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 - Prague
Arrive in Prague, then transfer to your hotel. After check-in, enjoy free time to explore this celebrated city, or join our “welcome walk” to stretch your legs and get oriented.
Day 2 - Prague
This morning, tour the “City of a Hundred Spires.” A guided walk takes you through Old Town to the famed Charles Bridge. Then, travel to Hradčany for a guided tour inside Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure; you can see the Town Hall’s intricate 15th-century astronomical clock and spend some time in historic Wenceslas Square. You also have the opportunity today to join an optional tour to Lobkowicz Palace. (B)
Day 3 - Prague
Enjoy your final morning in Prague at leisure, or join an optional excursion to discover the city’s rich Jewish heritage in the Josefov Quarter. This afternoon, continue to Děčín to embark your ship. (B, D)
Day 4 - Saxon Switzerland
After breakfast, 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 lunch and afternoon cruising through the magnificent, soaring rock formations of the Saxon Switzerland region. (B, L, D)
Day 5 - 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 our optional tour with visits to Dresden’s baroque castles, sweeping wine estate and opulent palace, once home to royal and lavish banquets.
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 6 - Meissen
This morning, arrive in Meissen and 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. Continue on to Castle Hill for a walking tour through Old Town. Return to your ship for lunch and an afternoon departure. Later, arrive in Torgau with its remarkable Renaissance houses. Your ship remains docked overnight. (B, L, D)
Day 7 - Wittenberg
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. Return to your ship for dinner and a leisurely evening. Your ship remains docked overnight. (B, L, D)
Day 8 - Wittenberg
Disembark and 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 your hotel in Berlin in the afternoon. (B)
Day 9 - 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 10 - Berlin
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 fascinating Berlin, giving you time to see more of the city’s highlights. (B)