Grand Cruise of the Elbe
|Resort:||MS Johannes Brahms|
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Day 1 UK to Hamburg
Fly to Hamburg and transfer to the port where you will embark MS Johannes Brahms. Enjoy a welcome drinks reception and dinner on board as your ship remains moored here overnight.
Day 2 Hamburg
Hamburg is a modern and dynamic city with a rich maritime heritage stemming from its bustling sea port. Germanys second-largest city with a history dating back to Charlemagne is a vibrant home to art and culture, extensive shopping facilities, baroque buildings and waterfront vistas. This is a city with something for everyone and you can see the highlights on an included tour. British visitors who remember the Swinging Sixties may like to visit the streets around Grosse Freiheit, where an unknown pop group called The Beatles gave their first public performances in various local clubs before achieving worldwide fame. There’s also a vast network of canals crossed by more bridges than any other city in the world. After an evening in the city, cruise towards Scharnebeck late tonight.
Day 3 Scharnebeck to Wittenberge
Arrive after breakfast and join an included trip to the romantic city of Lneburg, a picturesque Hanseatic town, once a trade hub thanks to its lucrative salt mines. See the old town which survived both World Wars unscathed but where the houses have become crooked through salt-related subsidence, and the old harbour with its brick salt warehouses. Enjoy some free time afterwards. After lunch, enjoy an afternoon of scenic cruising through the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve that encompasses the stretch of the Elbe between Lauenburg and Wittenberge.
Day 4 Wittenberge to Tangermnde
This morning is at leisure in Wittenberge, a settlement on the right bank of the river established more than 700 years ago. The town castle, built in 1669, is now the town museum, and the famous Singer Sewing Machine Company set up here in 1903. Set sail again at lunchtime bound for Tangermnde, where youll arrive after dinner and moor for the night.
Day 5 Tangermnde to Magdeburg
Spend a morning at leisure in Tangermnde, which can lay claim to 1,000 years of history. Perhaps seek out the red-brick Town Hall constructed in the 1430s with a mixture of Romanesque and Gothic features and a distinctive colourful facade. St Stephen’s Church, completely restored after a devastating fire in 1617, is renowned for its Scherer organ built in 1624 considered one of the 10 most prominent in Europe. Resume your cruise after lunch and reach Magdeburg at dinner time. Perhaps venture out for a drink or stroll this evening as you remain moored here overnight.
Day 6 Magdeburg to Wittenberg
Spend the morning in Magdeburg, one of the most historically important cities in Europe, and home to the first Holy Roman Emperor, Otto I. He and his wife are buried in the impressive Cathedral of Saints Catherine and Maurice. Explore at your leisure this morning. Depart at lunchtime and cruise towards Wittenberg, arriving late and mooring overnight.
Day 7 Wittenberg to Torgau to Meissen
This morning go exploring in the historic home town of the preacher Martin Luther where, he nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church, setting in motion the Protestant Reformation. Learn more on an included guided walk which visits the former monastery where Luther lived and the vast UNESCO-listed Market Square, which has a bronze statue of Luther. This afternoon, you can either resume your cruise or choose to join an optional excursion to infamous Colditz Castle. MS Johannes Brahms departs Wittenberg at lunchtime and cruises through the afternoon and evening to Meissen, pausing briefly in Torgau before dinner to allow excursion participants to rejoin the ship.
Day 8 Meissen to Dresden
Your ship arrives in Meissen overnight and this morning an included tour reveals the citys highlights, including the world-famous porcelain factory. Europes first white porcelain was produced in Dresden in 1708 meaning it no longer had to be imported from China at great expense. But in 1710 the factory was moved to Meissen, where it was easier to protect the secret processes. You can also admire a castle straight out of a fairy tale, an historic cathedral, and glorious views over the Elbe Valley. Depart at lunchtime for Dresden, arriving later this afternoon and mooring overnight.
Day 9 Dresden to Bad Schandau
This morning you can discover the restored city of Dresden on an included city tour. Dresden has a long history as the residence of the electors and kings of Saxony. The city was known as the jewel box because of the rich blend of baroque and rococo buildings in the centre. Sadly many of them were destroyed during the heavy bombing raids of World War II. Since the reunification of Germany in the early 1990s, the city has seen a great amount of restoration, regaining much of its former glory. Highlights include Zwinger Palace, Semper Opera House, the Royal Palace and the rebuilt Frauenkirche on Neumarkt Square. Your ship continues to Bad Schandau this afternoon, arriving before dinner.
Day 10 Bad Schandau to Decin
An included tour this morning takes you into the Saxon Switzerland National Park to see the stunning Elbe Sandstone Mountains. These unusual wind-eroded rock formations are on the border between Germany and the Czech Republic. The parks most popular spot is the Bastei rocks where you can walk across a bridge that is part of the old fortifications providing amazing views and photo opportunities. Your ship will sail across the Czech Republic border to arrive in Decin at lunchtime, where you will rejoin it. This afternoon perhaps join an optional excursion which visits Decin Castle.
Day 11 Decin to Melnik
This morning is at leisure so you will have some time to explore the town before resuming your cruise, sailing through the afternoon and evening to arrive in Melnik, where you will moor late tonight.
Day 12 Melnik to Prague
Depart before breakfast and cruise through the morning to reach Prague after lunch. With a history dating back more than a millennium, an endless labyrinth of quirky side streets, a tapestry of different architectural styles, and quite possibly the best beer in the world, Prague is a Bohemian treasure-trove! Discover more on an included city tour this afternoon. Highlights include the Old Town Square, where the astronomical clock will intrigue you, and the Church of St Nicholas which has eye-catching frescoes. The final evening of your holiday is at leisure in Prague.
Day 13 Prague to the UK
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.