- Cultural Dresden
Perhaps visit Zwinger Palace and see works by famous artists, such as Raphael.
- Discover Prague
See the best of Prague during an overnight mooring.
- Historic Wittenberg
Explore the city where Martin Luther lived and worked for much of his life.
- Sandstone Mountains
Visit the unusual wind-eroded rock formations on the border between Germany and the Czech Republic
- Wild side
Cruise through the Elbe’s UNESCO Biosphere to see a wealth of birdlife and stunning scenery.
- VIP on selected river cruises
- Full board
Cruise the unspoilt Elbe, one of Europe’s most intimate and enchanting rivers....
Take this unique opportunity to sail nearly the full length of the Elbe and enjoy the heady mix of cruising past fantastic scenery and wildlife havens and visits to culturally-important cities like Hamburg, Wittenberg, Dresden and Prague…concludes with a two night hotel stay in Prague after nine nights of cruising.
9 nights full-board aboard the ship and 2 nights in a hotel with breakfasts and dinner on the first night
29 meals: 10 breakfasts, 11 lunches and 8 dinners
- Optional travel insurance underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance SE, UK
- Wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
- Return flights and transfers
- Drinks reception and Captain's dinner
- Saga Cruise Host
- Entertainment and activities on board
- Complimentary Wi-Fi onboard
- City tour of Hamburg
- Walking tour of Wittenberg
- Prague city tour
- City tour of Dresden
Day 1 UK to Hamburg
Fly to Hamburg and transfer to the port where you will embark MS Johannes Brahms.
Enjoy a welcome drinks reception and dinner on board as your ship remains moored here overnight.
Day 2 Hamburg
Hamburg is a modern and dynamic city with a rich maritime heritage stemming from its bustling sea port.
Germany’s second-largest city – with a history dating back to Charlemagne – is a vibrant home to art and culture, extensive shopping facilities, baroque buildings and waterfront vistas. This is a city with something for everyone and you can see the highlights on an included tour. British visitors who remember the Swinging Sixties may like to visit the streets around Grosse Freiheit, where an unknown pop group called The Beatles gave their first public performances in various local clubs before achieving worldwide fame. There's also a vast network of canals – crossed by more bridges than any other city in the world.
After an evening in the city, cruise towards Scharnebeck late tonight.
Day 3 Scharnebeck to Wittenberge
Arrive after breakfast and perhaps join an optional trip to the romantic city of Lüneburg, a picturesque Hanseatic town, once a trade hub thanks to its lucrative salt mines.
See the old town which survived both World Wars unscathed but where the houses have become crooked through salt-related subsidence, and the old harbour with its brick salt warehouses. Enjoy some free time afterwards.
After lunch, enjoy an afternoon of scenic cruising through the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve that encompasses the stretch of the Elbe between Lauenburg and Wittenberge.
Day 4 Wittenberge to Tangermünde
This morning is at leisure in Wittenberge, a settlement on the right bank of the river established more than 700 years ago.
The town castle, built in 1669, is now the town museum, and the famous Singer Sewing Machine Company set up here in 1903. Set sail again at lunchtime bound for Tangermünde, where you‘ll arrive after dinner and moor for the night.
Day 5 Tangermünde to Magdeburg
Spend a morning at leisure in Tangermünde, which can lay claim to 1,000 years of history.
Perhaps join an optional tour to seek out the red-brick Town Hall constructed in the 1430s with a mixture of Romanesque and Gothic features and a distinctive colourful facade. St Stephen's Church, completely restored after a devastating fire in 1617, is renowned for its Scherer organ built in 1624 – considered one of the 10 most prominent in Europe.
Resume your cruise after lunch and reach Magdeburg at dinner time. Perhaps venture out for a drink or stroll this evening as you remain moored here overnight.
Day 6 Magdeburg to Wittenberg
Spend the morning in Magdeburg, one of the most historically important cities in Europe, and home to the first Holy Roman Emperor, Otto I.
He and his wife are buried in the impressive Cathedral of Saints Catherine and Maurice. Explore at your leisure this morning.
Depart at lunchtime and cruise towards Wittenberg, arriving late and mooring overnight.
Day 7 Wittenberg to Meissen
This morning go exploring in the historic home town of the preacher Martin Luther where, he nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church, setting in motion the Protestant Reformation. Learn more on an included guided walk which visits the vast UNESCO-listed Market Square, which has a bronze statue of Luther.
MS Johannes Brahms departs Wittenberg at lunchtime and cruises through the afternoon and evening to Meissen.
Day 8 Meissen to Dresden
Your ship arrives in Meissen overnight and this morning an optional tour reveals the city’s highlights, including the world-famous porcelain factory.
Europe’s first white porcelain was produced in Dresden in 1708 meaning it no longer had to be imported from China at great expense. But in 1710 the factory was moved to Meissen, where it was easier to protect the secret processes. You can also admire a castle straight out of a fairy tale, an historic cathedral, and glorious views over the Elbe Valley.
Depart at lunchtime for Dresden, arriving later this afternoon and mooring overnight. Alternatively you can choose to join an optional excursion to infamous Colditz Castle, rejoining your ship in Dresden late this afternoon.
Day 9 Dresden to Bad Schandau
This morning you can discover the restored city of Dresden on an included city tour.
Dresden has a long history as the residence of the electors and kings of Saxony. The city was known as ‘the jewel box’ because of the rich blend of baroque and rococo buildings in the centre. Sadly many of them were destroyed during the heavy bombing raids of World War II. Since the reunification of Germany in the early 1990s, the city has seen a great amount of restoration, regaining much of its former glory. Highlights include Zwinger Palace, Semper Opera House, the Royal Palace and the rebuilt Frauenkirche on Neumarkt Square.
Your ship continues to Bad Schandau this afternoon, arriving before dinner.
Day 10 Bad Schandau to Prague
Disembark in Bad Schandau this morning and transfer across the Czech Republic border to the capital Prague, where you can get your bearings on a coach tour on your way to a two-night stay at a locally rated 4-star hotel with breakfasts and dinner on the first night included.
Day 11 Prague
Today is at leisure so you will have some time to explore the town.
With a history dating back more than a millennium, an endless labyrinth of quirky side streets, a tapestry of different architectural styles, and quite possibly the best beer in the world, Prague is a Bohemian treasure-trove! Highlights include the Old Town Square, where the astronomical clock will intrigue you, and the Church of St Nicholas which has eye-catching frescoes.
The final evening of your holiday is at leisure in Prague.
Day 12 Prague to the UK
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.
This historic Hanseatic town features more than 1,000 historic buildings and has over 1,000 years of history. Its wealth stemmed from salt production, with the sale of ‘white gold’ securing its fortune. The Alter crane at the docks stands as a reminder of the profitable salt trade. Grand gabled houses were constructed during its medieval heyday and remained intact throughout the Second World War. Wandering through the town centre today you can admire the beautiful architecture while doing a spot of window-shopping. Your tour will also take in the imposing Gothic churches, the town hall – one of the oldest buildings in Lüneburg – and the small harbour which once saw so much trade.
Walking grade 3
Optional on 2021 departures itinerary
Meissen walking tour
Enjoy a guided walk amid the restored buildings of Meissen’s Old Town. Admire the Renaissance homes of the clerics of the cathedral, and the grand cathedral itself, alongside Albrechtsburg Castle. Of course the town is best known for its exquisite hand-made porcelain, which is widely collected and exhibited in some of the world’s most famous museums. Visit the factory to see items ranging from extravagant vases to tiny, intricately painted watch-dials and elegant hand-painted figurines, and perhaps treat yourself to a Meissen porcelain souvenir.
Walking grade 3
Optional on 2021 departures itinerary
In 2021 you will cruise for nine nights before a two-night hotel stay in Prague to finish your holiday.