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River Cruise
River Cruise

Hamburg to Heidelberg

The Elbe, Oder and German Waterways

from £2,299 per person 11 2
Including optional travel insurance or a price reduction of £54 if not required
  • New New holiday
  • VIP travel service included on selected European tours VIP on selected river cruises
  • Full Board Full board

Cruise Germany’s intimate and beautiful waterways

Allow Johannes Brahms to take you to parts of Germany that larger river cruise ships can’t reach.

Board your ship in Hamburg where you’ll spend the first two evenings of your holiday. Enjoy an included tour of the city’s highlights and perhaps join an optional trip to see a spectacular light and water show in the city’s verdant Planten and Blomen public park before you set sail. You might wish to join optional walking tours of romantic Lüneburg and Hannover before cruising to Bad Essen and Gelsenkirchen - the first time Saga has visited the cities on a river cruise. Enjoy some free time in Linz am Rhein and Boppard before spending a night in the wine town of Rüdesheim. Moor in the half-timbered gem of Eltville and explore historic Mainz at your leisure before your holiday concludes with a scenic voyage up the River Neckar to spend a day and nights in the historic and beautiful setting of Heidelberg, enjoying an included tour while you’re there.


32 meals: 11 breakfasts, 10 lunches and 11 dinners


  • Hamburg city tour
  • Heidelberg tour and castle visit

View Full Itinerary

Day 1 UK to Hamburg

MS Johannes Brahms

Fly to Hamburg and transfer to the port to embark Johannes Brahms.

Enjoy a welcome reception and dinner on board this evening as you remain moored here overnight.

Hamburg Hamburg Germany Europe

Day 2 Hamburg


After breakfast you can look forward to an included city tour of Hamburg.

Germany's second largest city and Europe's second largest port is officially known as the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, and it was one of the core founders of the medieval Hanseatic trading league. To truly appreciate the sights of central Hamburg you will first enjoy a relaxed coach tour before exploring further on a guided tour which will take you to all the key attractions including Rathaus - the city hall - which resembles London's Houses of Parliament; Alster Lake in the heart of the city; the art deco-era Kontorhaus, which was Europe's first commercial district and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

You'll also have time to stroll along the lakeside boulevard of Jungfernstieg and soak up the ambience of the bohemian, creative hub of Gängeviertel. This evening perhaps take the chance to attend a spectacular water and light display in a park in the heart of the city.

Set sail late tonight and cruise overnight bound for Scharnebeck.

Hamburg Hamburg Germany Europe

Day 3 Scharnebeck

Arrive at breakfast time in Scharnebeck from where you can join an optional excursion this morning visiting the romantic city of Lüneburg.

Early this afternoon your ship will begin its overnight cruise to Hannover.

Scharnebeck Lower Saxony Germany Europe

Day 4 Hannover to Bad Essen

City Hall of Hannover, Germany

You will moor in Hannover early this morning and perhaps enjoy an optional walking tour of the city before your cruise resumes at lunchtime.

Cruise through the afternoon and evening to arrive in Bad Essen late and mooring overnight.

Bad Essen Lower Saxony Germany Europe

Day 5 Bad Essen

The historic marketplace in Bad Essen, Osnabruecker Land

Enjoy the morning at leisure in Bad Essen before setting sail once again at lunchtime.

Bad Essen Lower Saxony Germany Europe

Day 6 Gelsenkirchen

Bridge over the Rhein-Herne-canal, Gelsenkirchen

Cruise along the Rhine-Herne Canal to arrive in Gelsenkirchen early this afternoon. After lunch perhaps join an optional city tour.

Your cruise resumes this evening as you sail through dinner and overnight towards Linz am Rhein.

Gelsenkirchen North Rhine-Westphalia Rhineland Germany Europe

Day 7 Linz am Rhein

Explore Linz

Cruise through the day and arrive in Linz am Rhein before dinner.

Enjoy the evening at leisure as you remain moored here overnight.

Linz-am-Rhine North Rhine-Westphalia Rhineland Germany Europe

Day 8 Linz am Rhein to Boppard to Rüdesheim


Set sail before breakfast and cruise through the morning to arrive in Boppard, in a magical setting in the valley of the mythical Lorelei, at lunchtime.

This afternoon is at leisure. Perhaps explore the town’s Rheinallee waterfront promenade, and the Gothic Carmelite Church, famous for its 15th-century choir stalls. Set sail again late this afternoon and cruise along the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Rhine Gorge towards Rüdesheim.

You’ll pass fabled Lorelei Rock before dinner and moor later this evening with time to venture ashore in search of a local tipple in the atmospheric Drosselgasse.

Rüdesheim Rhineland-Palatinate Rhineland Germany Europe

Day 9 Rüdesheim to Eltville to Mainz 🎧

Eltville, Germany

Enjoy the morning at leisure in Rüdesheim or perhaps join an optional visit to Siegfried’s Museum of Mechanical Music or an optional wine tasting excursion.

Sail through lunch to reach the charming waterside town of Eltville where you have the afternoon at leisure to explore the streets of timber-frame houses in this hidden gem of a town with a brilliant white castle and romantic fortifications. It’s also known for its sparkling wine which you may wish to seek out before you set sail this evening, cruising to Mainz where you moor late tonight.

Mainz Rhineland-Palatinate Rhineland Germany Europe

Day 10 Mainz to Mannheim 🎧

Historic Mainz, Germany

Wake up in historic Mainz, located at the confluence of the Rhine and Main rivers.

It has a large Romanesque cathedral. Behind it, in Gutenbergplatz Square, is a statue of Johannes Gutenberg, the ‘father of modern printing’ who was born in Mainz. There are plenty of Roman ruins to discover, including a huge theatre, an aqueduct and more. Perhaps grab an interactive map and your headphones to conduct a self-guided tour this morning.

You remain moored here until lunchtime. Sail through the afternoon to reach Mannheim after dinner, mooring overnight.

Mannheim Baden-Württemberg Germany Europe

Day 11 Mannheim to Heidelberg


Set sail before breakfast and cruise up the pretty River Neckar to moor in the heart of historic Heidelberg mid-morning.

Spend the rest of the day in the beautiful city, the home of Germany's oldest university, founded in 1386. Highlights include the landmark Old Bridge across the River Neckar and the ruined castle high above the city. It's rather random appearance is due to it having been added to through different periods of German architectural styles. Virtually destroyed by lightning in 1764 it was cannibalised by locals who used stones from it in their own houses! Enjoy a tour of the magnificent Renaissance castle, then a walking tour around the cobbled streets. You can also take the funicular railway up to the peak of Konigstühl – the ‘King’s seat’ – for breathtaking views.

Spend the final night of your holiday at leisure as you moor here overnight.

Heidelberg Baden-Württemberg Germany Europe

Day 12 Heidelberg to UK

Disembark your ship after breakfast for your return journey to the UK.

Please note

Some of the highlights may only be seen by on optional excursions, at an additional cost, or by exploring independently.

🎧 Interactive maps and audio headset tours available for exploring independently in Rüdesheim and Mainz.

Hamburg to Heidelberg

The Elbe, Oder and German Waterways

from £2,299 per person 11 2
Including optional travel insurance or a price reduction of £54 if not required
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Hamburg to Heidelberg

The Elbe, Oder and German Waterways

from £2,299 per person 11 2
Including optional travel insurance or a price reduction of £54 if not required