainly tempt you to stroll through its pretty streets. Via the Störkanal you reach the waterway junction, where you head east to the left towards the Mecklenburg Großseen.

To sail on this route you need a licence called Sportbootführerschein Binnen. This can be replaced by a provisional permit, the so-called Charterschein, which you will receive after an appointment for training (theory approx. 2 hours, sailing approx. 1 hour).

Small Mecklenburg Lakes – an impressive area south of Müritz, with more than 300 interconnected lakes. Narrow, deep lakes alternate with rounded bodies of water and short channels, creating a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. Often in this striking landscape, you will only discover the connecting channel between the lakes when you are sailing just past its mouth. But white signposts dating back to before German reunification will help you find your way.

The small Mecklenburg lakes are basically two waterways - from Müritz to Priepert, the Müritz-Havola road runs, and from Neustrelitz via Priepert to Liebenwalde, north of Berlin, the Upper Havola road runs. Numerous diversions can be made on these canals, e.g. to the waters of the Rheinsberg, Lychen, Templin or Wentow.

Great Mecklenburg Lakes – Lake Müritz is the largest body of water in the Mecklenburg Lakes, covering an area of 117 km2, measuring approximately 15 km from west to east and 25 km from north to south. From the base of Hafendorf Mürizt, the northern shore is only visible in clear weather. The lake offers plenty of space for sailing or houseboat trips.