From the history records of the vessel Wratislavia – a luxury cruiser since 1961.
The unit was created as a passenger vessel called "Johannes R. Becher", and its name was given to an entire series of eight cruisers built in the years 1961-63 at the VEB Schiffswerft "Edgar Andre" shipyard in Magdeburg-Rothensee. The entire type was also referred to as the Class of Poets because most of the units were named after German artists. The first four vessels, including Wratislavia, went to the Berlin White Fleet, another two to Potsdam, one to Brandenburg, and the last one remained on the Elbe River in Magdeburg.
The whole Class of Poets was built to bring down a peg the former countrymen from across the western border, that is Western Germany. It was especially about Berlin, divided after World War II into several zones of occupation. The GDR units were supposed to overshadow the Western cruisers traveling around Berlin with power, luxury and class, and thus show that the communist economy is able to produce vessels not worse, and even better than Western capitalists.
Thanks to this tenet, all units of the "Johannes R. Becher" type were designed with panache and precision, and then luxuriously finished. Their interiors were so perfectly refined and full of splendour that the name "Luxury Passenger Vessels" also clung to them. The size of the units and the number of passengers whom they could accommodate were very impressive. A cruiser 53 meters long, 8 meters wide and with the maximum draft of 1.3 meters had three decks, and was registered for 730 people. Our Wratislavia and her three twin sisters quickly became the favourite vessels of East Berliners, who praised not only their appearance, but also modern equipment and excellent cuisine.
After Berlin's Spree, Wratislavia (first of course known as "Johannes R. Becher", and since 1989 as "Mecklenburg") continued cruising until 1997, when it came to the German port Ückermünde at the Szczecin Lagoon. In 2005, the cruiser (still called "Mecklenburg") was sold to Lithuania, where it served tourists on the Neman River with its home port in Klaipeda. Wratislavia's next stop, since 2012, was Latvian Riga. There, the vessel was carrying passengers on the Daugava River.
This incredible, over fifty-year-old history of the most luxurious cruise vessel of eastern Germany finally found its end in the Wrocław Shipyard. This is where the unit has undergone a major overhaul in 2016, thanks to which it can delight Wrocław residents since August 2017. Thanks to the efforts and enthusiasm of the Wrocław ship-owner, Wratislavia Floating Restaurant gained modern equipment and facilities, while not losing any of its former elegant character. Today, it moors at the Dunikowski Coast, and on its three decks it can simultaneously accommodate over 400 people. The lower deck has been redecorated in white, thanks to which it successfully fulfils the role of an elegant wedding hall in Wrocław, and during the cruises it also serves as a buffet-style bistro, whose menu will surely meet anyone's expectations. The middle deck contains a restaurant with a sophisticated decor and a drink bar operating daily from 6:00PM to the last customer. The sunny upper deck is an incredibly comfortable place where you can enjoy the beauty of Wrocław landscapes or indulge in blissful laziness. Lined with grass, with benches, cushions and sun loungers, it provides complete relaxation and comfort.
Wratislavia Floating Restaurant also continues its culinary traditions. Just as it delighted the Berliners in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, the residents of Wrocław now have at their disposal a sophisticated menu of the on-board cuisine created by Piotr Gietner, well known in the culinary environment. The chef on the Wratislavia vessel combines techniques from different parts of the world with native ingredients with an unusual flair.