Contrast pretty, open waterways, serene lakes and dramatic mountain scenery with historic cities on this cruise through West Germany
Cruise the scenic River Havel from Berlin to Potsdam then experience the wonders of the ship lift into the Elbe Seiten canal which delivers you to the Elbe at historic Magdeburg. An included tour of the vibrant city of Berlin provides an fascinating climax to your cruise.
23 meals: 8 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 8 dinners
- Tour of the Harz mountains
- City tour of Berlin
UK to Berlin – Tegel to Potsdam
Fly to Berlin and embark MS Johannes Brahms. Early this evening, depart for Potsdam where your ship moors overnight. Enjoy a welcome reception and dinner on board en route.
Potsdam to Brandenburg
Spend the morning exploring Potsdam, the capital of Brandenburg, with its stunning architecture, lavish palaces, parks, and gardens – many of which have UNESCO World Heritage status. Depart at lunchtime and sail through scenic lakelands to Brandenburg, arriving late this afternoon and mooring overnight.
Brandenburg to Rathenow
MS Johannes Brahms departs early this morning for Rathenow on the pretty Havel River, where you’ll have the afternoon to explore and moor overnight. The town is famous for the production of optical instruments and known as the ‘City of Optics’. Perhaps take a stroll in the colourful, educational Optikpark.
Rathenow to Havelberg
Your ship departs Rathenow in the early hours, arriving at Havelberg around lunchtime. This wealthy Hanseatic city ideally situated between the Elbe and the Havel was an important ship-building site in the seventeenth century. The medieval old town occupies an island on the Havel river, and you’ll have time to explore it this afternoon. The Dom St Marien (St Mary Cathedral) dates back to 1170 and has a famous 14th-century rood screen and 15th-century stained glass windows. Set sail again this evening.
Havelberg to Lauenburg to Scharnebeck
Depart Havelburg in the early hours and spend the morning cruising the Elbe to Lauenburg. You have the afternoon to discover 17th-century houses, the 13th-century church, and the ruins of Lauenburg Castle, from where you have lovely views over the Elbe and the old town. Continue cruising the Elbe to Scharnebeck where you use the passenger ship lift to transfer to the Elbe Seiten Canal then cruise along it through the evening and overnight towards Wolfsburg.
Arrive in Wolfsburg, home to the vehicle manufacturer, Volkswagen, this morning. Enjoy an included excursion to the Harz Mountains, exploring pretty Goslar and medieval Werningerode. Goslar is famous for its half-timbered houses, some of which sport some saucy wood carvings, while Werningerode has a medieval old town, overlooked by a pretty castle.
Wolfsburg to Magdeburg to Ketzin
Depart in the early hours arriving in Magdeburg this morning. An optional half-day walking tour explores Magdeburg. Among the broad pedestrianised streets you’ll see the 12th-century Romanesque monastery of Our Lady and early Gothic cathedral, the oldest in Germany and final resting place of Otto I, the first Holy Roman Emperor. Alternatively, relax on board as you continue to Genthin, where excursion participants will rejoin the ship. Spend the afternoon and early evening cruising to Ketzin and moor overnight.
Magdeburg walking tour |
Historic Magdeburg was the home town of the first Holy Roman Emperor, Otto 1. Among the broad pedestrianised streets and relatively new buildings are gems such as the 12th-century Romanesque monastery of Our Lady, the early Gothic cathedral, which is the oldest in Germany and final resting place of Otto I. The 17th-century town hall has ornate bronze doors with reliefs depicting the history of the town. Also look out for the Green Citadel – a quirky modern building, named for the surrounding trees but which is, in fact, painted pink!
Ketzin to Werder to Berlin – Tegel
Depart Ketzin this morning and arrive in Werder a couple of hours later. Werder stretches along the banks of the Havel with the old town occupying an island in the river. You have the morning to explore the narrow cobbled streets of this former fishing town. After lunch, a coach will take you to Berlin for an included city tour. Discover the city’s fascinating history as you take in the iconic sights of Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie and the Museum District. Afterwards, rejoin your ship in Berlin-Tegel where you moor overnight.
Berlin – Tegel to UK
After breakfast, transfer to Berlin airport for your flight home to UK.