River cruise destinations in Czech Republic are located near the Elbe River in the northwestern region of Bohemia. The Elbe begins in the Krkonoše Mountains in northern Czech Republic. Flowing in a northwesterly direction, the river begins its flow into Germany about 50 miles from Mělník, Czech Republic.
So, a cruise on the Elbe River will also include cities in Germany. One of your river cruise destinations in Czech Republic will include the Bohemian city of Prague, which will either be the starting or ending point for you Elbe river cruise itinerary.
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
Prague is often included in Danube and Main River cruise packages, too, even though it’s located several hundred miles away from either river. If you travel to Prague from Germany, Austria, or Hungary, it won’t be by way of a river. Transportation from Vienna, Budapest, Passau or Nuremberg to Prague is typically a 3- to 6-hour ride by motor coach.
You might wonder why Prague is included in some river cruise itineraries? Well, it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.
Prague is the largest city in Czech Republic. The city itself is about 110 square miles with a population of about 1.3 million. However, if you include its metro area, Prague covers and area of nearly 2,700 square miles and has a population of 2.3 million people!
While there are many things to see and do in Prague, your river cruise package will probably include a visit to the UNESCO Site – The Historic Centre of Prague. You’ll either visit or pass by many of the historic structures, including the Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, and Old Town Square.
The longest river in Czech Republic, the Vltave, flows through the city of Prague. The Vltave River is 270 miles long and has 18 bridges that cross over it. Charles Bridge is probably the most well-known bridge in Prague. Although, there are not overnight cruises on the Vltave River, day and evening cruises are available on a traditional river boat, or you can sightsee from a steamboat.
Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic
The city of Mělník is about 30 miles north of Prague. (Not to be confused with another city named Melnik in Bulgaria.) It’s the starting or ending port for Elbe River cruises, depending on the direction of the cruise itinerary. So, it’s the southernmost port for Elbe River cruises.
Although, the Elbe and Vltava River join together in Mělník, you will be transported by ground to and from Prague. You probably won’t spend much time in this city before embarking or after disembarking your river cruise ship.
Mělník is a fairly small city in Czech Republic. It’s only about 10 square miles with a population of about 20,000 people. If you have some time to explore the city, there are a few castles that you might want to visit – Libechov Castle, Veltrusy Castle, and Castle Mělník.
About 30 miles northwest of Mělník, your cruise ship will stop in Litomerice. This is the only other port in Czech Republic for Elbe RiverCruises.
The Ohře River flows into the Elbe in Litomerice. It’s another one of the left tributaries of the Elbe River in Czech Republic.
Litomerice is a small city like Mělník - covering nearly 7 square miles with a population of about 25,000.
St. Stephen's Cathedral in Litomerice, Czech Republic
By Karelj (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons Cathedral of St. Stephen in Old Town Litomerice, Czech Republic
A guided tour through the city of Litomerice will probably include a visit to the underground cellars. They were built beneath the town – some have three floors and the entire collection is almost two miles long! Your tour won’t include all of it, though. Only about 1,110 feet of the tunnels are open to the public.
If you would like to visit Prague, most river cruise suppliers have itineraries on the Danube, Main and Rhine Rivers that include a vist to Prague. Avalon Waterways Panorama has a 9- to 14-night cruise on the Danube, and AMA Waterways has a 12-night cruise on the AmaDolce that travels on the Main, Moselle and Rhine Rivers.
Viking River Cruises offers a 10-day "Elegant Elbe" river cruise on the Viking Fontane and Viking Schumann.
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Lauri Wakefield is a travel writer who specializes in river cruises in Europe and the U.S. Connect with her on Twitter and Google+.
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