Large harbour in Schlepzig

Please note: The following text is an interview or story from a previous year. Please do not draw any conclusions from it about currently taking place events or statistics etc.


Spreewald Journal Issue: November/December 2018

Interview with Yvonne Huber: "I am a hostess with heart and soul, love nature and rural life." Anyone who climbs into the barge of bargewoman Yvonne Huber at the Great Harbour in Schlepzigknows they are in the best of hands. The enthusiasm of the Spreewald woman and a noticeable love of detail make a trip into the UNESCO biosphere reserve an impressive experience, during which you yourself "arrive in the Spreewald". It could hardly be more authentic! Yvonne Huber told us how she lives her own connection to the region and passes it on to her guests.

Ms Huber, you are a very committed barge operator in the Lower Spree Forest. What do you see as the uniqueness of your profession? I am a hostess with heart and soul, I love nature and rural life. All of that can be individually realised when paddling. In today's fast-paced world, it's wonderful to paddle your guests almost silently through the Spreewald rivers - pure deceleration. Our dear Marga Morgenstern gave it to me on the way: "Listen to the silence" and I am satisfied how often exactly that succeeds on the tours through the Lower Spreewald. Sorbian traditional costumes are your "work uniform". This sets you apart from most of your staky colleagues. What is the idea behind this appearance? On the one hand, our Spreewald is a beautiful biosphere reserve, but it is also protected cultural land of the Sorbs and Wends. I think that makes our region even more interesting. To give my guests an insight, I like to greet them in the Sorbian language, wear the traditional costume and tell them about the special customs. Incidentally, the skirts don't look so good on my male colleagues either. When the barges glide through the water, it just looks effortless. But there are bound to be one or two challenges to overcome when staking, aren't there? The biggest challenges are rapidly approaching thunderstorms and storms. I think we ferrywomen are always a bit more worried than some of our colleagues. Physically, of course, the staking is also very strenuous, which is why there are only a few women who drive full-time. Besides, it's not always easy when I can only wave at the weekend when my own family drives by in their private barge. Why is a punt trip from Schlepzig a really special experience and therefore a real must for everyone? "Listen to how loud it is when it's quiet." Is there a personal favourite tour that always inspires you yourself? I try to include the beautiful Laubengang in my tours as often as possible. For me, it is one of the most beautiful rivers in our area, and it is beautiful in a different way at every time of day and every season. Perhaps the most beautiful of all is a trip with lights at dusk. Then the originality and wildness of the Lower Preewald comes out even more. You can find more information at and