Aerial of Le Boat Elegance houseboat on Lake Tietzowsee, near Rheinsberg, Brandenburg, Germany
Holger Leu

Suddenly a captain: With the houseboat across the Müritz 

Ulrike Herder

The boat glides almost silently and very leisurely through the natural wonder of forests and water. If a bathing spot seems particularly idyllic or otters suddenly appear in the distance, you throttle the engine and simply stop. Because on a houseboat holiday on the Müritz, you are your own captain.

Feelings of happiness overcome you even before you board the boat at one of the three departure ports of Wolfsbruch, Fürstenberg or Jabel. And, of course, there are some doubts: is it possible to navigate the big barge safely across the Müritz without a boat license, to manage the locks and to anchor? It will be! The joy prevails: to sail through this breathtaking nature with your loved ones for a week and to anchor wherever you want to – that feels almost too good to be true. Pure freedom in the middle of Mecklenburg’s untouched water landscape awaits!

lake at nationalpark Müritz
dugdax/ Shutterstock.cpm

The Müritz navigation 

After a short theoretical and practical briefing, things get going straight away and the crew suddenly finds themselves alone in the open air, or rather at sea. After all, you are sailing across the Müritz, Germany’s largest inland lake and part of the Mecklenburg Lake District with almost 1,000 lakes. 

At the beginning, everyone has to find their way in their new roles as captains and ordinary seamen. But after the first day at the latest, everyone becomes more confident and knows, for example, that the steering reacts with a delay and can enjoy it more and more. At ten kilometers an hour, you chug through a type of nature that will amaze you and a calm sound that will seem almost unbearably loud at the beginning. But with every kilometer, the reduced pace and the silence becomes normal. This is how deceleration works.

Nature in front of the bow 

And one thing becomes obvious after a short time: Exploring the extraordinary nature with a houseboat is better than any nature film. Otters, pike, carp and schools of perch cavort in the lake, all while deer graze on the shore in the early morning and white-tailed eagles skillfully catch their prey before soar again into the air. Natural spectacles as far as the eye can see. 

It gets exciting at the first lock as things start to get hectic. Who steers, who jumps out and who tethers the ropes? Don’t bump into or even crush another boat. In the end, everything is going well with euphoria and good vibes spreading. During a short briefing, the most important questions of the day are clarified: Where should we anchor tonight? Would you rather be in the harbor or in nature far away from civilization? Would you rather cook or eat out in a restaurant? And which stop should we make on today’s stage? But the nice thing is: everything is possible, nothing is mandatory and exciting stops await everywhere: mills, churches, castles, picturesque harbors, picturesque villages and idyllic beaches. The route also includes Mirow Castle, Rheinsberg, the Müritzeum in Waren, Albert Einstein’s summer house in Caputh and the Müritz bear forest in the south of Lake Plauer.

houseboat vacation in Mecklenburg-West-Pomerania
Le Boat

The discovery of slowness 

There should also be lazy days when you just let your mind wander off while enjoying the view on the sun deck and jump into the crystal-clear water to your heart’s content whenever you feel like it. And that’s not just in the summer. Even in autumn, the water is still so warm from the summer months that bathing is possible. In the morning, mystical banks of fog lie over the lake, which can be observed excellently while having your first coffee on deck, and the brightly colored foliage makes the forests appear even prettier.

Birdsongs would be an understatement 

The beginning of October is also the time of the cranes – it is a real spectacle when up to 60,000 animals rest on their way south in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. You can understand where they’re coming from, because it is probably one of the most beautiful spots in Germany. At the end of their journeys, many houseboat captains have fallen in love with the decelerating way of traveling while leaving the boat, the sea and the impressively beautiful nature with a heavy heart.

Cranes in the morning dust
TMV/ Growe-Lodzig

Le Boat operates three ports of departure in the Mecklenburg Lake District: from Jabel, boat holidaymakers can reach the Müritz in less than an hour. From the Marina Wolfsbruch and Fürstenberg, the journey takes about three to four hours. Tours to the south are also possible from here.