A cruise on the Elbe River will be from Berlin to Prague or Prague to Berlin. The Elbe flows from Czech Republic on a northwesterly course through Germany before reaching the North Sea. Cruises on the Elbe have itineraries that begin and end traveling from either direction.
If your ship departs from Germany, you will spend one to two days in Berlin before your cruise begins. Embarkation will be in Magdeburg, which is about 95 miles east of Berlin.
If your Elbe River cruise begins in Czech Republic, you'll spend a day or two in Prague before embarking on your ship in Melnik, Czech Republic or Dresden, Germany. Melnik is about 30 miles north of Prague, and Dresden is about 92 miles north of Prague.
Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic
By Estec GmbH, Billig Hotel in Prag (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The Elbe River is considered one of the major rivers in central Europe. It’s 724 miles long and flows from its origin in northern Czech Republic through eastern Germany before emptying into the North Sea.
The Elbe has six other rivers that flow into it as well as smaller streams of water. The main rivers flowing into it in Germany are Saale, Havel, Mulde, Schwarze Elster and Ohre. The Vltave River – the longest river in the Czech Repbulic – is the other river that flows into the Elbe.
Elbe River from Bastei in Saxon Switzerland Germany
During a cruise on the Elbe River, you’ll travel through eastern Germany and northern Czech Repubic. Some of the German cities you’ll visit on your trip include Berlin, Tangermunde, Wittenberg, Torgau, Meissen, Saxon Switzerland and Dresden.
Market Square in Wittenberg, Germany
By M_H.DE (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Other destinations for Elbe River cruises are in Czech Republic – Melnik, Litomerice and Prague.
Many river cruises in Europe feature shore excursions that include visits to UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Not so with Elbe River cruises. Dresden Elbe Valley was removed from the UNESCO list in 2009.
Your itinerary might include a visit to the Market Square in Wittenberg, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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