Diversity without borders

Diversity without borders

on the Flensburg Firth


This year, the annual apple voyage will cross the Danish border for the first time ever as a community project between Gråsten, Kollund, Flensburg and Glücksburg. The festival weekend will begin on Thursday, 12 October at 5 pm at the Port of Gråsten and end on Sunday, 15 October at 6 pm at the docks of the Museumshafen in Flensburg.

100 years ago, the autumn apple harvest was brought to nearby seaports by sailing ship. Travelling by sea was easier than travelling by horse and buggy back then. To commemorate this tradition, the Museumshafen in Flensburg hosted the first ever Apple Fest in 1980, which included the apple voyage from Glücksburg.   

This tradition has also been revived on the other side of the border, in Gråsten, since 1999. Karin Baum, known as the “apple queen” of the firth region, is one of the key initiators on the Danish side. “It has always been my dream to collaborate on bringing the apple voyage across borders. It is clear to me that the Apple Fest programme should be coordinated and that a collaborative marketing approach should be developed in order to present our communities as a common tourism destination”, says Karin Baum.

Buying local, seasonal produce and keeping tradition alive – these are the core goals of the German-Danish apple voyage. During the apple voyage, several sailing boats sail across the Flensburg Firth to be loaded with traditional apple varieties, which are then “flogged” along the “Danish Firth” between Gråsten and Kollund and, on the German side, between Flensburg and Glücksburg. All four locations host a large range of community events, inviting visitors to experience the cross-border apple voyage tradition and enjoy the diversity of the region with all of their senses.


Thursday, 12 October from 5 pm to 7 pm
Friday, 13 October from 10 am to 11 pm
Saturday, 14 October from 9 am to 5 pm 

Mayor Erik Lauritzen and apple queen Karin Baum will officially open the cross-border Apple Fest at the port on Thursday at 5 pm. The Rinkenæs brass band will provide the right music for the event. All visitors are cordially invited to take part in the lantern run through cosy Gråsten at 6.30 pm. This will commence with a dance around the “Big Apple” sculpture. You will be able to purchase lanterns there. A vibrant programme with many activities for children – such as a music workshop and a diverse culinary offering, including specialities from CaFéodora – is awaiting guests on Friday and Saturday between 10 am and 5 pm.  Friday’s highlight: Theatre from "Det Lille Teater" will begin at 15:30 am. The traditional large Æblekagebord, a competition to choose the best apple cake in Gråsten, will take place on Saturday. There will be live music in the festival tent for your entertainment on both days. The Friday evening finale will be celebrated with the danish band “HEARTLANDS” in the festival tent at the port from 9 pm to 11pm (admission from 8 pm entrance, price: 300 DKK, tickets available here). 

See the “Apple Festival in Gråsten” programm here

Kollund Mole

Friday, 13 October from 1 pm to 5 pm

The Danish coastal town of Kollund invites you to the Apple Fest at the Mole on Friday afternoon. There is plenty to do and see for adults and kids alike, and live performances by the shanty choir will make your heart beat to the rhythm of the music. At 1 pm the festival will commence with the unmissable firing of the “Auoras canons”. A range of local vendors will be present to provide all sorts of goodies - a feast for both the eyes and the palate. 

Glücksburg & Flensburg

Friday, 13 October from 1 pm to 6 pm

Cast off! The traditional sailing ships will depart the docks of the Museumshafen in Flensburg at around 1 pm and make their way to the romantic Baltic seaside resort of Glücksburg. At same time, the tourist association of Glücksburg will be organising the transport of the apples from an organic farm in Glücksburg to the promenade near the Sandwig beach resort by horse-drawn carriage. That’s where the festival visitors come in – helping hands are needed! A human chain is needed to move the apples from the carriage onto the ships. We depend on the hard work of locals, holidaymakers and others who would like to participate. The pier will become a human apple transport chain. From 2 pm to 6 pm children can make their own apple juice, apple rings and apple salad as well as expand their practical skills and develop their interests in the areas of fruit growing and horticulture. Support will be provided by organisations like Villekula e.V. A wide array of delicacies and handmade goods from regional producers will also be available for purchase. From delicious soup to apple waffles, tarte flambée, apple wine, marmalades and autumn socks, there’s something for everyone. As a highlight, there will be fruit experts on site with professional advice and assistance. In addition to their museum exhibit, association activities and fruit-bearing tree cutting, the Pomarium Anglicum and the Schleswig-Holstein Pomologen-Verein e.V. also offer visitors the opportunity to choose the fruit varieties for their gardens at home. These experts will also provide you with consultation on choosing the right gardening tools and literature, which can be purchased here as well. "Schidenkind shanty choir" will add to the Glücksburg flair between 2:30 pm and 5 pm.

The traditional sailing ships will head back to their home ports just as soon as roughly one ton of apples has been loaded on board. They will arrive at the docks of the Museumshafen at approximately 5 pm. Guests are also welcome on board (adults: €30 /children: €15). Please register in advance: Museumshafen Flensburg, phone: +49 461 18 29 18 01.


Saturday, 14 October and Sunday, 15 October from 10 am to 6 pm

Saturday and Sunday will also boast a colourful programme for Apple Fest guests at the Museumshafen. At the market, regional apples and smoked fish can be purchased straight from the boats. Café International and a number of additional stands will be offering culinary delights of all sorts, from sweet to savoury. There are also a number of great prizes to win at the apple raffle, and visitors of all ages will enjoy the many games and activities the festival has to offer – all accompanied by great live music. The Wanderup CSA will also be on site, offering homegrown vegetables under the slogan of “regions sustain themselves”.

Please note: “Diversity without borders – the German-Danish apple voyage on the Flensburg Firth” is financed by KursKultur with the support of partners from the Sønderjylland-Schleswig region, the Danish Ministry of Culture and the Schleswig-Holstein Ministry of Justice, Culture and European Affairs. This project is funded by the European Fund for Regional Development.