Heligoland Islands (aka Helgoland) are located in Heligoland Bight (Germany), approx 70 km (43 ml) from Cuxhaven at the mouth of Elbe River. This small archipelago is in the southeastern part of North Sea (Europe). Helgoland Bight's total population is around 1200, all of which are ethnic Frisians.
Helgoland (translates as "holy land") are the country's only isles not in immediate vicinity of mainland Germany. Traditionally, the locals are engaged primarly in sea fishing, seabird and seal hunting and piloting international ships into the Hanseatic (Hansa) cities harbour waterways. The list of the largest Hansa (German) port cities includes Bremen, Hamburg, Lubeck, Rostock.
- Under the German Empire (1871-1918), Heligoland islands became a major German Navy base.
- During WW2 (1939-1945), in December 1939, the area was bombed by the Allies, targeting the German warships anchored here. In January 1940, the British Royal Navy lost 3 submarines here. During 2 waves of attacks, in April 1945 the British dropped around 7000 bombs on the islands, rendering them uninhabitable.
- In the period 1945-1952, the islands (still uninhabited) were used as bombing range. In April 1947, the British Navy detonated here a huge quantity of explosives, creating one of the world's biggest non-nuclear detonation. The bombing targeted the fortifications.
- Current-day Heligoland is holiday travel and resort destination. The islands have a tax-exempt status as they are excluded from the European Union's VAT area. Much of their economy is based on selling cheaper tobaccos, alcohol and perfumes to the visiting tourists.
- Heligoland Bird Observatory was founded in 1991 and is managed by a german non-profit organization.
- A German maritime search and rescue base (covering the waters of North Sea and Baltic Sea) is also located here.
Highlights: Duty free shops, Lange Anna, ex submarine base
Port Heligoland Islands cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Heligoland Islands, Germany. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
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