MS Mary

Copenhagen, Denmark | C.1971

Photo Credit: Chris Daniels

Who’s ready to spend the night on a houseboat? Well, if waking up to the brightly colored townhomes along the Nyhavn canal sounds nice, then the MS Mary has you covered.

The canal itself dates back to the late 1600s – well before the idea of a ‘houseboat hotel’ was likely even a concept. Created as a gateway from the sea to Copenhagen’s old inner city, cargo ships would transport their goods, and fishermen would unload their catch. The Nyhavn neighborhood was notorious for booze, sailors, prostitution, and … Hans Christian Anderson who lived here for almost two decades in the mid-1800s.

But, as ocean-going ships grew too large for the canal, and small vessel freight traffic became obsolete in favor of land transport, after WWII Nyhavn was largely deserted until the 1960s.

With the founding of the Nyhavn Society, revitalization was well on its way. By 1977, the canal was inaugurated as a veteran ship and museum harbor and a few years later the quay was pedestrianized.

While many of the sailors, prostitutes, and of course Hans Christian Andersen may no longer reside here, you can still find a beverage and some interesting stories in the cafes, bars and restaurants that populate the 17th & 18th century townhouses. And, if you’ve had a few too many to pedal home, you can rest your head on the MS Mary.

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