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Cruising the Elbe from Berlin to Prague
Thanks to the MS Elbe Princesse and the MS Princesse II, our new paddle wheel ships, it is possible to sail the from Berlin to Prague all year round since spring 2016. The “shallow water” that characterise Elbe and Moldau Rivers’ water level sometimes during the year, are overcome offering the unique opportunity to discover towns and their prestigious historical centres.
This new generation of boats, inspired by the MS Loire Princesse, the first ship of this type inaugurated in 2015, revolutionised the river cruising world worldwide. The reason for this is that the paddle wheels represent an ancient technique, which was revisited and took advantage of today’s technology to create a brand new forward thinking concept.
The only difference between the Loire ship and the Elbe ships designed by Stirling international and built at the Saint-Nazaire Shipyard under the technical supervision of the CroisiEurope teams: the Elbe Princesse’s paddle wheels are at located at the back of the boat, whereas the Loire Princesse’s paddle wheels are located on either side of it. The Elbe Princesse’s draft is only 90 cm. Its sailing ballast is what enables it to go under the Hořín’s bridge and through its lock to reach and dock in the centre of the “Golden city” Prague, in Czech Republic.
A tasteful and contemporary decoration characterise this two-deck ship, which features 40 cabins of 15 m2 each, for a total capacity of 80 passengers.
The Elbe Princesse is 95m long and 10.50 wide and its interior is bright and radiant, to make the most of the entering light. The restaurant and the bar located at the back of the boat have panoramic windows. The shower room in each cabin offers optimal comfort. WIFI, air conditioning, flat television screens, safe, minibar, hair dryer…all the cabin equipment is featured, including a large sundeck, with deckchairs, for passengers to take full advantage of a relaxing cruise.
CroisiEurope’s travel specialists have put together a unique tailor made cruise programme.
The trip starts in Berlin, the young German Capital city, which up to 1989 used to be divided in two. It is famous worldwide for its rich cultural life and vibrant artistic scene. The city is full of spots, including forest, parks and lakes. Passengers will board their cruise at Berlin Spandau and will discover this fascinating city with a guide. The boat will then sail in the direction of the lakes of the Havel and Potsdam, a great Brandenburg city, which was the second German capital until 1918. It will then travel along the “Pfaueninsel”, where the small castle of Frederick William III of Prussia, also known as Frederick the Great, can be seen. Next, the sumptuous Sans-souci palace and its wonderful gardens can be seen. It is where the monarch used to spend its summers. The former castle can visited as an optional tour during the Elbe cruise.
Magdeburg, which used to be one of the most important cities in the Holy Roman Empire, is the next stopover along the cruise, including a visit of its gothic cathedral.
The visit of the house that nowday’s homes the biggest museum of the Reformation in the word is also part of the programme. Its city centre encompasses wonderful patrician houses in renaissance style.
Next comes Meissen, famous its porcelain factory. This is where passengers can find out more about the hard-paste porcelain production process, and admire some of the most beautiful pieces on show. The town’s gothic castle, the Albrechtburg, is perched in the centre and dominating the Elbe.
In the middle if this itinerary, the MS Elbe Princesse will dock in Dresden, also known as the “Florence of the North”, for its baroque architectural heritage and its numerous art collections. The former Ducal and Royal residence can be visited on foot of by bike: a real pleasure of art lovers.
Bad Schandau is the where a tour of the Elbsandsteingebirge starts, in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. This national park offers spectacular views on the rocks, which can seem like canyons. Passengers can also see the fortress of Koenigstein.
Another jewel on the Elbe: the royal city of Litoměřice, which centre is classed as UNESCO world heritage site. It used to one of the oldest cities of Bohemia.
Hořín’s lock is on the way to Prague, Czech Republic‘s capital and biggest city. Tucked away along the meandering Moldau river, this magical city homes an incredible architectural and cultural heritage. The Castle district looks over the capital is worth a complete tour, including the Palace, the churches and the convents. The passengers’ stay in Romantic Prague is a lovely way to end a 9-day cruise in the heart of one the most stunning Central European regions.