Permanent exhibition on navigation – Anchors aweigh!

How have people, past and present, lived and worked on and by the water?
Our permanent exhibition on navigation brings 1,000 years of ocean and inland shipping history vividly to life.

Modellvitrine in der Ausstellung Schifffahrt
  • Rafts and dugout canoes are probably the oldest means of transport built by humans. For a long time, ships conveyed people, goods and news far more swiftly, comfortably and reliably than was possible by land. This remained unchanged until the invention of the railway. With a treasure trove of delicate models, large exhibits steeped in history, historical images and film footage, as well as contem­porary eyewitness accounts, the exhibition illustrates just how much shipping set the course ‒ and continues to set the course ‒ of the lives of so many people on or by water: families attempting to escape the misery of their homeland on board an emigrant ship, seamen sailing the world’s oceans with the German Democratic Republic merchant fleet, or captains of river cruise vessels calling at cities dotted along the Elbe, Oder and Rhine in the summer.

    Junge schaut hoch auf Schiffsbug
  • Do you have what it takes
    to be a shipbuilder?

    Design your own ship and see how it performs against boats by other visitors in our digital regatta game. (Available in German language only)


Our highlights

  • Kettenschlepper mit Binnengüterschiff auf der Elbe, Blick auf Terassenufer mit Frauenkirche
    Kunstverlag Alfred Hartmann Dresden-A. 16

    Chain boat navigation

    Today, Hamburg and Dresden are partner cities, but these two metrop­olises were already linked to one another at the end of the 19th century. A chain measuring some 700 km long was laid along the riverbed of the Elbe, which chain boats used to tow their barges up- and downriver. Chain boat navigation revolu­tionised inland shipping in Germany.

  • Logo des Regatta Spiels

    The Regatta Game (German language only)

    Start the fun before you even get to the museum by designing your own ship on your smartphone or computer. Which material will make it go fastest? What about the shape of the hull? And how will you power it? In the Navigation exhibition, you can race your ships against other visitors’ to find out who has earned the title of master shipbuilder.

  • Fluss­damp­fer „Chaperon“, Anfang des 20. Jahr­hun­derts auf dem Green River (USA)

    3D Tour

    Explore the “Chaperon” river steamer, a passenger and freight ship that sailed the Green River (USA) in the early 20th century. Our interactive 3D tour takes you through the cabins, salons, control room and engine deck, with historic photos and documents to help you uncover the fascinating history of this sternwheeler, see its on-board equipment and learn exactly what made it move.

Find the exhibition here:

Lageplan Museum - Ausstellungsräume Schifffahrt
Oma macht Foto von Opa und Enkel am Steuerrad

More exhibitions

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