The Elbe river, measuring 680 miles long, rises in the Krkonoše Mountains before flowing into the lowlands of the Czech Republic and into Germany. It then empties into the North Sea at Cuxhaven. If you’re interested in our other German river cruises, you may like to also consider our Rhine, Main and Moselle cruises.
As with many major rivers, the Elbe is formed by a number of smaller rivers and its main tributaries are the Vltava, Saale, Havel, Mulde, Schwarze Elster, and Ohře rivers.
The course of the river is predominantly natural, thus providing visitors with an unspoiled experience of how the river has appeared throughout history.
Please click on the featured cruises tab below to find the right Elbe river cruise for you.
River Elbe Cruises
One of central Europe’s most important waterways, the Elbe River starts its 680-mile journey in the north-western Czech Republic. It then skirts through Germany before reaching the North Sea.
A cruise along this river is extremely beautiful, with stunning, untouched views that date back hundreds of years. The natural state of the river means there are glimpses of wetlands and woodlands along the way that have avoided too much human interference. This level of preservation also means the waters are an important habitat to many animals and plants.
As well as being a river of beauty, the Elbe provides a trade route as far as Prague, and is linked by canals to Berlin, the industrial areas of Germany, and the Baltic Sea. Key destinations along the Elbe river include Dresden, Meissen and Wittenberg.
A cruise along the Elbe will reveal the great attractions of this fascinating river.
• The Elbe has been left in its natural state meaning you can cruise through history.
• Dresden, known as ‘Florence on the Elbe’, sits on the river. It is full of history, culture and arts waiting to be discovered.
• The House of Meissen is a short trip away from Dresden and features approximately 1,000 years of fascinating history about its porcelain, the city’s most famous export.
• It reaches all the way to Prague, which is deservedly one of Europe's favourite tourist destinations—famed for its beautiful architecture.
• There are many fine wine-producing areas along the route of the river for visitors to explore.
Nicknamed the ‘Florence on the Elbe’, there are few city silhouettes more striking than Dresden’s.
Magdeburg is a beautiful cosmopolitan city filled with squares, monuments, sculptures, towers and churches which depict its colourful past.
Meissen, is best known for its fine porcelain production and you can learn about this on a visit to the House of Meissen,
The attractive town of Melnik sits at the confluence of the Elbe and Vltava rivers and is among the most rewarding destinations for a daytrip from Prague.
The magnificent city of Prague has a wealth of historic sites, a charming old town, pretty squares and an imposing castle plus so much more.