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    Hooray for Hamburg
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    Climb the Harz Mountains
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    The canals of Groningen
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    The Hanseatic city of Bremen
River Cruise
River Cruise

Secret Waterways of Germany: Hamburg to Amsterdam

German Waterways

2 passengers
  • VIP travel service included on selected European tours VIP on selected river cruises
  • Full Board Full board

Discover Germany's little-explored waterways

Enjoy a leisurely journey along the little-explored waterways of Germany, navigating canals and rivers that larger vessels can't while discovering historic towns and their sites.


29 meals: 10 breakfasts, 9 lunches and 10 dinners


  • Trip to the Harz Mountains
  • Walking tour of Groningen
  • Bremen city tour

View Full Itinerary

Day 1 UK to Hamburg


Fly to Hamburg and embark MS Johannes Brahms. Enjoy a welcome reception and dinner on board and remain moored here overnight.

Hamburg Germany Europe

Day 2 Hamburg

UNESCO World Cultural Heritage 'Speicherstadt' in Hamburg, Germany

Look forward to an full day in which you can explore Hamburg. An optional excursion this morning reveals the highlights. Your ship will set sail at dinner and moor in Scharnebeck in the early hours.

Hamburg Germany Europe

Optional excursions

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. Walking Grade 2

Hamburg City Hall, Germany
Hamburg Hamburg Germany Europe

Day 3 Scharnebeck

Wake up in Scharnebeck from where you can join an optional excursion this morning visiting the romantic city of Luneberg. Early this afternoon your ship will begin its overnight cruise to Wolfsburg.

Scharnebeck Lower Saxony Germany Europe

Optional excursions

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

The Alten Crane at the historic harbour of Lüneburg
Lüneburg Lower Saxony Germany Europe

Day 4 Wolfsburg to Peine to Hannover

Lake Oderteich in Harz Mountain, Germany

Arrive in Wolfsburg at breakfast time and enjoy an included full-day excursion to the unspoiled Harz Mountains, where you'll visit the historic towns of Goslar and Wernigerode. The ship sails on and pauses briefly in Peine where you rejoin it before cruising towards Hannover where you will moor for the night.

Hanover port Lower Saxony Germany Europe

Day 5 Hannover to Stolzenau to Nienburg

Nienburg, Germany

Depart Hannover in the early hours and sail to Stolzenau from where you can join an optional tour to the city of Minden. Here you can discover fine examples of “Weser Renaissance” architecture, a monument to Kaiser Wilhem, the gothic town hall and 1000-year-old single-nave cathedral.

Afterwards, negotiate the Schachtscleuse lock from the Mittelland Kanal (Midland Canal) to the River Weser and cruise to Nienburg where you'll moor overnight.

Nienburg Lower Saxony Germany Europe

Optional excursions

Minden sits at the crossing of the River Weser and the Mittelland Canal. Discover this characterful city on a walking tour that reveals the beautiful 1,000-year old cathedral and cobbled streets of merchant and nobles’ houses. Look out for their typical Weser Renaissance features – ornate façades featuring carved wood and sandstone decoration. Admire timbered buildings in the Upper Old Town and architecture influenced by Prussian Classicism.

In the heart of Minden you’ll also see the town hall with its 13th century Gothic balcony, the oldest Renaissance-style loggia an outside ‘gallery’ supported by columns in Westphalia.

Walking Grade 3

Village of Minden at Weser River, Germany
Minden North Rhine-Westphalia Rhineland Germany Europe

Day 6 Nienburg to Bremen 🎧

Bremen Market Square

Set sail early this morning and enjoy a leisurely cruise to Bremen where you arrive in the afternoon.

Here, enjoy a fantastic city tour exploring bohemian Viertel and its collection of independent shops, craft studios and galleries; the quirky neighbourhood of Schnoor, a maze of 15th and 16th century houses; and passing St Peter’s Cathedral, enter the main square where you will find the statue of Roland and historical town hall.

Don’t forget to grab the front legs of the donkey on the Brothers Grimm Bremen Town Musicians’ statue for a touch of luck. Remain moored in Bremen overnight.

Bremen Germany Europe

Day 7 Bremen to Groningen

Depart Bremen in the early hours and pause at Schleuse Herbrum lock to embark on an optional tour of the Meyer Werft Shipyard.

Return to your ship in the afternoon and cruise on to your overnight mooring across the Dutch border in Groningen.

Groningen port Netherlands Europe

Optional excursions

MEYER WERFT Shipyard, based in Papenburg, was founded in 1795 and is in its sixth generation of family ownership. The shipyard has achieved an excellent worldwide reputation over the last decades, particularly for its construction of large, modern and sophisticated cruise ships. Indeed, MEYER WERFT shipyard is where Saga’s new ocean cruise ship, due for delivery in summer 2019, is being built. Every year, about 300,000 tourists visit the shipyard to see behind the scenes of state-of-the-art shipbuilding. The visitor centre provides a comprehensive overview of MEYER WERFT’s history and resent-day production. There are also unique exhibits, informative films and a fully equipped mock-up cabin. Walking Grade 2

Cruise shipyard
Oldenburg Lower Saxony Germany Europe

Day 8 Groningen

Martini church tower in Groningen, The Netherlands

Spend a full day in the ancient city of Groningen.

This afternoon join an included walking tour of this bustling university city, which like many a Dutch conurbation is criss-crossed by canals. Groningen prides itself on its diverse architecture, the contrast of which is evident when comparing the public library, built in the 1992, and the neighbouring Calmershuis, a stone house built in 1250. Also, don’t miss the 13th-century Martini church and the Groningen Museum, with its eclectic collections of art.

Groningen port Netherlands Europe

Day 9 Groningen to Lemmer

Lemmer, Friesland, The Netherlands

Early this morning you'll head to Lemmer, cruising across Lake IJsselmeer, formerly the Zuiderzee (South Sea) until it was separated from the Wadden Sea and North Sea by a man-made dyke. The project has created over six-hundred square miles of polders – fertile reclaimed land.

Moor late afternoon in Lemmer and explore the historic town and its network of attractive canals.

Lemmer Netherlands Europe

Day 10 Lemmer to Amsterdam 🎧


Depart Lemmer in the morning, arriving in Amsterdam at lunchtime. Explore the narrow streets, bridges, colourful markets and countless museums and galleries independently. Alternatively, join an optional sightseeing tour of the city’s greatest attractions.

Spend the final night of your holiday moored in the capital.

Amsterdam Holland Netherlands Europe

Optional excursions

This cosmopolitan capital delights visitors with its pretty tree-lined canals – criss-crossed by over a thousand bridges – exquisite architecture and world-class art collections. Enjoy a canal cruise to view such treasures as the famous Skinny Bridge, the Montelbaanstoren tower and the Jewish Quarter. Highlights are subject to change. Walking Grade 3

Pretty tree-lined canals of Amsterdam
Amsterdam Holland Netherlands Europe

Day 11 Amsterdam to UK

After breakfast, disembark MS Johannes Brahms and travel by coach to the airport for your return flight to the UK.

Please note

🎧 Interactive maps and audio headset tours available for exploring independently in Bremen and Amsterdam.

Secret Waterways of Germany: Hamburg to Amsterdam

German Waterways

2 passengers
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Secret Waterways of Germany: Hamburg to Amsterdam

German Waterways

2 passengers