Common Elbe River Cruise Routes
Cruises along the Elbe River most commonly start in Berlin, Germany and twist their way along the river’s course to Prague, Czech Republic. Although the Elbe River does not connect directly to either city, they are nearby, prominent landmarks and essential stops for travelers and tourists. Tours along the Elbe River consist mostly of river cruises, group tours, and cycling journeys.
Starting from Berlin and heading south to Prague, the most common Elbe River cruise route is as follows:
Berlin, Germany: Kick off your Elbe River journey in Germany’s capital city of Berlin. Rich with history, culture, and prominent monuments, this vibrant metropolis is a perfect start to your Elbe River vacation.
Potsdam, Germany: Home to many exquisite castles, palaces, and parks, Potsdam is a bordering city of Berlin. Frequented by tourists and locals, alike, you will get a great taste of German culture, history, and architecture when visiting this city.
Magdeburg, Germany: Embark on your Elbe River cruise starting in Magdeburg. Here you will marvel at the Gothic-style architecture, including that of the magnificent Magdeburg Cathedral.
Wittenberg, Germany: Another eastern Germany city along the Elbe River is Wittenberg. Here you will find an exciting mix of modern and historic culture. Although a university town in its modern years, Wittenberg is closely linked to Martin Luther and the Lutheran religion as the city of the Protestant Reformation.
Meissen, Germany: Continue your Elbe River cruise to the city of Meissen. Meissen is a quaint eastern German city famous for its porcelain production, coined as “Meissen porcelain.”
Dresden, Germany: Dresden is the capital city of the German State of Saxony. Rebuilt after World War II, this river city’s decorativebaroque architectural style was restored to the beautiful design we see today.
Saxon Switzerland National Park: Make sure to check out this breathtaking national park in the German Free State of Saxony. Located close to Dresden, you can explore the rocky canyon landscape on your Elbe River tour!
Elbe Sandstone Mountains: Straddling the German/Czech Republic border, this remarkable mountain range is a must-see on your Elbe River journey. With varying levels of hikes and walking routes, there will be a scenic activity for every traveler in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains!
Prague, Czech Republic: Elbe River cruises generally end in the popular Czech Republic city of Prague. With its colorful baroque buildings and historic center, Prague is a a top-hit tourist destination, full of life and rich with culture.
What is the weather like in the Elbe River region?
The Elbe River flows from the North Sea down the northeastern region of Germany into the Czech Republic. The weather along the Elbe’s course is variant based on region and time of year. However, weather is considered to be moderate, overall. In the northern and coastal regions, you can find an oceanic climate, characterized by warm summers and mild, cloudy winters. On your Elbe River cruise, Hamburg, Germany is a major northern port city that experiences this oceanic climate.
Moving south, more inland, the weather is continental, with greater contrast between seasons; warmer summers, and colder winters. Cities along the Elbe located in this central region are Magdeburg, Wittenberg, Meissen, and Dresden. When approaching the southern end of the Elbe River, the weather becomes moderately continental, where winters have colder, freezing temperatures, and summers are enjoyably warm. The vivacious capital city of the Czech Republic, Prague, falls into this moderately continental weather region.
Where is the Elbe River?
The Elbe River is primarily located in the northeastern region of Germany. With the North Sea as its outlet, the Elbe River flows from the Krkonoše Mountains of the Czech Republic north through Germany. Hamburg is the most famous northern port city along the Elbe River and sits 110 km (68 miles) southeast of Cuxhaven, the point at which the Elbe River flows into the North Sea. It is one of the most prominent rivers in central Europe and runs 1,094 km (680 miles) in total.
Who will enjoy an Elbe River cruise?
Elbe River tours offer a wide range of opportunities for several different styles of travel. Whether you are interested in active hiking or cycling tours, or more apt to relaxing, leisurely cruises, there is an adventure awaiting you on the Elbe River! On Stride you'll find seven exciting Elbe River cruise options for travelers of all ages, ranging from value to luxury travel. Elbe River tours highlight must-see tourist spots, as well as off-the-beaten-path locations, so there is a cruise option for all your tour styles and travel preferences.
Physical Level Requirements
The physical level of a large majority of Elbe River tours is “easy.” The physical level recommended for each tour depends on the tour style. Active tours, such as “A Cycling Journey: The Elbe River From Germany to Czech Republic,” will be more physically intensive than a river cruise tour.
While traveling along the Elbe River, you can find different activities for every physical fitness level. The remarkable region of Saxon Switzerland National Park offers many outdoor activities, ranging from comfortable strolls throughout the sandstone formations, to more rigorous rockclimbing adventures. Regardless of your level or desire for physical activity on your travels, you will find an Elbe River cruise that best suits you on Stride!
When is the best time to take an Elbe River cruise?
The most popular times for an Elbe River cruise are between the months of May to September. These months are warmer and lead to enjoyable cruises and outdoor activities in route. For this reason, some Elbe River cruises only run from mid-March to mid-November. If you can brave the cold, however, you will find that the off-season winter months are much less crowded, and prices tend to also be cheaper.
One thing to be prepared for with a river cruise is that there are times when water levels are either too low or too high. This is beyond the operators’ control and can be hard to predict. These water fluctuations are more common in the months of June and July.