Sleeping in a former industrial boat is not the first place you’d think of as being a highly luxurious and oh-so-romantic getaway, and yet the Hamburg Harbour Crane is arguably the best luxury getaway in the city (it’s certainly the most unique!). The crane, named the "GREIF", was built in 1947 and was only retired from service in 2009. For over 60 years, the floating crane was hard at work in Hamburg’s harbour, Kiel Canal and many tributary waters of the Elbe, where it was used to load barges, pull anchors and hoist provisions onto seagoing vessels.
After several years, the floating crane’s engine room and crane operator's cabin were acquired by Tim and Marc, who transformed the spaces into a sleek, modern getaway. The two owner are fascinated by repurposing old buildings into individual, special places to stay, and their vision for the harbour crane was simple: no one thinks of celebrating a special occasion in a working port, let’s show them what’s possible. The Hamburg Harbor Crane has been providing special escapes to couples since 2018, who get to sleep in the upper part of the crane overlooking the River Elbe and iconic Elbphilharmonie.
Introducing Tim and Marc!
“We love the process of transforming unusual building into unique accommodation, so when a friend wanted to sell the harbour crane, we pounced and started an endlessly long approval and conversion process, which came to a happy end in 2018 with the opening.”
“The moment when the door closes, you feel like you are in a space capsule in the middle of the harbour… it’s magical!”
Tim and Marc’s insider tips
The Harbour Crane is at the heart of HafenCity, Hamburg's old port.
From Berlin, it's a 3.5-hour drive, and parking is nearby.
With the train from central Berlin, it's just 2 hours.