Cruise from Prague to Berlin aboard the Elbe Princesse and explore the timeless treasures and traditions of the Elbe River Valley.

Starting at: $4,990 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Dresden, situated along the Elbe River  Prague and the Vltava River and historic Charles Bridge   Old Town Square, Prague  Prague's astronomical clock near the main square  Meissen, located along the Elbe River  Plaza in Wittenberg, Germany  Magdeburg, located along the Elbe River  Brandenburg Gate, Berlin

Elbe River Cruise

From Prague to Berlin Aboard the 80-guest Elbe Princesse

12 days from $4,990

Cruise from Prague to Berlin aboard the Elbe Princesse and explore the timeless treasures and traditions of the Elbe River Valley.

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

Special Air Rates & Services: As part of our special air program, FlexAir, available with this tour, you can choose from a wide variety of flight options. View Special Air Rates/Services to learn more.

Cruise from Prague to Berlin and explore the timeless treasures and traditions of the Elbe River Valley, including Meissen’s world-renowned porcelain, Dresden’s trove of cultural treasures, and lively Berlin’s historical highlights and contemporary architecture. Cruise along this beautiful river valley aboard the Elbe Princesse, featuring a sleek, contemporary décor, modern amenities, a spacious Sun Deck for watching the scenery, and advanced double paddlewheel technology to navigate low water.

Highlights Include

  • Prague: Explore the Old Town during a walking tour and the next morning visit either Prague Castle or the Jewish Quarter. Enjoy your afternoons at leisure to explore independently.
  • Dresden and Meissen: Take a panoramic city tour and walking tour of lovely Dresden or a more intimate walking tour with a culinary interest. After cruising to Meissen, tour the world-famous porcelain factory or take a bicycle ride along the popular Elbe Cycle Route.
  • Wittenberg: Learn about native son Martin Luther, whose 95 Theses gave birth to the Reformation, during a special walking tour. Then continue to the Luther House and the university where he taught or change your pace and enjoy a brewery tour and tasting.
  • Berlin and Potsdam: See lively Berlin’s historical highlights and contemporary architecture during a city tour and canal boat ride. In nearby Potsdam take a morning tour of grand Cecilienhof Palace and Sanssouci Gardens. Enjoy afternoons at leisure to visit museums.
  • Elbe Princesse: Our river ship features a sleek, contemporary décor, modern amenities, a spacious Sun Deck for watching the scenery, and advanced double paddlewheel technology to navigate low water.

*During this voyage, we will share the ship with other leading cultural and educational institutions, which will add to the excitement and energy of the experience. Our May 11-22, 2019 departure will be from Berlin to Prague.​

2018 Itinerary

Days 1 & 2 – Depart the U.S.

Smithsonian travelers depart the U.S. on evening transatlantic flights to Prague in the Czech Republic. After a morning arrival at Prague’s Ruzyně International Airport, transfer to the luxurious Art Deco Imperial Hotel. The Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will be available to help with suggestions for independent activities. There’s time to relax and settle in before a Smithsonian Journeys welcome reception and dinner in the early evening. (R,D)

Day 3 – Prague

Start each day with a hearty buffet breakfast at the hotel. Attend a morning talk by an expert local speaker on the “Czech Velvet Revolution". Later, explore the historic and cultural highlights of Prague’s Old Town, including its city center, a designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO. After a leisurely afternoon, embark the Elbe Princesse. This evening, join the ship's captain for a welcome reception and dinner aboard the Elbe Princesse. (B,R,D)

Day 4 – Prague

After breakfast on board, personalize your Prague experience with a choice of tours ashore.

Choice #1 – Prague Castle: This Prague icon has been the seat of Czech governance since the 9th century. See the Castle Square, with its beautifully adorned gate, and discover the Castle Gallery, showcasing paintings by Titian, Rubens and other esteemed artists. Visit the Royal Palace and St. Vitus Cathedral and see St. Wenceslas Chapel, embellished with remarkable Gothic murals and semi-precious stones. Stroll along the Golden Lane, past colorful old houses and down the Old Castle steps to the lower town.

Choice #2 Prague’s Historic Jewish Quarter:  Explore the Jewish Quarter of Prague that has survived the Nazi and Communist regimes. Visit the Prague National Jewish Museum founded in 1906 and showcases Jewish history and remarkable religious treasures. The collections are housed in six synagogues and offer a comprehensive narrative of Judaism in Eastern Europe.

Before dinner, join your Smithsonian Journeys Expert in the Smithsonian Travelers Corner for an informal overview of the day’s experiences. (B,L,D)

Day 5 – Litomerice

This morning, join your Smithsonian Journeys Expert for a fascinating presentation. There’s a leisurely morning, cruising the picturesque Elbe River toward Litomerice. After arrival, join a tour of the town that’s one of the oldest in Bohemia and situated on the site of an old Slavic fort. Back on board, enjoy lunch and a leisurely afternoon of cruising. (B,L,D)

Day 6 – Bad Schandau / Saxon Alps / Dresden

Begin the day with an engaging talk by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert. On arrival at Bad Schandau, an excursion is planned to explore the breathtaking Saxon Alps. See the Königstein Fortress, set high atop a hill overlooking the river and one of the largest fortresses in Europe.

While sailing through the Saxon Alps, see the Bastei rock formation caused by water erosion over a period of a million years. Join your Smithsonian Journeys Expert in the travelers corner for a discussion of the day’s discoveries. (B,L,D)

Day 7 – Dresden / Meissen

Customize your day with a choice of tours ashore.

Choice #1 – Dresden City Tour: Dresden is a trove of cultural and historic treasures. Explore the city on a tour that includes a drive over the Blue Wonder, an iron bridge built in the late 19th century, the affluent Weisser Hirsch neighborhood; Albertplatz, Koenigstrasse, and the Theaterplatz. Begin a walking tour through the heart of this historic royal capital. Stroll past the Zwinger, a museum housed in an ornate 18th-century palace and the famous Taschenberg Palace. Marvel at the Royal Castle, the Royal Catholic Cathedral, and the world’s largest painting done on porcelain tiles. See the Church of our Lady and stop to visit the Old Master’s Gallery.

Choice #2 – Dresden Old Town Culinary Experience: After the devastation of WWII, the Old Town of Dresden has regained its reputation as a quarter known for stunning period architecture. Begin a culinary tour that offers an introduction to various regional Saxon food specialties. Along the way, enjoy a less-known narrative about Dresden.

The ship sails to the town of Meissen where you can personalize your travel experience with a choice of shore excursions.

Choice #1 – Meissen Porcelain: Visit the world-famous factory where the “white gold” Meissen pottery has been produced since 1710. Explore the workshops that have given the world its finest porcelain vases, tableware, and decorative objets d’art.

Choice #2 – “Bike Hike” Along the Elbe: Enjoy a cycling tour along the Elbe River, Germany’s second-longest river and voted its most popular biking route by the German Cyclists’ Federation.

Day 8 – Wittenberg

Select your choice of shore excursions in Wittenberg.

Choice #1 – Wittenberg and Martin Luther: Follow the path of Martin Luther in Wittenberg where he spent 36 years of his life. See the City Church where Luther preached and the Castle Church where he posted his Ninety-Five Theses that brought the Protestant Reformation to life. It’s here that Luther is buried. See the University and the Luther House a showcase of Reformation history.

Choice #2 – Wittenberg, Luther and Brewery Tour: Visit the historic highlights of Wittenberg that are connected with the life and times of Martin Luther and the Reformation. Next, learn about German beer at the Brauhaus where you’ll enjoy a brewery tour and sample its renown beer.

This afternoon, enjoy time cruising the Elbe. Later this afternoon, gather for an engaging talk by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert. (B,L,D)

Day 9 – Magdeburg

This morning, a local speaker will board the ship and offer a talk about life in “Contemporary Germany. Later, there’s a tour of Magdeburg and the nearby Roman Roads, built between 950 and 1250 that linked several medieval towns. Continue to visit the Magdeburg Cathedral. Rejoin the ship in Genthin and continue the cruise to Berlin. This evening, join your Smithsonian Journeys Expert and new friends in the Travelers Corner. (B,L,D)

Day 10 – Berlin

This morning, an expert local speaker will make a presentation on “A Tale of Two Cities” that focuses on the Berlin Wall and the trials of the divided city. Learn about the re-unification of Germany in 1990. Berlin today is a vibrant capital city. Begin exploring on a tour that highlights the Brandenburg Gate, Pariser Platz, the Federal Chancellery, the Reichstag, Unter den Linden, the Gendarmenmarkt, and the Kurfurstendamm. Continue with a cruise on the River Spree through the heart of Berlin to see the Reichstag, the Berliner Dom, Museum Island and the Tiergarten. The afternoon is at leisure to follow your own path. This evening, join fellow travelers for a gala farewell reception aboard ship. (B,L,R,D)

Day 11 – Berlin

Disembark the ship this morning after breakfast and drive to Potsdam, home to the July 1945 Potsdam Conference where the end of WWII was negotiated. A tour of Potsdam includes the magnificent Cecilienhof Palace and the Sans Souci Gardens. Continue to visit the Dutch Quarter for lunch. Drive to Berlin and check-in at the upscale Hilton Berlin Hotel for an overnight stay. This evening, join your Smithsonian Journeys Expert for a final talk and discussion. (B,L)

Day 12 – Return to the U.S.

After an early breakfast, transfer to Berlin Airport for the flight to your U.S. gateway city. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)

2019 Itinerary

Days 1 – Depart the U.S.

Depart your gateway city aboard overnight scheduled air service for Berlin, Germany.

Day 2 – Berlin

After clearing brief Immigration and Customs formalities, transfer to the Hilton Berlin, conveniently located on the Gendarmenmarkt close to the famous Unter den Linden and Brandenburg Gate. Upon arrival at the hotel, there’s time to relax and enjoy some quiet time. Your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will be available this afternoon and throughout the program for suggestions regarding city sights, restaurants, and independent activities. This evening, join your fellow Smithsonian travelers at a private welcome reception at the hotel. (R)

Day 3 – Berlin

A full American-style buffet breakfast will be served in the hotel and each morning during the cruise. Once a divided city, Berlin was reunited after the infamous wall was torn down in 1989. Start the day with a fascinating presentation by a local speaker who will talk on the subject of East Berlin. Once off-limits to those in the West, East Berlin is now one with the West, yet it remains evocative of its Soviet past.

Start exploring the city on a panoramic city tour to see the Brandenburg Gate, Pariser Platz, Federal Chancellery, Reichstag, Unter den Linden, Gendarmenmarkt and the fashionable Kurfurstendamm. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant and the balance of the afternoon is at leisure. Later, embark the Elbe Princesse and get acquainted with this intimate modern paddle wheel river cruiser. This evening, gather with fellow Smithsonian Journeys travelers for a welcome reception and dinner on board. (B,L,D)

Day 4 – Berlin / Potsdam / Cruising

After breakfast depart the ship and drive to Potsdam, home to the July 1945 Potsdam Conference where the end of WWII was negotiated. A tour of Potsdam includes the magnificent Cecilienhof Palace and the Sans Souci Gardens.

Rejoin the ship and discover the idyllic charm of the lakes formed by the Havel River. Meet fellow travelers and the Smithsonian Journeys Expert this evening for an informal discussion about the day’s discoveries in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner. The ship will overnight in Wusterwitz. (B,L,D)

Day 5 – Cruising / Magdeburg

Enjoy a leisurely morning cruising the Elbe river towards the town of Magdeburg. A local speaker will offer a fascinating talk on contemporary Germany. This afternoon, join fellow travelers for a visit to Magdeburg, situated midway on the Elbe River and see the historic Roman Roads built between 950 and 1250 and linked several medieval towns. Later, visit the Magdeburg Cathedral before returning to the ship. (B,L,D)

Day 6 – Wittenberg

You have your choice of shore excursions today:

Choice #1Wittenberg and Martin Luther

This university town is where Martin Luther lived and taught for 36 years. You will visit the City Church where Luther often preached and stop at the Castle Church door area where Luther posted his 95 Theses, giving birth to the Reformation. You will see the university where Luther taught and visit the Luther House which is the greatest museum of Reformation history and a remarkable showcase of his life and accomplishments, historical documents and an outstanding collection of period paintings of his life and family.

Choice #2Wittenberg and Brewery Tour

This university town is where Martin Luther lived and taught for 36 years. You will visit the City Church where Luther often preached and stop at the Castle Church door area where Luther posted his 95 Theses, giving birth to the Reformation. Then enjoy a beer seminar at the Brauhaus in Wittenberg. Take a tour of the brewery (3 floors with lots of stairs) and enjoy a tasting.

Afterward, return on board and spend the afternoon and evening cruising. Join fellow travelers and the Smithsonian Journeys Expert in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner. (B,L,D)

Day 7 – Meissen / Dresden

After a morning arrival in Meissen, customize your day with a choice of shore tours.

Choice #1 – Meissen Porcelain – Visit the world-famous factory where the “white gold” Meissen pottery has been produced since 1710. Explore the workshops that have given the world its finest porcelain vases, tableware, and decorative ware.

Choice #2 – “Bike Hike” Along the Elbe – Enjoy a cycling tour along the Elbe River, Germany’s second-longest river and voted its most popular biking route by the German Cyclists’ Federation.

This afternoon, arrive in Dresden, a city that rose from the ashes of WWII. Personalize your Dresden experience with a choice of tours ashore.

Choice #1 – Dresden City Tour – Dresden is a trove of cultural and historic treasures. Explore the city on a tour that includes a drive over the Blue Wonder, an iron bridge built in the late 19th century, the affluent Weisser Hirsch neighborhood; Albertplatz, Koenigstrasse, and the Theaterplatz. Begin a walking tour through the heart of this historic royal capital. Stroll past the Zwinger, a museum housed in an ornate 18th-century palace and the famous Taschenberg Palace. Marvel at the Royal Castle, the Royal Catholic Cathedral, and the world’s largest painting done on porcelain tiles. See the Church of our Lady and stop to visit the Old Master’s Gallery.

Choice #2 – Dresden Old Town Culinary Experience – After the devastation of WWII, the Old Town of Dresden has regained its reputation as a quarter known for stunning period architecture. Begin a culinary tour that offers an introduction to various regional Saxon food specialties. Along the way, enjoy a less-known narrative about Dresden.

The ship will overnight in Dresden. (B,L,D)

Day 8 – Bad Schandau / Saxon Alps

Leave on an excursion to the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. The breathtaking scenery of the Saxon Alps unfolds as you travel through this area through steep, unusually shaped sandstone cliffs. Discover the Königstein Fortress, overlooking the Elbe and one of the largest hilltop fortresses in Europe. Stop at the Bastei rock formation towering above the Elbe and formed by water erosion over one million years ago.

The afternoon is spent cruising through the Saxon Alps. Join fellow travelers in the Travelers Corner for an informal discussion about the day’s discoveries. This evening, the ship will overnight in Usti in the Czech Republic. (B,L,D)

Day 9 – Litomerice

This morning, join a tour of the town, one of the oldest in Bohemia and situated on the site of an old Slavic Fort. Back on board, enjoy lunch and a leisurely afternoon of cruising.

Join fellow travelers in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner in early evening for an informal discussion about the day’s discoveries. The ship moors in Kralupy for the night. (B,L,D)

Day 10 – Prague

Disembark the ship in Roztoky and spend the morning on a tour of Prague’s Old Town. The center of the city has been designated as a World Heritage Site. Return to the ship for lunch and an afternoon at leisure.

Later, a local speaker will talk about the Velvet Revolution, a pivotal event that led to the end of communism in Czechoslovakia. The revolution preceded the country’s split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Enjoy a farewell gala evening on board tonight. (B,L,D)

Day 11 – Prague

This morning, you will have your choice of tours ashore.

Choice #1 – Prague Castle – This Prague icon has been the seat of Czech governance since the 9th century. See the Castle Square, with its beautifully adorned gate, and discover the Castle Gallery, showcasing paintings by Titian, Rubens and other esteemed artists. Visit the Royal Palace and St. Vitus Cathedral and see St. Wenceslas Chapel, embellished with remarkable Gothic murals and semi-precious stones. Stroll along the Golden Lane, past colorful old houses and down the Old Castle steps to the lower town.

Choice #2 Prague’s Historic Jewish Quarter - Explore the Jewish Quarter of Prague that has survived the Nazi and Communist regimes. Visit the Prague National Jewish Museum founded in 1906 and showcases Jewish history and remarkable religious treasures. The collections are housed in six synagogues and offer a comprehensive narrative of Judaism in Eastern Europe.

This afternoon, check-in to the Prague Intercontinental Hotel. The afternoon is at leisure so that you can follow your own path. Join fellow travelers and the Smithsonian Journeys Expert in the Travelers Corner for a discussion about your memorable trip and enjoy a farewell reception. (B, R)

Day 12 – Return to your Gateway City

This morning, transfer to the Ruzyně International Airport to board homeward flights. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)