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Every twist and turn of the majestic River Elbe reveals a dramatic skyline of fairy-tale spires, Gothic turrets, and bold onion domes.
Our Elbe river cruises are designed with variety in mind; the traveller will be introduced to majestic cities such as Prague and Dresden, as well as the 'hidden gems' of Eastern Europe - Melnik, Litomerice, and Decin in the Czech Republic and Potsdam and Ketzin in Germany.
From opulent palaces that once housed kings of the past to cosmopolitan cities, every aspect of Europe's history and culture can be found along the banks of this graceful waterway.
The core of Great Rail Journeys' brochure of cruises is the guided excursion, a series of short tours around sites of interest. For example, at Wittenberg in Germany, you can visit All Saints Church on a tour of the city. This impressive 'castle church' is known for its association with reformist monk, Martin Luther, who nailed his seminal work, The Ninety-Five Theses, to the door in the 16th century.
However, while on-board entertainment and special outings are available to all our passengers, you will never be forced to participate in them; you are free to experience Elbe river tours as you see fit, whether that's socialising with your fellow travellers, exploring, or enjoying a quiet drink at the bar.
Every cruise ship on our Elbe tours is designed to capture the mesmerising panoramas along the river; consequently, all our boats are equipped with large picture windows throughout, as well as stylish lounges where you can admire the passing vineyards and castles in comfort.
The prices of our Elbe river cruises include accommodation and transport, as well as a selection of meals and outings.
On-board, guests are treated to a gourmet multi-course menu, which is accompanied by a selection of delectable wines. Breakfast is a buffet of eggs, pastries, fresh fruit, cheese, bread, and a variety of other dishes. Several courses are served for lunch, as well as a light alternative, such as salad.
You may also want to indulge in local specialities, such as a salty pretzel or a warming bratwurst sausage.
Guests on our Elbe river cruises are accompanied from London by a knowledgeable Tour Manager, who will stay with you throughout the tour to answer any questions you may have about the facilities on-board or the customs of the German and Czech people. On some of our ATOL-protected tours, local guides are employed to share their knowledge of the location.
The Elbe Valley is home to some of the most breath-taking vistas of Europe. Beginning in Eastern Europe, in the Krkonoše Mountains, this legendary river sweeps north and west through Bohemia and Germany, before joining with the North Sea at Cuxhaven, near Hamburg. On its journey, the Elbe travels almost seven hundred miles.
Many of our Elbe river tours begin with a rail journey from London to Nuremburg in Germany. Our trains continue on to the vibrant city of Prague, where our guests will be given the opportunity to explore the city, before boarding one of Great Rail Journeys' state-of-the-art cruise vessels.
The largest concert hall in the Czech capital, the Municipal House, is an incredible example of the city's famous architecture. Inside, the exquisite Smetana Hall has a spectacular Art Nouveau glass ceiling. Elsewhere, the buildings of Prague are a spectacular amalgam of different styles, from Cubist, Gothic, Art Nouveau, and Baroque, to Neo-Classical.
Spend your time in this pretty city soaking in all the sights its cobbled streets have to offer (the 10th century sculpture of Jan Hus is always popular with our guests); listen to street musicians playing old-time favourites, such as the Polka, or relax with Prague's most famous produce - Pils beer.
A highlight of Great Rail Journeys Elbe river cruises is the region of the magnificent Sandstone Mountains, near the border of Germany and the Czech Republic. The soft rocky surface of these landforms has allowed weathering to carve unusual structures, such as arches and the towering Hercules Pillars.
Many Elbe river tours call at the idyllic city of Dresden, where natural and manmade beauty blends together seamlessly. The streets of this elegant city are home to stunning examples of medieval architecture, including the Dresden Zwinger, the Frauenkirche church, and the water palace at Pillnitz Castle.
The Dresden Elbe Valley, a former World Heritage Site, is one of the most spectacular regions in our itinerary. Here, amid the characteristic deep forests of Saxony, the epic Blue Wonder Steel Bridge stretches across the Elbe. Built between 1891 and 1893, this engineering marvel is one of the most abiding structures in Germany.
While on our Elbe cruises, you will also have the opportunity to explore lesser known corners of Europe, such as the German city of Wittenberg and the 'cradle of Saxony', Meissen, known for its porcelain and the magnificent Albrechtsburg Castle, whose turrets climb high into the sky.
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