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BVG ferries: Berlin public transport by water

Yeah, buoy! It's everything you need to know about Berlin and Brandenburgs' BVG ferries.

Hop on the BVG Ferry F23 Berlin from Köpenick’s Fischerdorf Rahnsdorf on Müggelspree. Photo:IMAGO /Jürgen Ritter

You might not know it, but the BVG offers six ferry lines across the city (including one in a paddle boat), all of which are covered by your daily or monthly travel ticket. So no extra cost, and the perfect way to use your €29 ticket.

Three of the lines run year-round, the other three seasonally. You might not call one of the six lines a ferry, though…

Good to know: round trips are not permitted on some routes.

F10: Wannsee to Alt-Kladow

During summer, the F10 is the most popular of the BVG ferries, connecting Wannsee and Alt-Kladow. There’s a lot to see on both sides. Photo: Imago/Schöning.

The F10 is popular with tourists and locals heading to Wannsee, and connects the Zehlendorf side of the lake with Alt-Kladow (Spandau). There’s a lot to do in both Alt-Kladow and around Wannsee, and the trip is especially worthwhile if you bring your bike along. 

The ferry takes about 20 minutes. Round trips are unfortunately not allowed; you’ll have to disembark somewhere. It doesn’t matter though, there’s plenty to see at each shore, such as the promenade in Alt-Kladow.

The ferry can carry up to 300 passengers and 60 bicycles. Five wheelchair spaces are accessible by ramp.

  • BVG ferry F10, Wannsee pier, Zehlendorf and Alt Kladow pier, Spandau, details.
  • Departs every 60 minutes, journey takes about 20 minutes, runs Mon-Fri, 6am – 8pm, Sat, 7am – 8pm and Sun 9am – 8pm (7pm in winter)

F11: From Baumschulenweg to Oberschönweide

Those who have a daily or monthly pass can use the BVG ferries without any problems. Photo: Imago/Chromorange

The F11 connects the districts of Baumschulenweg (Baumschulenstraße station) and Oberschöneweide (Wilhelmstrand). The journey only takes a few minutes, but saves a lot of travel time for those who need to cross the Spree.

Fun fact: it’s one of the oldest routes in Berlin, first operated in 1896 by the landlord of the ‘Spreeschloss’. Sadly, the restaurant hasn’t been open since the Second World War.

The F11 is part of the R1 European Cycle Route, which covers over 4,500 and 5,100 km from London to Helsinki and Moscow, respectively.

The journey only takes a few minutes and is particularly handy for cyclists. Passing the Spreepark, those on bikes will quickly arrive at Treptower Park – with the banks of the Spree on one side and the Soviet Memorial on the other. The planned discontinuation of the line in 2017 was cancelled following huge protests by residents and fans of the ferry.

  • BVG ferry F11 S-Bahn station Baumschulenweg (from there it’s a 500m walk to the landing stage), Treptow-Köpenick, details.
  • Departs every few minutes, runs Mon-Fri 6am – 7:30pm, Sat-Sun 8am – 7pm 

F12: From Grünau to Wendenschloss

The BVG ferry departing Grünau. Photo: Lienhard Schulz/CC BY-SA 3.0

Berliners who want to travel from Grünau (Wassersportalle) to Wendenschloss (Müggelbergallee) or vice versa would have to take a huge detour without the F12. Thus, for many people, the ferry is an important shortcut to work, friends and excursions and is heavily used every day. 

The connection was established before the Second World War to enable local residents to cross the Dahme River – there is still no bridge in the area.

The journey time of the ferry, which runs all year round, is only a few minutes.

  • BVG ferry F12 Müggelbergallee, Köpenick, details.
  • Departs every few minutes, runs Mon-Fri 6am – 21p, Sat 7:30am – 8pm (8:30am – 8pm in winter), Sun 8:30am – 8pm 

Seasonal ferry: F21 from Schmöckwitz to Krampenburg

Most Berliners won’t make regular use of the line – unless they like camping. It mainly serves those heading to the Kuhle Krampe campsite. During summer, the forest road to the site is closed to cars and there is no alternative route except for the ferry.

The entire area around the Dahme is perfect for hiking. The crossing between the two piers takes a little less than ten minutes, and only operates between Tuesdays and Sundays. No ferries run in Mondays.

  • BVG ferry F21 Schmöckwitz (by the water), details.
  • Departs every 30 minutes, runs Tue-Fri 10am – 6pm, Sat-Sun 10am – 7pm (April 2 – November 6)

Seasonal ferry F23: From Müggelwerderweg to Kruggasse

Idyllic: The fishing village of Rahnsdorf on the Müggelspree can be reached by BVG ferry F23. Photo: Imago/Ritter

During summer, the F23 takes travellers from Müggelwerderweg, past Müggelhort to Neu-Helgoland and finally on to the Spreewiesen, where they can change to the most unusual of all Berlin’s ferries, the F24.

The whole area is well worth seeing, particularly by bike; there’s plenty of picturesque nature to explore in the area surrounding Müggelsee. And of course it’s one of the most popular bathing lakes in Berlin.

The journey takes about 25 minutes.

  • BVG ferry F23 Müggelwerderweg, Rahnsdorf, details.
  • Departs every 60 minutes, runs Tue-Fri 10am – 7pm, Sat-Sun 10am – 8pm (April 2 – November 6)

Seasonal ferry: F24: From the Spreewiesen to Kruggasse

This is the F24 – not the boat on the left, but the rowboat. The rowing ferry leaves every 60 minutes, or more often if you’re lucky. Photo: Imago/Ritter

Calling the F24 a ferry might be an overstatement – there’s no petrol engine, no electric motor. In fact, the F24 is a rowboat! That’s right, here you can be whisked from the Spreewiesen to Müggelheim in only 12 rowing strokes, and in just a few minutes.

The rowing boat used is called the Paule III, built in 1993 at a shipyard in Duisburg. Eight people can fit in the five-metre-long boat, and even bicycles can be carried on board. In 1911, Richard Hilliges, a fisherman from Rahnsdorf, started the ferry service. It was discontinued in 2013, but a petition led to its comeback. A great excursion tip and an ideal way to experience Berlin by the water – but be aware the ferry only runs on weekends and public holidays from May to October.

  • BVG ferry F24 Spreewiesen, Rahnsdorf, details.
  • Departs every 60 minutes, runs Sat-Sun 11am – 7pm

Original article by Sebastian Scherer for tipBerlin. Adapted by Alex Bidstrup.