The specially designed paddlewheel ship Elbe Princesse is the only ship able to cruise the entire route between Berlin and Prague, including the River Elbe from Magdeburg in eastern Germany to the Czech border.
Elbe Princesse is moored on the River Havel at Spandau in the west of Berlin for the first night. The next morning an optional tour of the German capital is available. Highlights include Berlin's iconic Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag parliament building and the preserved East Side Gallery section of the Berlin Wall. A pre-cruise stay offers more time to see the extensive changes since the fall of the Berlin Wall, notably the new Government buildings around the River Spree and the busy Brandenburg Gate area.
The cruise follows the River Havel passing superb lakeside scenery before reaching historic Potsdam where the extensive gardens of the Sanssoucci Palace are a major attraction. The River Havel then joins the Elbe-Havel Canal and winds through rural areas towards Magdeburg.
North of Magdeburg a massive aqueduct takes the canal over the River Elbe to become the Mittelkanal going west to the North Sea. Our cruise descends to the River Elbe for a visit to Magdeburg where a highlight is the massive cathedral.
The ship continues up the Elbe to Wittenberg, where Martin Luther sparked the Reformation, before reaching Meissen, renowned for its trademark porcelain.
Dresden - the 'Florence of the Elbe' - has been rebuilt following extensive bombing in World War II, and regained its architectural and artistic heritage. The attractive riverside area leads to the baroque buildings of the Neumarkt and the massive Frauenkirche finally reopened in 2005.
The spa town of Bad Schandau is the gateway to the scenic sandstone mountains of 'Saxon Switzerland', with hilltop fortresses and massive rocks towering over the river.
Crossing into the Czech Republic sail to Litomerice, one of the oldest Bohemian cities and home to spectacular Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance buildings, before joining the River Vltava (Moldau) at Melnik, 30km north of Czech capital Prague.
Elbe Princesse is able to cruise to Prague, and moors for a two-night stay to enjoy the highlights of the city. Visit the Old Town with its iconic Astronomical Clock and cross the famous Charles Bridge to the Prague Castle area with the impressive Saint Vitus Cathedral. If desired, a post-cruise stay can be arranged in Prague.
E186 Operated by CroisiEurope
Treasures of the Elbe - Berlin to Prague Itinerary (BPG_PP/PGB_PP)
Day 1 - Berlin
Embark from 6pm and settle into your cabin before meeting the crew at a welcome cocktail. Remain moored overnight.
Day 2 - Berlin - Potsdam
Optional morning tour to the highlights of Berlin, returning to the ship for lunch. Cruise towards Potsdam down the Havel river through stunning lakes with historic buildings along the waterside. Leave the Potsdam suburb of Nedlitz for an optional visit to the famous gardens at the Sanssouci Palace, once the residence of Frederick the Great. Return on board in the evening, and continue cruising on the River Havel. Enjoy an evening of entertainment on board before an overnight stop.
Day 3 - Magdeburg
Leave early in the morning for Magdeburg, travelling the Elbe-Havel Canal through open countryside. Arrive in Magdeburg early afternoon and enjoy an optional tour of this city on the Elbe River. Its Lutheran Cathedral of Saints Catherine and Maurice is the highest church building in eastern Germany. Return onboard to continue cruising through the night.
Day 4 - Wittenberg
Arrive in Wittenberg for an optional guided tour of the city where Martin Luther sparked the Reformation. Discover the city centre, its noble Renaissance-style houses, and visit Luther’s house (selected departures), a former Augustinian monastery now the Reformation Museum and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Return on board, and spend the afternoon and evening cruising.
Day 5 - Meissen - Dresden
Arrive in Meissen for an optional tour of the city famous for its trademark porcelain. Discover how the porcelain has been made for more than 300 years and admire the magnificent pieces displayed in the museum. In the city centre see the outside of the Albrechtsburg and the cathedral. Return to the ship in Dresden, known as the 'Florence of the Elbe' for an optional tour of its architectural and artistic treasures. Dresden was the capital of Meissen in the 13th century and the seat of the Dukes of Saxony in the 15th century. Extensive damage in WWII has been painstakingly restored, and the superb architectural and cultural heritage makes it an important German tourist destination. Remain moored in Dresden overnight.
Day 6 - Bad Schandau - Saxon Switzerland
The ship leaves early in the morning for Bad Schandau. On an optional excursion to the Elbe Sandstone Mountains discover the Königstein Fortress overlooking the Elbe, and one of the largest hilltop fortresses in Europe. Thought to have been built in the 13th century, it was for centuries used as a state prison. Stop at the Bastei rock formation towering above the Elbe and formed by water erosion over one million years ago. Back on board, cruise through the magnificent Saxon Switzerland area passing meadows, woods, lakes, vineyards and chateaux. Enjoy an evening of entertainment on board and moor overnight.
Day 7 - Litomerice - Prague
Leave early in the morning for Litomerice. This old Bohemian city was established in the 10th century, and has multi-coloured Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance buildings in the city centre. Return on board in Horin and spend the afternoon cruising towards Czech capital Prague. Arrive in the evening and moor overnight. The evening's entertainment is provided by the crew.
Day 8 - Prague
Spend the morning on an optional tour of Prague’s Old Town. Staré Misto dates back more than 1,000 years and is one of the most important places in Bohemian history. Strolling through the streets discover the Jewish Quarter, the Town Hall, the astronomical clock, and the Church of Mother of God. Later, there is an optional visit to the Prague Castle area with its palaces, churches and monasteries, and gardens overlooking the city. See St Vitus Cathedral, the most recognizable landmark in the city, Prague Castle, and the Golden Lane. Tonight is the Gala Dinner and evening.
Day 9 - Prague
Enjoy breakfast on board before disembarking at 9am.
This itinerary is subject to change in the light of weather and river conditions. Reverse itinerary operates from Prague to Berlin.