Style : River cruise
Church view of Berlin, Europe

Elegant Elbe

Viking River Cruises Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.8 . Excellent
95%
Travel Style: Array Relaxed
Physical Level: Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment. Easy
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Comfort (4*)
10 days
From: $ 2,599 $ 260 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • Discover Berlin’s modern chic, Potsdam’s rococo whimsy
  • Experience cruise along Elbe which is one of Europe’s most unspoiled rivers
  • Opportunity to visit 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Explore Wittenberg’s and see the historic landmarks.
  • Explore Prague

Short Description

Journey to Berlin, Dresden & Prague

See the Elbe Biosphere Reserve. Walk in Martin Luther’s footsteps in Wittenberg, birthplace of the Protestant Reformation. Admire delicate Meissen porcelain. Celebrate Dresden, a phoenix risen from the ashes of war. View Saxon Switzerland’s monoliths. Discover Berlin’s modern chic, Potsdam’s rococo whimsy, Dessau’s Bauhaus genius and Prague’s Gothic exuberance. The Elbe is one of Europe’s most unspoiled rivers and it awaits you—from Berlin to Prague—on our 10-day cruisetour.

Style River cruise
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Comfort (4*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions All internal ground transport
Start City Berlin
End City Prague

Itinerary

Day 1: Berlin, Germany

Arrive at the Berlin airport, then transfer to your hotel.* After check-in, you have free time to get acquainted with the city, or join our “welcome walk” to stretch your legs and get oriented.

Day 2: Berlin, Germany

Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast, enjoy a panoramic tour of the vibrant German capital, which has seen its fair share of dramatic changes in the last century. See the Reichstag with its spectacular glass dome, the historic Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie and many other iconic sites. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure.

Day 3: Potsdam & Wörlitz, Germany

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

After breakfast, travel to Potsdam. Tour Sanssouci Palace, a perfect example of German rococo architecture, built by Prussian king Frederick the Great in the 18th century. Continue to Wörlitz Park, Germany’s first landscaped park with English-style gardens. Tour inside Wörlitz Castle, fashioned after an English country home, and stroll the grounds. Then, transfer to Wittenberg to embark your ship.

Day 4: Wittenberg, Germany

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

This morning, follow in Martin Luther’s footsteps to view many of Wittenberg’s historic landmarks. Tour inside Luther’s House and St. Marien’s Church, where he preached. See the Castle Church where Luther posted his “95 Theses”; then enjoy free time. Return to your ship and for our afternoon departure as we cruise along a very pretty stretch of the Elbe. Or, you may choose to take an optional excursion to Torgau to see fortified Hartenfels Castle, Market Square and the riverside monument that commemorates the day in 1945 when Russian and American troops shook hands.

Day 5: Meissen, Germany

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Today, cruise the Elbe and arrive in Meissen during lunchtime. Then stop in at the Meissenware factory, producers of fine porcelain since the early 1700s. Discover how this trademarked porcelain is created by hand, then tour the museum. Proceed to Castle Hill for a walking tour through Old Town. Return aboard for dinner and an evening at leisure. Your ship remains docked overnight.

Day 6: Dresden, Germany

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

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 that houses what many claim is the world's largest collection of treasures, including priceless jewels and emeralds. Continue on foot to see Zwinger Palace, Semper Opera House and the Frauenkirche (Cathedral of Our Lady) with its distinctive bell-shaped dome that survived World War II bombings but collapsed the following day. Later, it was rebuilt.

Dinner is served aboard your ship; afterward, feel free to enjoy Dresden’s many charms and attractions as we remain docked until early morning.

*Please note : If you’re in Dresden on a Tuesday, The Green Vault is closed, therefore you will instead visit Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister (Old Masters Picture Gallery) to view some of the world’s great masterpieces, including works by Raphael, Vermeer, Rubens and Rembrandt.

Day 7: Saxon Switzerland, Germany

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

This morning, cruise through the magnificent, soaring rock formations of the Saxon Switzerland region, then dock at the spa town of Bad Schandau. From here we make our way 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 aboard for dinner and evening cruising.

Day 8: Děčín & Prague, Czech Republic

Meals: Breakfast

Awaken in Děčín; after breakfast, disembark and transfer to Prague. Upon arrival, you tour Prague, the “City of a Hundred Spires.” After a guided walk through Old Town, take some free time to explore on your own. Then ride to visit Hradčany Castle. Return to the hotel for check-in and dinner on your own.

Day 9: Prague, Czech Republic

Meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full day at leisure to explore this celebrated city, or join an optional tour to Lobkowicz Palace.

Day 10: Prague, Czech Republic

Meals: Breakfast

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.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 2,599
Price Per Day: $ 260 per day
Checking price
  • Deposit Price: $ 500

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39 Viking River Cruises Travel Reviews & Ratings

95%
4.8 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 37
Great 0
Average 0
Disappointing 0
Terrible 2
Value
4.8
Guide
4.8
Activities
4.9
Lodging
4.8
Transportation
4.8
Meals
4.8

Elegant Elbe

We enjoyed the entire experience

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We enjoyed the entire experience; Normandy and Omaha Beach were especially moving. The food and service deserve praise too. This is our third Viking cruise and we'll do it again. Viking does it first rate all the way. Keep it up.
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Company Reviews

Tourico Vacations -Rhine River Cruise

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Rhine Getaway Itinerary:
We sailed from Basel, Switzerland up north on the Rhine River and ended at Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Viking also offers the same route in reverse, from Amsterdam to Basel so you can pick either. For a couple stops on the journey, boats running in opposite cities are docked together.

We had a wonderful time and especially loved how organized the entire Viking journey was, from pre-departure to on-board, everything was seamless. Also unlike many other cruises or guided tours, almost everything was included, which made it feel like a truly relaxing vacation.

Here’s a snapshot of our 7-day itinerary and what we got up to each day!

Day 1: Arrive in Basel, Switzerland

We arrived in the small, quaint town of Basel after our international flight. This was the general arrival / travel date so we expected to just check in and relax but discovered that Viking organized a guided walking tour of the town. That was a nice surprise!

There’s also the option to arrive a couple days early and/or stay a couple days late. If you are thinking of this, here’s a quick guide to the best hotels in Basel to help with accommodation.

Basel is an underrated tourist attraction and the third largest city in Switzerland. The town has a gorgeous Medieval center and plenty of world-class art museums. There’s a reason Art Basel is held here!

We checked out the Romanesque cathedral, took endless pictures of the colorful medieval buildings and headed back to our ship to relax and meet everyone for cocktails and dinner. A great first day!

Read more: An Afternoon in Basel, Switzerland’s Most Underrated City!

Day 2: Germany’s Black Forest & Colmar, France

On our second day, we sailed northward to dock at Breisach, Germany. In the morning, we learned how to make cuckoo-clocks, put together Black Forest cake and walked a bit throughout the Black Forest.

The wooded mountain range is the site of many local legends and populated all over with black fir trees. If you like hiking, the mountains are wonderful!

In the afternoon, we signed up for an optional tour to Colmar. Located in the Alsace Lorraine region, the town is part of France but throughout much of history, changed hands between Germany and France. You’ll find lots of German and French spoken as a result!

I highly recommend visiting this quaint medieval town. Every street looks perfectly preserved and it’s quite colorful. We wandered mostly on our own, ducking into gelato shops and chocolate stores while enjoying the colorful, medieval feel.

Read more: The Most Picturesque Alsatian Town of Colmar

Day 3: Strasbourg, France

If you skip the optional to Colmar, no worries! Strasbourg is its larger cousin and also located in Alsace, France.

We had a wonderful guide for this day who guided us throughout the small canals, pointing out colorful streets and letting us know about Strasbourg’s tangled history in the hands of Germany and France.

Strasbourg occupies a strategic position on the Rhine River and is the ninth largest city in France. It’s home to many European councils and organizations, like the European Court of Human Rights (a building built like a ship) and the Council of Europe.

For the most part, we stuck to the Old Medieval Town but drove through the modern section. Highly recommend a visit to the Cathedral!

Read more: 24 Hours in Strasbourg (coming soon)

Day 4: Heidelberg, Germany

Heidelberg is a university town with a energetic, small town feel. In the morning, we visited Heidelberg Castle, which perhaps should be called a ruined fortress, as much of it was destroyed by lightening, fires and war.

The ruins and castle are built high above the city and the observation terrace is well worth a look! Meanwhile, the city was almost entirely spared from bomb attacks during World War II and it’s narrow streets and baroque charm remain largely intact.

We explored Heidelberg’s Old Town (Altstadt) by walking along the main shopping street Hauptstrasse. This is actually the longest shopping street in Europe! For the most part, I spotted large chain stores & restaurants.

I actually recommend skipping this street to explore the quaint alleyways and backstreets instead. Much more picturesque!

Read more: The Best of Heidelberg Germany in 1 Day

Day 5: Rhine River Castles & Koblenz, Germany

By day 5, we had reached the middle Rhine and spent our morning above deck watching the gorgeous small German towns and castles along both sides of the Rhine River. Our Viking program director gave a guided tour along the way, pointing out castles left and right.

Many of them are situated high above local towns and we saw lots of German camper vans parked at the base. I recommend bringing a pair of binoculars for this part, as some of the castles can be set a bit farther away and the detail through a zoom is incredible.

By afternoon, we reached Koblenz, a city set at the mouth of two rivers. We explored Marksburg Castle and wandered a bit on our own after. This was another ruined fortress high above the river. Interesting history, but wear good shoes! The entire castle is unpaved, rocky and entirely uneven.

A couple others from the cruise did the optional dinner excursion on this day and raved about it.

Read more: A Photo Diary of Pretty Rhine Castles

Day 6: Cologne, Germany

During the Holy Roman Empire, Cologne was the largest medieval town in Europe. Naturally, it’s Gothic cathedral is the hallmark draw! The nice thing about this stop is the ship can dock right into town, so you can join the tour or explore on your own.

We explored the Kölner Dom’s interior and were suitably awed. If you want a great view, Viking offers an optional tour that takes you all the way to the very top! I had already been to Cologne on a previous trip so instead, we opted for a palace excursion.

We visited Augustusburg Castle, one of two gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage site classified as Bruhl Palaces. The castle was once home to the prince-archbishops of Cologne and is decked out in gold, marble and all-around extravagance.

I particularly liked the massive entryway staircase which was gilded and made my mouth drop open when we turned the corner. Highly recommend this day trip if you love castles half as much as I do!

The interiors were really unique and the guided tour was excellent. After the main palace, we did a quick tour of the hunting lodge as well, which was just as stunning.

Read more: Exploring Cologne (coming soon)

Day 7: Kinderdijk, The Netherlands

Kinderdijk is home to the Netherlands’ famous windmills. I’ll admit I didn’t know too much about the country outside of Amsterdam and our guide was quite helpful to explain the history of the nation and the purpose of its many windmills. Much of the Netherlands would sink, were it not for windmills to pump away water.

We even got to tour inside the home of a windmill keeper (see photos of a windmill interior here!). What I didn’t realize was that windmill caretakers actually lived inside them with their families!

I thought the interiors were particularly interesting and our guide mentioned that some Dutch families managed to fit 13 children inside.

They’re quite small so I noticed lots of hooks for hanging, curved bunk-bed type rooms and lots of stair ladders. The Dutch windmill keepers also had a number of really unique boats which I took too many pictures of!

Fun fact: Kinderdijk is in the region of Holland in the nation of The Netherlands where the people speak Dutch.

Read more: Visiting A Dutch Windmill Home (and other day trips from Amsterdam!)

The Rhine Getaway Cruise

One thing I liked about sailing with Viking is how leisurely the day to day pace is. There’s generally an opportunity to sight see in the morning and afternoon, with one included tour and one optional tour.

We chose to do 2 optionals and on the other days, relaxed on board or went into town to explore on our own! It was a well-balanced pace and I truly felt “on vacation”.

Here’s a recap of our daily itinerary with Viking:
Day 1 Arrive in Basel, Switzerland
Day 2 Morning: Sail to the Black Forest

Afternoon: Explore Colmar, France
Day 3 Explore Strasbourg, France
Day 4 Morning: Explore Heidelberg’s Castle and Old Town.

Evening: Stop in Rudesheim
Day 5 Morning: See German castles along the Rhine River

Afternoon: Visit Koblenz, Germany
Day 6 Morning: Visit Cologne, Germany

Afternoon: Day trip to Bruhl Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Day 7 See dutch windmills at Kinderdijk. Arrive in Amsterdam in late evening.
Watch video: Tourico Vacations Viking River Cruise

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Great time

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Took our first trip on a Viking River Cruise on the Danube and had a great time. Viking's included and optional tours were wonderful and having their own tour buses was a real plus as all were well maintained and clean. Some of the best tour guides we have ever encountered. Service was superb and the food was very good. One member of our party became quite ill and the staff did an excellent job ensuring their safety and providing assistance even after the cruise ended as they had to stay on at our last stop before being able to travel home. Cabins were very nice and clean. Would highly recommend them to anyone and we plan on another trip in the near future.
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WONDERFUL STAFF & SEAMLESS ORGANIZATION

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This was our first Viking cruise, and hopefully not our last. Wonderful staff and seamless organization. . . .The excursions were well planned and informative, and the local guides were well prepared. We would like to compliment some of the staff for their ever-smiling attention
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What a memorable trip!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
A truly “golden” adventure. My sister and I took our first Viking cruise on the Passage to Eastern Europe and had been impressed with Viking’s service. For years, I’d wanted to explore the Douro River of Portugal, being interested in “roads”—or in this case, rivers—less traveled. This trip exceeded my expectations and proved without any doubt that Viking’s attention to service and to hiring a real “team” of happy crew members pays off for everyone on board. Not only were the excursions—both included and optional—excellent, as was the cuisine, but the camaraderie among the staff was obvious. What a memorable trip! Hopefully, every other passenger on this trip in the future will experience the beauty and history that the Douro River affords as well as Viking’s delightful and personal service.
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wonderful memories on this trip

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We just got home traveling down the Danube from Passau to Budapest. We did the pre stay in Prague. I must start by saying that we were extremely worried about this trip due to the low water situation. Everything about this trip was organized. All the Viking reps and guides were extremely knowledgeable and helpful to answer any questions we had.

Once on the boat we had a large group 18 people of all different ages and the staff took very good care of us. The waiters in the dining room took care of our family as if it was their own and paid close attention to our needs. If we suggested or asked for something it was there for us the next day. Of all the tour guides we had there were only 2 that weren’t that good. All the others were extremely knowledgeable and answered any questions we had. The only thing I would suggest to do different is cut out the 3 hrs we have in Slovakia and either add time to Vienna or Budapest. Those 2 cities are beautiful and it was hard to squeeze everything in. All in all my family had a great time and made wonderful memories on this trip.
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Details

Ship Name

Viking Astrild

Ship Stats

Boasting many of the same popular design elements of our Viking Longships, our new Elbe ships - scheduled to set sail in 2015 - feature state-of-the art engineering, deluxe accommodations and streamlined Scandinavian interiors. Plus, the ships feature customized hulls and engines specially built to navigate this historic river.

Ship Description

  • All staterooms are outside with river view
  • Veranda Suites are 250 square feet, have separate sleeping & sitting quarters, a full veranda & French balcony & 2 flat-panel TVs
  • All staterooms & suites have hotel-style beds with optional twin-bed configuration
  • All Upper deck staterooms have a full veranda or French balcony
  • Private bathroom with shower; premium bath products; bathrobe & slippers upon request
  • 42" flat-panel Sony TV with infotainment system featuring movies on demand plus CNBC, CNN, National Geographic & more
  • Telephone, safe, refrigerator, hair dryer & individual climate control
  • The Lounge & bar with floor-to-ceiling glass doors that lead to an open air Aquavit Terrace
  • Restaurant with windows for panoramic views
  • Sun deck with shaded sitting area & organic herb garden
  • Library corner & onboard boutique
  • Free wireless Internet
  • Laundry service
  • Bottled water replenished daily
  • Voltage: 220V & 110V in stateroom (U.S. outlet)

Deck & Cabin Plans

Features

All Deck & Cabin Plans (affiliate link) Trip Photos (affiliate link)

Optional Activities

Extend Your Cruise With 2 Nights In Berlin

Begin your European journey in Berlin, giving you time to see the many landmarks of this vibrant world capital.

All this is included:

2 nights in Berlin: Hilton Berlin (or similar)

2 breakfasts

Services of a Viking host

Hotel & ship transfers

2017 SEASONAL PRICING

Mar - Apr; Jul - Aug; Nov $499

May - Jun; Sep - Oct $549

Flight & Transport Inclusions

All internal ground transport

Group Size

Standard Group - 25 + people

Cancellation policy

For any cruise/land booking, whether under deposit, partially paid, or paid in full and air-inclusive packages paid in full, the following travel agent or guest-requested situations are considered cancellations and penalties will apply as noted below: changes to departure date; substitutions of itinerary; substitution of another person for original booked guest(s); or changing to a promotional fare. All cancellations must be in writing. For all air-inclusive packages cancelled after issuance of an airline ticket, the air portion of the refund, if any, will be processed only after the return of airline ticket to Viking. The following cancellation charges will be assessed for all written cancellations received prior to departure up to the scheduled time of departure.

Cancellation received | Following charges will apply: (Broken out by days before departure) 121 days or more is $100 per person | 120-90 days is 15% of full fare | 89-60 days is 35% of full fare | 59-30 days is 50% of full fare | 29-0 days is 100% of full fare.

Full Fare is defined as the full cost of any cruise, land or air component purchased from Viking.

Trip ID#:

EleElbVik

Meals Included

5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches and 5 Dinners

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