Between Prague, fairytale city of spires and domes, and dynamic Berlin, the Elbe River traverses a landscape of
idyllic countryside and spectacular gorges, overlaid by a broad sweep of history: medieval old towns, the Wittenberg church where Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses, historic Jewish synagogues and cemeteries, World War II memorials and Prague’s Wenceslas Square. Other riches include the sparkling treasures of Dresden’s Green Vault, the Old Masters gallery at the Zwinger Palace museum, original prints and manuscripts at the Strahov Library and the lavish palace and gardens of Sanssouci.
- Pricing from
- Trip Type
- Individual Travel Tour, International River Voyages
- Departure Dates
- Mar 31, 2020 - Apr 11, 2020
- day March 31 & April 1
Home / Prague, Czech Republic
Depart home on an overnight flight to Prague, capital of the Czech Republic. Arrive on Wednesday and transfer to your hotel, located near the Charles Bridge on the Vltava River in historic Old Town.
- day April 2
Explore Prague’s Jewish Quarter, visiting the haunting Old Jewish Cemetery and the 13th-century Old-New Synagogue, the oldest active synagogue in Europe. After an afternoon at leisure, gather for a gala welcome reception, dinner, and private concert at a 17th-century chateau boasting panoramic views of the city.
- day April 3
Ascend to the imposing Prague Castle, a royal residence as far back as the 10th century and still the seat of the Czech government. Its walls encompass Renaissance-era St. Vitus Cathedral, an imposing structure that incorporates a unique mix of Gothic and Baroque elements; and the Old Royal Palace, one of the oldest parts of the castle, with its elongated throne room and soaring Vladislav Hall, once the site of coronation banquets and indoor jousting tournaments. Stay within the castle walls to stroll along Golden Lane, a quaint street that dates back to the 15th century. Inside the 11 historic houses that line the lane are period scenes depicting the life of the goldsmiths and other artisans who once lived and worked here. Conclude the day with a visit to the magnificent Strahov Library for a private viewing of original prints and manuscripts. Embark the Elbe Princesse II this afternoon.
- day April 4
Bad Schandau, Germany
Enjoy a morning of cruising along the beautiful Elbe River through “Saxon Switzerland” to the picturesque spa town of Bad Schandau, a summer resort for more than two centuries. Travel uphill and inland by motorcoach to see the spectacular Bastei Rock and the maze of pinnacles, ravines, and bizarre stone formations said to have inspired Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin. Moor in Dresden for the night.
- day April 5
One of the most beautiful cities in Germany, Dresden is renowned for its splendid Baroque architecture and worldclass art collections. Enjoy a walking tour of the Old Town, including Theater Square and the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady), an outstanding example of Protestant sacred architecture that was rebuilt and reconsecrated in 2005 after being leveled by Allied bombs during World War II. Also marvel at the glittering displays of precious objects from the late Renaissance and Rococo periods at Dresden Castle’s Green Vault. Choose one of two optional excursions this afternoon: (1) Travel to nearby Schloss Wackerbarth, a historic chateau known today as Saxony’s oldest sparkling wine producer for a wine tasting. (2) Visit
Dresden’s Transparent Factory, a glass-walled facility designed by Volkswagen for the production of its top-of-the-line sedans and expanded into a fascinating interactive exhibition space for innovative future technologies. Or enjoy free time to explore Dresden independently.
- day April 6
Dresden / Meissen
This morning visit the Zwinger Palace museum and explore the Old Masters Gallery, where works by Rembrandt, Rubens, and Raphael are displayed. Continue to nearby Meissen this afternoon, where the formula for hard-paste porcelain was developed in 1708. Choose between (1) A visit to the workshop that continues to make the “white gold” by hand and the exquisite collection at the Porcelain Museum. (2) A guided walking tour along Meissen’s lovely riverfront.
- day April 7
Following a morning of relaxed cruising and shipboard lectures, call at Wittenberg for a visit to the Castle Church, where in 1517 Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door, beginning the Protestant Reformation. Wittenberg’s historic Market Square, spared by the Allies during bombing raids, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On a walking tour of Old Town, visit Luther’s home as well as St. Mary’s Church, where he preached.
- day April 8
Tour the city of Dessau, home of the famous Bauhaus school of architecture and the Wörlitz Garden Kingdom, each of which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See the influential Main Building at Bauhaus as well as the Masters’ Houses, once home to visiting artists such as Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky. Enjoy a gondola ride through the lakes and canals of the English-style gardens at Wörlitz, among the largest in continental Europe.
- day April 9
Tangermünde / Potsdam
Enjoy a morning walking tour of the picturesque village of Tangermünde, along narrow streets and medieval landmarks that still bear clear signs of the town’s colorful one-thousand year history. Continue with midmorning cruising, before arrival in Potsdam. Explore the magnificently Rococo Sanssouci Palace and Park, originally sketched by Frederick the Great and now the largest UNESCO World Heritage Site in Germany. Also visit Cecilienhof Palace, where Churchill, Truman, and Stalin met at the historic Potsdam Conference in 1945 and redrew the map of Europe. The vessel remains berthed in Potsdam this evening.
- day April 10
Potsdam / Berlin
Travel by motorcoach to Berlin for a morning tour including the infamous “Checkpoint Charlie,” the best-known crossing point between East and West Germany through the Berlin Wall during the Cold War. Enjoy a walking and tasting tour through one of the city’s several Market Halls, featuring locally-sourced bites and beverages. Spend the afternoon at leisure before gathering for a farewell reception and dinner this evening.
- day April 11
Berlin / Home
Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for flights home or to the hotel for the optional 3-night Berlin extension.
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