Christmas Along the Elbe
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Take part in time-honored European holiday traditions on this 10-day cruisetour. Stroll among colorful stalls and mingle with locals as you sample glhwein. Revel in Berlins festive atmosphere and discover the treasured recipe for Dresdens famous Christstollen. Shop for handmade porcelain in Meissen and cap your cruise with two days in Prague, delving into the citys Jewish history while its famed Christmas market exudes an abundance of good cheer.
Day 1 Berlin, Germany
Arrive at the airport, then transfer to your hotel. After check-in, enjoy free time to get acquainted with the city or join our Welcome Walk to stretch your legs and get oriented. This evening, admire Berlins grand sights illuminated after dark.
Day 2 Berlin, Germany
After breakfast, enjoy a panoramic tour of the vibrant German capital and browse the stalls of the citys famed Christmas market as you breathe in the scent of grilled sausages and spiced pastries. After lunch, spend time exploring Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or join an optional tour to savor the flavors of Berlin. This evening, perhaps immerse yourself in German culture during a visit to one of its famed breweries. (Breakfast)
Day 3 Potsdam & Wittenberg, Germany
After breakfast, travel to Potsdam. Tour Sanssouci Palace, a perfect example of German rococo architecture constructed by Prussian king Frederick the Great during the 18th century. Built as a summer retreat, it became his personal sanctuary and place to relax in the company of his beloved dogs. Wander through the rooms of the elegant palace and stroll through the magnificent gardens. Enjoy free time and lunch on your own, then transfer to Wittenberg to board your ship. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 4 Wittenberg, Germany
This morning, enjoy scenic sailing along the Elbe, then disembark and follow in Martin Luthers footsteps to view many of Wittenbergs historic landmarks during a walking tour. Enjoy free time to explore the small wooden huts of the Christmas market and shop for handmade seasonal gifts. Around dinnertime, you will arrive in Torgau. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5 Meissen, Germany
During your cruise this morning, celebrate a festive tradition at a gingerbread decorating class on board, arriving in Meissen just after lunchtime. Then stop in at the Meissenware factory, producer of fine porcelain since the early 1700s. Discover how this trademarked porcelain is created by hand, then tour the museum. Stroll around the Christmas market and take in its festive yuletide aromas. Return on board for dinner; your ship remains docked overnight. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6 Dresden, Germany
After breakfast, disembark in Dresden, nicknamed Florence on the Elbe. Drive through the 19th-century residential area to the Dresden Castle complex; enter the Green Vault to see a comprehensive collection housing what many claim is the worlds largest collection of treasures.* Continue on foot to see Zwinger Palace, Semper Opera House and the Frauenkirche (Cathedral of Our Lady) with its distinctive bell-shaped dome. Visit the Striezelmarkt, one of Germanys oldest recorded Christmas markets whose stalls have celebrated festive traditions since 1434. You may also join an optional tour and step inside a Dresden bakery to sample stollen, a delicious spiced fruit bread and celebrated Christmas delicacy. Or perhaps soak up the festive atmosphere in Bautzen, a medieval gem.
Dinner is served on board your ship; after, feel free to enjoy Dresdens many charms and attractions as we remain docked until early morning. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
*Please note: If you are in Dresden on a Tuesday, the Green Vault is closed; instead, enjoy a visit to the Gemldegalerie Alte Meister (Old Masters Picture Gallery) to view some of the worlds great masterpieces, including works by Raphael, Vermeer, Rubens and Rembrandt.
Day 7 Saxon Switzerland, Germany
This morning, cruise through the magnificent, soaring rock formations of the Saxon Switzerland region and partake in a festive cookie demonstration. Dock at the spa town of Bad Schandau and set out on an included tour to the famous rock tower known as the Bastei (bastion), formed by water a million years ago, to enjoy stunning panoramic views of the Elbe. Return on board for dinner and evening cruising. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8 Prague, Czech Republic
After breakfast, disembark and transfer to Prague. Upon arrival, tour Prague, the City of a Hundred Spires, and shop at the colorful winter market for handcrafted gifts and traditional fare. After a guided walk through the citys Old Town, take some free time to explore at your leisure. Return to the hotel for check-in and dinner on your own. (Breakfast)
Day 9 Prague, Czech Republic
Enjoy a full day at leisure to explore this celebrated city or join an optional tour; perhaps head out for an all-day visit to Prague Castle and Lobkowicz Palace. Or, immerse yourself in Pragues food scene during a culinary experience. You may enjoy more of Czech culture this evening during a folklore dinner or attend a classical music concert. (Breakfast)
Day 10 Prague, Czech Republic
After breakfast, check out of your hotel and proceed to the airport for your return flight. Or, extend your journey with 2 additional nights in Prague and discover more of this celebrated city. (Breakfast)