Discover the natural beauty of former East Germany’s dramatic landscape on a 10-day Elbe River cruise. Tour the opulent palaces of Saxon monarchs and stroll through beautifully landscaped gardens; sail between the dramatic sandstone cliffs of Germany’s “Saxon Switzerland.” Marvel at the baroque splendor of Dresden and see how Meissenware porcelain is produced. Walk in the footsteps of Martin Luther in historic Wittenberg and learn about the Protestant Reformation. Your journey is bookended by one night in multicultural Berlin and one night in graceful Prague.
Day 1 - Berlin
Arrive at the Berlin airport, then transfer to your hotel. After check-in, you have free time to get acquainted with the city, or join our “welcome walk” to stretch your legs and get oriented.
Day 2 - Berlin
After breakfast, enjoy a panoramic tour of the vibrant German capital, which has seen its fair share of dramatic changes in the last century. See the Reichstag with its spectacular glass dome, the historic Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie and many other iconic sites. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure. (B)
Day 3 - Wittenberg
After breakfast, travel to Potsdam. Tour Sanssouci Palace, a perfect example of German rococo architecture, built by Prussian king Frederick the Great in the 18th century. Built as a summer retreat, it became his personal sanctuary and place to relax in the company of his beloved dogs. Wander through the rooms of the elegant palace and stroll through the magnificent gardens. Enjoy free time and lunch on your own, then transfer to Wittenberg to embark your ship. (B, D)
Day 4 - Wittenberg
This morning, follow in Martin Luther’s footsteps to view many of Wittenberg’s historic landmarks. Tour inside Luther’s House and St. Marien’s Church, where he preached. See the Castle Church where Luther posted his “95 Theses”; then enjoy free time. (B, L, D)
Day 5 - Meissen
Today, cruise the Elbe and arrive in Meissen just after lunchtime. Then stop in at the Meissenware factory, producer of fine porcelain since the early 1700s. Discover how this trademarked porcelain is created by hand, then tour the museum. Proceed to Castle Hill for a walking tour through Old Town. Return on board for dinner and an evening at leisure. Your ship remains docked overnight. (B, L, D)
Day 6 - Dresden
After breakfast, disembark in Dresden, nicknamed “Florence on the Elbe.” Drive through the 19th-century residential area to the Dresden Castle complex; enter the Green Vault to see a comprehensive collection that houses what many claim is the world's largest collection of treasures, including priceless jewels and emeralds. Continue on foot to see Zwinger Palace, Semper Opera House and the Frauenkirche (Cathedral of Our Lady) with its distinctive bell-shaped dome that survived World War II bombings but collapsed the following day. Later, it was rebuilt. Alternatively, enjoy more of Dresden on one of our optional tours. Select a full-day excursion and visit Dresden’s baroque castles, sweeping wine estates and opulent palace, once home to royal and lavish banquets. Or, you can visit car manufacturing giant Volkswagen, and gain Working World insight during a tour of their state-of-the-art-facility.
Dinner is served on board your ship; after, feel free to enjoy Dresden’s many charms and attractions as we remain docked until early morning. (B, L, D)
*Please note: If you are in Dresden on a Tuesday, the Green Vault is closed; instead, enjoy a visit to the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister (Old Masters Picture Gallery) to view some of the world’s great masterpieces, including works by Raphael, Vermeer, Rubens and Rembrandt.
Day 7 - Saxon Switzerland
This morning, cruise through the magnificent, soaring rock formations of the Saxon Switzerland region, then dock at the spa town of Bad Schandau. From here we make our way to the famous rock tower known as the Bastei (bastion), formed by water a million years ago, to enjoy stunning panoramic views of the Elbe. Return on board for dinner and evening cruising. (B, L, D)
Day 8 - Prague
After breakfast, disembark and transfer to Prague. Upon arrival, you tour Prague, the “City of a Hundred Spires.” After a guided walk through Old Town, take some free time to explore on your own. Then ride to visit Hradčany Castle. Return to the hotel for check-in and dinner on your own. (B)
Day 9 - Prague
Enjoy a full day at leisure to explore this celebrated city, or join an optional tour to Lobkowicz Palace. (B)
Day 10 - Prague
After breakfast, check out of your hotel and proceed to the airport for your return flight. Or, extend your journey with 2 additional nights in Prague and discover more of this celebrated city. (B)