Cruise the Elbe, the Havel and the Kiel Canal
Navigate the scenic rivers and man-made waterways of Germany’s northern states, with visits to Brandenburg and Hamburg, and a full-length cruise through the Kiel Canal, from the North Sea to the Baltic.
meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners
UK to Berlin to Potsdam
Fly to Berlin and embark MS Johannes Brahms. Enjoy a welcome reception and dinner as you cruise towards Potsdam where you moor for the night.
Potsdam to Brandenburg
Spend the morning exploring Potsdam, previously the kings residence with a landscape of palaces, parks and gardens surrounded by beautiful lakes and rivers. It was in Cecilienhof Castle in Potsdam that Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin met after World War II and divided Germany into British, French, American and Soviet zones. Your ship will depart and cruise through the afternoon to Brandenburg. Enjoy an included tour of one of the most important medieval locations in Germany, with more than 400 heritage sites. Stroll the medieval streets of the city this afternoon and admire the churches and remains of the old wall. Depart Brandenburg after dinner.
This morning MS Johannes Brahms navigates a network of locks and artificial waterways en route to Havelberg, on the banks of the river Havel. This wealthy Hanseatic town was an important ship-building site in the seventeenth century, due to its location between the Elbe and its tributary the Havel. The medieval old town occupies an island on the Havel river, and you’ll have time this afternoon to see the wealth that trade brought to the town in the many centuries-old buildings, now lovingly restored. The Romanesque Cathedral of St Mary and a former monastery are also here on the island. Set sail again this evening for Lauenburg.
Lauenburg to Hamburg
Go in search of Lauenburg’s 17th-century sailors’ houses, or climb to the upper town where you can admire tremendous views over the Elbe from the remains of the castle. Formerly home and political centre to the Dukes of Lauenburg, now only the old castle tower remains after a catastrophic fire in 1616. Alternatively, you might like to join an optional trip to the romantic city of Lneburg, a picturesque Hanseatic town divided by the river Ilmenau. It was once a trade hub thanks to its lucrative salt mines. The old town, which survived both World Wars unscathed, but whose houses have become crooked through salt-related subsidence, is worth a visit, along with the old harbour with its brick salt warehouses. Cruise through the afternoon towards Hamburg, where you moor this evening.
You’ll have the whole day to explore Hamburg. Its a modern and dynamic city with a rich maritime heritage thanks to its bustling sea port. There’s also a vast network of canals crossed by more bridges than any other city in the world! a melange of elegant architecture, plus many galleries and museums to discover.
Hamburg to Rendsburg
You’ll spend much of today cruising along the world’s busiest man-made waterway, the Kiel Canal, towards Rendsburg. This 98-kilometre-long short-cut connects the North Sea with the Baltic, saving ships from rounding the Danish peninsula and navigating potentially dangerous waters. Moor overnight in Rendsburg.
Rendsburg to Kiel
Cruise the last stretch of the Canal to Kiel, where you spend the afternoon. The city is dominated by the grand harbour, as youll discover on an included tour. Afterwards perhaps stroll along the waterfront promenade or pause in a cafe or coffee shop to enjoy views of ships of all types and sizes coming and going. MS Johannes Brahms remains moored here overnight.
Kiel to Hamburg to UK
Disembark after breakfast and travel to the airport for your return flight to the UK.