From Superinnovators 29/08/23

Hamburg, a prominent German city, hosts the HafenCity RiverBus. This amphibious tour service was launched on 10th May 2016.

The service merges city and river tours. It provides a multifaceted view of areas like Hamburg’s historic Speicherstadt warehouse district and the contemporary HafenCity.

The RiverBus is operational all year. Its timetable is subject to seasonal and tidal variations.

The cost of a ticket for an adult is approximately 42 Euros, offering a blend of land and water experiences.

Credit: HafenCity RiverBus

The vehicle is a feat of engineering. Its dimensions are 12.07m in length, 2.54m in width, and 3.75m in height.

The construction cost is estimated at around one million Euros.

For example, the propulsion system alone, which includes two Italian Castoldi Water Jets, is a significant portion of the overall cost.

It can accommodate 36 passengers and a crew of three. On land, a 290 hp MAN engine propels the RiverBus. In water, two Italian Castoldi Water Jets provide propulsion.

These jets are powered by 156 hp Steyr Marine diesel engines. Amenities such as air conditioning, heating, and an audio system are available.

The tour starts from Brooktorkai in Hamburg. This location is close to the International Maritime Museum.

The entire journey lasts approximately 80 minutes. A 35-minute segment is spent on the River Elbe.

The RiverBus can enter and exit water through a ramp. It can achieve speeds of seven knots in water and 65 km/h on land.

Credit: HafenCity RiverBus

Safety protocols are stringent. The vehicle has certifications from transport regulators and it also holds an EU passenger ship certification.

Amphibious tour services are not unique to Hamburg. Similar services operate in European cities like Budapest and Stockholm.

Yet, the RiverBus is the first service of its kind in Germany. The planning and development phase took over four years. Budapest’s RiverRide service served as a prototype.

Environmental considerations are part of the RiverBus operations. A partnership with ARKTIK ensures CO2 emissions are offset. This is achieved through a climate project in Peru that involves efficient cooking stoves.

The HafenCity RiverBus offers a way to explore Hamburg from multiple vantage points.

Its engineering, safety measures, and environmental commitments contribute to its unique position in urban tourism.

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