Rostock is the largest city in the German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, though not its capital. It is a hub for Baltic Sea ferries, Germany's largest port for cruise ships by number of boardings and pleasant enough for a longer stay mostly due to its Hanseatic heritage.
Rostock stretches along the Warnow River estuary up to the Baltic Sea, with Warnemünde (literally "mouth of the Warnow" - analogous to Travemünde in Lübeck) district being a popular seaside resort and long the main port of Rostock. Rostock was an important member of the Hanseatic League, and one of the most important ports of the GDR (East Germany). Until the collapse of the East German economy in 1989/90 Rostock was a major center for shipbuilding and a few shipyards still remain, despite their economic woes. Rostock Warnemünde harbour was also the main base of the East German fishery fleet which punched way above its weight and collapsed after reunification in part due to its unsustainable practices. Warnemünde port also remains one of the more important German ports for Baltic Sea Ferries as well as Germany's most important port for cruise ships.
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