Wilhelmshaven, Germany

Wilhelmshaven, Germany and Norfolk became sister cities in 1976. Wilhelmshaven, located on the North Sea, is a deep water harbor city with a population of approximately 90,000. The city was founded in 1869 by King Wilhelm I of Prussia and later became the principal naval port of the German Reich. Much of the city was destroyed by Allied bombs during World War II, but was rebuilt into a modern industrial city and cosmopolitan seaport. Wilhelmshaven is surrounded by flat, green farmlands, windmills, and dikes, and is known as “Green City by the Sea.”

Norfolk Sister City Association oversees multiple programs with counterparts in Wilhelmshaven, including:

  • Annual Summer Youth Exchange Program with Wilhelmshaven since 1978
  • Exchanges of Norfolk Public School teachers and university professors
  • International Engineering Design challenge competitions between Old Dominion University and Fachhochschule Wilhelmshaven since 1993
  • Intensive summer courses at Old Dominion University’s English Language Center
  • Cultural exchange of ballroom dancers with the Wilhelmshaven Blau Silber Dance Club
  • Sports exchanges between Wilhelmshaven soccer teams and Norfolk Youth Soccer League
  • First YMCA Partnership Agreement in 1995 between Wilhelmshaven CVJM and YMCA of South Hampton Roads
  • Special Adult Delegation to Wilhelmshaven for 20th Anniversary celebrations and presentation of a “Norfolk Mermaid” to the citizens of Wilhelmshaven from the NSCA on behalf of the citizens of Norfolk
  • Official in-bound student exchange from Wilhelmshaven, Germany, July 1-August 2, 2009
  • General membership Picnic honoring students, July 16, 2009
  • Official out-bound student exchange, July 10- August 2, 2010
  • Staffed Wilhelmshaven –Norfolk Sister City House, TBA Homearama East Beach, Norfolk, October 16-31, 2010
  • Official in-bound student exchange, July 22- August 12, 2011
  • Joint Wilhelmshaven/Membership Event aboard American Rover, August 7, 2011
  • April 28, 2012 Tanz den Mai, partnership with VAF, International Tattoo- Hullaballoo
  • December 2012, Wilhelmshaven to host membership holiday social
  • July – August 2015 fifteen students and two chaperones inbound from Wilhelmshaven
  • June – July 2016 nine students and one chaperone outbound

Wilhelmshaven in the News
Bidding Farewell to our German Sister City Guests (August 2013)
NPS Student receives Norfolk Sister City Exchange Scholarship (June 2012)
Oktoberfest Haus celebrates Norfolk Sister City Wilhelmshaven, Germany (October 2010)
“Sister Cities Around the World” Video (June 2010)

Upcoming Events


  • July 27, 2017 - July 29, 2017
    6:00 am - 6:00 pm

                                      Host families are welcome to join their German exchange students on the trip to Washington, D.C. the cost is $225 per person.  This includes round trip bus; two night stay at the Ritz Carlton Pentagon City (up to four students per roon); breakfast for two days; snacks on bus trip up and back; all (more…)