Top 10 Reasons to Take a River Cruise
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A history lesson into classic Baroque.


Aside from the new Douro river cruises, a journey on the Elbe River in Germany is Western Europe’s other, least known river cruise. I dare say that most of us in North America would be hard pressed to locate the Elbe on a map. Though it may not be well known, the Elbe River played a crucial role in the 20th-century as it formed the north-south border between what was formerly West and East Germany. Currently, ONLY Viking River Cruises sails the charming Elbe River.

A river of historical significance.
The Elbe River region was the birthplace of Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation, wonderful baroque architecture and much more is waiting for you on your exciting European river cruise along the Elbe River. While a river cruise on Germany's elegant Elbe River may not be for everyone, but if you are an experienced river cruiser and looking for something different and an in-depth view of the former East Germany and a short glimpse of the highlights of the Czech Republic, then by all means a Elbe river cruise will excite your senses.

Like many rivers in Europe, the Elbe river starts in one direction and finishes in another. Beginning in the northwest of the Czech Republic, it flows west through much of Bohemia before turning to the north where it cuts through the center of what was once East Germany, before finally entering the North Sea. And while it is a fairly long river, almost 700 miles in length, most river cruise programs are centered between Magdeburg, Germany and Melnik, Czech Republic, a distance of just over 200 miles. However, don’t let this dissuade you; most Eastern European river cruise programs offer pre and/or post cruise packages in fascinating Berlin, Germany, or Prague — the romantic, charming capital of the Czech Republic.

Elbe River cruises offer historically interesting, unique, and magnificent ports of call to explore.
Berlin, Germany. We strongly encourage our customers to add a few days before or after the cruise in the incredibly cosmopolitan city of Berlin. Sure, it's got lots of WWII history, both good and bad, but in addition to Berlin's historical significance, the Berlin of today is one of the most exciting and vibrant cities in all the world. Great food, music and just a super place to walk around and enjoy the eclectic "Berliner's. Ladies, it's also got some of the best shopping this side of Beverly Hills and Paris. Your premier personal travel planner will help you build a customized Berlin package, even down to your own personal tour guide should you desire one.

Prague, Czech Republic. In the Czech Republic section of the river, the ports of call include Prague, a gorgeous city called by the German poet Goethe “the prettiest gem in the stone crown of the world,” boasting diverse architecture and a dizzying array of sights.

Prague is one of our favorite cities for many reasons. Let me paint just one picture, and you will see why. Imagine yourself walking, actually it is more like promenading as you'll do along with hundreds of others. As you stroll away from an afternoon sightseeing tour of imposing Prague Castle (Which by the way is the largest castle in the world – yup, in Prague!), down the hill towards the river the entire city opens up before you. You'll cross over the picturesque Charles Bridge and enter into the historic Old Town district (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). By this time, of course, you'll be ready to eat at one of the many outdoor restaurants that line the main square. Please, reward yourself with a cold bottle of Czech beer while sampling “knedliky,” traditional Czech potato dumplings. FYI — If you've never had a Czech beer, well my friends, you are in for a real treat! When you book with Premier, we'll provide you with our exclusive list of cool places to enjoy lunch or dinner in Prague... plus much, much more!

Potsdam. Dresden. Meissen. Litomerice, the "Garden of Bohemia, and more. A river cruise on the Elbe is truly a wonderful way to experience this region. A cruise on the Elbe (view Viking's day-by-day itinerary) is so much more than great cities such as Prague and Berlin. It is a health and holiday resort such as Bad Schandau; dramatic landscapes and natural beauty as you sail between the sandstone cliffs of Germany’s “Saxon Switzerland;” the world renowned potteries in Meissen; the baroque splendor of Dresden, left almost completely in ruins as a result of allied bombing during the latter days of World War II, but now almost totally restored to its former grandeur; and a host of UNESCO World Heritage sites including the complex of Palaces and Parks in Potsdam and Berlin, and the memorials to Martin Luther in Wittenberg.



On every day of your cruise, you will become completely enchanted by the Elbe as you drift past majestic sandstone mountains, ornate Gothic castles, and modern cities that are connected to the past by remnants of medieval monuments and architecture. There is simply no better way to discover the former East Germany and the Czech Republic's past and present than on the banks of the Elbe River.

Much like the Seine River and the Douro River cruise itineraries, Elbe River cruises are not offered by all river cruise lines. Therefore, you’ll want to speak to one of our Premier River Cruises experts soon to ensure we get the perfect date and ship that matches your needs and desires.

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