Elbe River cruises travel through Germany and the Czech Republic on a picturesque route characterized by soaring cliffs, storybook castles and medieval towns.
Learn about the life of theologian Martin Luther in Wittenberg -- see the church where he preached and the door where he nailed his famous "95 Theses." In Meissen, visit the factory where the famous fine porcelain has been made since the early 18th century. Sample Bohemian beers in Litomerice, and marvel at the crown jewels of Saxon monarchs at Dresden's castle.
In Potsdam, you can walk through the halls of rococo Sanssouci Palace or the baroque New Palace; both were built by Prussian King Frederick the Great. Torgau has lovely Renaissance houses, while Dessau is home to the English-style gardens of Worlitz Park and Worlitz Castle, which was modeled after an English country manor.
Elbe River cruises offer a relaxing, convenient way to explore this part of Central Europe. You'll unpack only once and settle in for a leisurely cruise. Often, riverboats dock in the center of town, so you don't need to walk far to get to the main sights. These cruises are easy to budget as well, as one price includes your cabin, onboard meals and guided sightseeing.