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
- Group Travel Tour, International River Voyages
- Departure Dates
Apr 2, 2023 - Apr 13, 2023
The delightful Elbe Princesse, launched in 2016, is specifically designed to navigate the rapidly-changing conditions of the Elbe River using advanced engineering technologies. With stern wheel propulsion and a remarkably shallow draft, she is able to navigate low waters and traverse areas that other vessels operating in this region are not. Accommodating a maximum of just 70 passengers, a warm and intimate atmosphere is created on board. The restaurant accommodates all guests in one sitting, and the lounge is a pleasant space for relaxation with panoramic windows, a large TV, and a bar area. The modern and comfortable cabins all face outside and feature picture windows, a small desk and seating area, independent climate control, a safe, hairdryer, bathroom with full amenities, and TV. With plenty of light in public areas and a large Sun Deck, there is ample opportunity to watch the shoreline gently glide by as you relax on your comfortable floating hotel and take advantage of the open bar. Wifi (intermittent) is accessible throughout the vessel.
ELBE RIVER CRUISE
Berlin Post-Trip Extension
April 13–16, 2023
Extend your visit for three nights in this dynamic city to see more of its world- class landmarks and delve deeper into its complicated history. See the moving Holocaust Memorial and Museum; have lunch at the Reichstag building and follow the spiral walkway under its soaring glass dome; enjoy a private tour of the Berlin Cathedral, including a rousing performance on its 7,000-pipe organ; and stroll through the bustling Potsdamer Platz and the quaint narrow streets of the Nikolai Quarter.
Trip cancellation insurance is strongly recommended. NOTE: Neither the National Trust for Historic Preservation nor Criterion Travel, the tour operator, accepts liability for any airline cancellation penalties incurred with the purchase of non-refundable tickets.
day 1 & 2
Flights from home / Prague, Czech Republic
Depart home on an overnight flight to Prague, capital of the Czech Republic. Arrive on Monday and transfer to your hotel, located near the Vltava River in historic Old Town. Gather for a welcome reception this evening.
After a morning lecture, join a walking tour to explore Prague’s Old Town including the Jewish Quarter, visiting the haunting Old Jewish Cemetery and the 13th-century Old-New Synagogue, the oldest active synagogue in Europe. Sample regional specialties during lunch at a local restaurant, then spend the afternoon and evening at leisure in central Prague or beyond.
Prague/ embark ship
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 charmingly quaint street that dates back to the 15th century. Inside the eleven historic houses that line the lane are period scenes depicting the life of the goldsmiths and other artisans who once lived and worked here. Embark the Elbe Princesse this evening in time for the Captain’s welcome dinner.
Call at Litomerice, a royal enclave with an official history dating to the 10th Century, making it one of the oldest Bohemian settlements. A wellknown trading post of the Holy Roman Empire, its old town is now under the protection of the Czech Ministry of Culture as a national cultural monument, and is highlighted by the Baroque St. Stephen’s Cathedral, finished in 1057.
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 formations and the pinnacles, ravines, and spectacular river views they provide.
One of the most historically important cities in Germany, Dresden is renowned for its splendid Baroque architecture and world-class 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. This afternoon, choose to 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.
Dresden and 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 a visit to the workshop that continues to make the “white gold” by hand and the exquisite collection at the Porcelain Museum, an e-bike excursion along the banks of the Elbe, or an independent free time in Meissen’s historic center.
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.
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 gardens in continental Europe.
Arrive in Potsdam to 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. Enjoy the captain’s
farewell dinner this evening.
Disembark and transfer to the airport for flights home, or to the center of Berlin to begin the optional extension.
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