You could call the Elbe the ‘forgotten river.’ Often lost in the shuffle of new ships plying the Danube, Main, and Rhine rivers, Viking River Cruises is breathing new life into the Elbe next year with the introduction of two brand-new, Longship-style river cruise ships: Viking Astrild and Viking Beyla. But it’s the journey that really makes this itinerary sparkle.
Operating between April 11 and November 5, 2015, Viking’s Elegant Elbe itinerary begins in the historic city of Berlin. Arguably the epicentre of modern Germany, Berlin is a stunning mix of old and new. There’s the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, and even the famous Hotel Adler – now a Kempinski property restored to its former glory. On the eve of the 25th year since the fall of the Berlin wall and German reunification, modern Berlin is one of the most fascinating cities in Germany.
In Potsdam, guests embark either Viking Astrild or Viking Beyla to begin their journey down the Elbe. On the weeklong journey to Melnik and Prague, guests will have the opportunity to visit four UNESCO World Heritage sites as they sail through the heart of Germany and the Czech Republic.
For those who want to linger, Viking even offers a three-night Pre & Post Package to Krakow, Poland that includes tours of the historic old town center, as well as side excursions to the Wieliczka Salt Mine and one of the darkest sites of human history – the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
Additional Pre & Post Packages are offered, including two nights in Berlin at the Hilton Berlin (or similar) and two nights in Prague at the Corinthia Hotel Prague (or similar.)
The full itinerary:
|Day 1||Berlin||Arrive Berlin Airport; hotel transfer; free time.|
|Day 2||Potsdam / Magdeburg||Transfer to Potsdam; guided tour of Sanssouci Palace or baroque New Chambers / Embark ship|
|Day 3||Dessau||Tour Worlitz Park & Gardens, a UNESCO Site|
|Day 4||Wittenberg / Torgau||Guided walk featuring Martin Luther's house & Castle Church / Guided walk & Hartenfels Castle|
|Day 5||Meissen||Porcelain factory tour and demonstration; guided city walk|
|Day 6||Dresden||Guided city tour featuring Dresden Castle & Green Vault; guided walk to Zwinger Palace and Semper Opera House|
|Day 7||Elbe River / Bad Schandau||Scenic cruising / Bastei excursion with Panoramic Elbe views|
|Day 8||Litomerice||Guided tour through historic city center; sampling of regional Bohemian beers|
|Day 9||Melnik / Prague||Leave your ship & transfer to Prague; panoramic tour of city.|
|Day 10||Prague||Transfer to Prague Airport|
Setting sail on their maiden seasons next spring, Viking Astrild and Viking Beyla are scaled-down versions of Viking’s superb Longships. Because of restricted height and draught clearances, these two new vessels are “Longship-esque” – that is, offering much of the features that have made the Longships so successful, but in a slightly smaller, altered form.
Both river cruise ships will still sport Viking’s trademark Aquavit Terrace all the way forward on Upper Deck, along with two true Veranda Suites. Both Verandas and French Balconies will be offered, along with 14 Standard Riverview staterooms on Main Deck.
Both vessels are quite unique in that they will be among the most modern ships on the Elbe when they enter service next spring.
More information on Viking River Cruises can be found by viewing our company profile here on River Cruise Advisor.