Poland, Prague & the Elegant Elbe
Complement your Elegant Elbe itinerary with stays in three magical cities. On this inspiring cruisetour, you’ll sail the lilting waters of the Elbe past the sandstone cliffs of Saxon Switzerland. Spend two nights in vibrant Prague; three nights in Kraków, where you can join a moving excursion to Auschwitz; and two nights in Warsaw, home of the courageous Jewish Ghetto Uprising and a stunningly reconstructed Old Town.
All This Is Included
7-day cruise (6-day cruise for 2017 sailing dates) with river-view stateroom
2 nights in Prague (3 nights for 2017 sailing dates): Marriott Prague;
3 nights in Kraków: Radisson Blu Kraków;
2 nights in Warsaw: Sofitel Warsaw;
1 night in Berlin (2 nights for 2017 sailing dates): Hilton Berlin (or similar)
14 guided tours (12 for 2017 sailing dates) with audio headset
All onboard meals: 15 breakfasts, 6 lunches & 7 dinners, featuring regional specialties and including Welcome Cocktail Reception & Dinner + daily breakfast at the Prague & Berlin hotels (2017 sailing dates: 5 breakfasts; 4 lunches; 6 dinners + daily breakfast at the Prague, Krakow, Warsaw and Berlin hotels)
Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks with onboard dinner and lunch service
Visit 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Culture Curriculum: Enjoy baroque chamber music & a Czech folkloric performance; listen to an eyewitness account of Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution; attend lectures on Luther & the Reformation; modern-day Czech Republic & the Elbe flood of 2002; visit a local market
All port charges
Free Wi-Fi, connection speed may vary
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.
Potsdam & Magdeburg, Germany
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. Have lunch on your own, then transfer to Magdeburg to embark your ship for a dinnertime departure. (B, D)
Arrive this morning in Dessau and take a journey to Wörlitz Park, Germany’s first landscaped park with English-style gardens. Tour inside Wörlitz Castle, fashioned after an English country home, and stroll the grounds. Return to the ship for a lunchtime departure and scenic afternoon cruising. (B, L, D)
Wittenberg & Torgau, Germany
After breakfast, follow in Martin Luther’s footsteps to view many of Wittenberg’s historic landmarks. Tour inside 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 and for our lunchtime departure as we cruise along a very pretty stretch of the Elbe.
After dinner aboard, arrive in Torgau with its wonderful Renaissance houses. Join your Program Director for an evening stroll to see fortified Hartenfels Castle, Market Square and the riverside monument that commemorates the day in 1945 when Russian and American troops shook hands. We depart at midnight. (B, L, D)
Today, cruise the Elbe and arrive in Meissen during lunchtime. Then stop in at the Meissenware factory, producers 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 aboard for dinner and a short cruise to an evening arrival in Dresden. (B, L, D)
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.
Dinner is served aboard your ship; afterward, feel free to enjoy Dresden’s many charms and attractions as we remain docked until early morning. (B, L, D)
*Please note : If you’re in Dresden on a Tuesday, The Green Vault is closed, therefore you will instead visit Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister (Old Masters Picture Gallery) to view some of the world’s great masterpieces, including works by Raphael, Vermeer, Rubens and Rembrandt.
Saxon Switzerland, Germany
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 aboard for dinner and evening cruising. (B, L, D)
Litoměřice, Czech Republic
Arrive after lunch in Litoměřice, one of the prettiest towns in the Czech Republic. See St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Jesuit Church, historic Market Square and many residential buildings from the baroque, Renaissance and Gothic periods. The tour ends with a tasting of Bohemian beers. Alternatively, take an excursion to Terezin, a historic city founded by the Hapsburg Dynasty and commandeered by the Nazis. Visit a former concentration camp and pay respects to those who perished here, then tour the town's small fortress, used to detain political prisoners. This evening, join your ship’s Captain for a festive onboard dinner. (B, L, D)
Mělník & Prague, Czech Republic
Awaken in Mělník; after breakfast, disembark for 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)
Prague, Czech Republic
You have today to explore the medieval splendor of Prague on your own. Perhaps you’ll stroll across statue-lined Charles Bridge – the 14th-century span across the Vltava River – for magnificent views of the cityscape. Stroll the old Jewish Quarter. Or admire the Astronomical Clock on the Old Town City Hall. You can also join an optional excursion to Lobkowicz Palace at Prague Castle. (B)
After breakfast, check out of your hotel and transfer to Kraków. Situated on Poland’s Vistula River, it is one of the country’s oldest cities. Stop in Olomouc for free time and lunch on your own. (B)
Discover the beautifully preserved Old Town of Kraków, including its vast 13th-century Market Square. It is one of the more unique public squares of Old Europe, thanks to the enormous Renaissance Cloth Hall that stands at its center. Exotic imports such as colorful silk and aromatic spices once passed through its doors for trade. You will also visit Wawel Castle on Wawel Hill, once the residence of the kings of Poland and now a fascinating art museum. If you’d like, you can explore the magnificent Wieliczka Salt Mine on an optional excursion. This evening, enjoy a lively performance of klezmer folk music with dinner. (B, D)
After breakfast, journey just outside the city to Auschwitz. This preserved camp serves as a solemn reminder of the horrors of World War II and urges all who visit to never forget the sacredness of human life and dignity. Back in Kraków, you will have the afternoon on your own to visit the National Museum with its excellent collection of paintings, sculptures, decorative arts and military artifacts. Or visit Wawel Cathedral, where royal coronations were held and national heroes are entombed. (B)
Częstochowa & Warsaw, Poland
Check out of your hotel this morning and travel to Warsaw. En route, you will visit the city of Czestochowa. Here, at the Pauline monastery of Jasna Góra, the famous Black Madonna painting draws millions of Catholic pilgrims from all over the world. Upon arrival in the Polish capital of Warsaw, you will have time to get to know the city on your own. (B)
This morning, discover the incredible restoration of Warsaw’s Old Town. Completely demolished during World War II, historians and architects painstakingly rebuilt it to mirror its original beauty, using bricks and decorative elements salvaged from the rubble whenever possible. You will also visit the Warsaw Uprising Museum to learn about the valiant attempt of resistance fighters to liberate their city from Nazi Germany. (B)
After breakfast, check out of your hotel and proceed to the airport for your return flight.* (B)