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Tour Itinerary

Berlin: From Nazism to the Wall
Optional Two-Night Pre-Cruise Extension Program
May 12 to May 14, 2018

$1,199 per person, double occupancy | $1,598 per person single occupancy

Our custom-curated, optional, pre-cruise program in Berlin focuses on the city as both the center of the Third Reich and ground-zero for Cold War tensions. The program begins with story of the city during Hitler’s reign, visiting the sites of the Reichstag Fire, the 1936 Olympics, and the ratification of the German surrender in Karlshorst. The following day, uncover the city’s Cold War history with stops along the remains of the Berlin Wall, the Allied Museum, and the Checkpoint Charlie Museum. See how items as small as a broken javelin or pages from a school textbook could symbolize Cold War tensions almost as strongly as the massive and tightly guarded Berlin Wall.

Sofitel Berlin Kurfürstendamm Hotel

Opening of the Summer Olympics in Berlin, 1936 Opening of the Summer Olympics in Berlin, 1936

Day 1: Berlin

After arrival, guests transfer from Berlin Tegel Airport or the Sofitel Berlin Kurfürstendamm (home to the optional, pre-tour extension, Berlin: from Nazism to the Wall) to the MS Elbe Princesse. The onboard journey begins with the opportunity to become acquainted with fellow travelers during a welcome reception and dinner.

MS Elbe Princesse (R, D)

Berlin Cathedral Berlin Cathedral

Day 2: Potsdam

After docking in Potsdam, the tour visits the House of the Wannsee Conference, the building where Obergruppenfuhrer Reinhard Heydrich detailed the “Final Solution,” the extermination of the Jewish population of Europe. On the 50th anniversary of the Conference in 1992, the House reopened as a Holocaust Memorial and Museum. Guests continue to Potsdam and the Cecelienhof Palace, site of the Potsdam Conference where Truman, Attlee, and Stalin discussed the partition of Germany and the trials of Nazi war criminals in 1945.

MS Elbe Princesse (B, L, D)

Wannsee House in Berlin, Germany Wannsee House in Berlin, Germany

Day 3: Magdeburg

Magdeburg has the unfortunate history of having been destroyed twice in its history. During the Thirty Years’ War, the important Protestant city was attacked by a force estimated to have been 40,000 strong. After a day of heavy artillery attacks and several days of looting, many buildings and homes were destroyed, and the city retained only a small fraction of its population following the battle. It never regained its former standing as an equal in importance with cities such as Hamburg and Cologne. In January 1945, a raid by the Royal Air Force again destroyed most of the city, and the Magdeburg Cathedral stands as one of only a few structures to have withstood both attacks.

MS Elbe Princesse (B, L, D)

Aerial view of Magdeburg Aerial view of Magdeburg

Day 4: Wittenberg

As the ship continues south, the tour visits the city of Wittenberg, famous for Martin Luther’s 95 Theses and spared destruction by the Allies during World War II. The catalyst for the Protestant Reformation, Luther’s protests against policies and corruption in the Catholic Church had wide- ranging and long-term effects on the region. Guests stop at the All Saints Church, where the doors commemorate Luther’s actions and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Luther House.

MS Elbe Princesse (B, L, D)

The Martin Luther memorial on the market square in Wittenberg, Germany The Martin Luther memorial on the market square in Wittenberg, Germany

Day 5: Torgau

In Torgau, the story turns to the monumental meeting on the Elbe between American and Soviet forces. The tour visits both sides of the river: the western side where the American advance was ordered to halt, and the eastern side where the Soviets stopped. At the time of the meeting, plans were already underway to split Germany into occupation zones, and the Red Army was attacking Berlin. During the Cold War, this river would form a portion of the boundary between East Germany and West Germany.

MS Elbe Princesse (B, L, D)

View of Cathedral in Torgau View of Cathedral in Torgau

Day 6: Dresden

Dresden was one of the most important centers of modern art and dance in early 20 th -century Germany. Tragically, the Allies firebombed Dresden in 1945, almost completely destroying its architecture, paintings, theaters, and museums. During the attack, POW Kurt Vonnegut survived by securing himself in an underground meat locker. The experience became the inspiration for his acclaimed work Slaughterhouse Five. The creative heart of Dresden's residents remained intact, and painstaking restorations of the buildings continue to this day. Tour members pay a visit to the Bundeswehr Military History Museum, located inside a former arsenal. After lunch, guests continue on to Frauenkirche, the Church of Our Lady. Destroyed during the firebombing of Dresden in 1945, the ruins of the church sat for almost 50 years as a monument to World War II.

MS Elbe Princesse (B, L, D)

View of Dresden from the Elbe River View of Dresden from the Elbe River

Day 7: Bad Schandau

After docking near the Czech Republic border, visitors travel to one of the largest hilltop fortifications in Europe. The Königstein Fortress has been declared impregnable at several times during its history. Saxon kings would retreat to this fortress in times of war or instability, and Saxon treasures would be hidden inside. During World War II, the fortress served as a prison first for Polish prisoners, and later for French officers and generals. In April 1942, French General Henri Giraud escaped the prison by lowering himself down the outer walls and jumping onto a train headed to France. He then traveled to North Africa via a British submarine.

MS Elbe Princesse (B, L, D)

Königstein Fortress Königstein Fortress

Day 8: Litomerice

Outside the town of Litomerice, visit the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp, which primarily housed Jews from Bohemia, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany, and later in the war was a transfer point to the death camps in Poland. To the outside world, the Nazis presented Theresienstadt as a model for Jewish resettlement. Propaganda films showed Jews living a comfortable life under the protection of the Third Reich with art and cultural activities available to all. Included in the films was the children’s opera Brundibar, written in 1938 and first performed by child inmates of the camp.

MS Elbe Princesse (B, L, D)

Aerial view of Theresienstadt, former concentration camp Theresienstadt, aerial view. A military fortress in the late 18th century; a concentration camp in World War II. Czech Republic.

Day 9: Prague

Bid farewell to the MS Elbe Princesse this morning and transfer to the Vaclav Havel Airport in Prague or continue on the optional, post-cruise extension program, Prague: Repression and Revolt.

(B)

MS Elbe Princesse

Prague: Repression & Revolt
Optional Two-Night Post-Cruise Extension Program
May 22 to May 24, 2018

$1,199 per person, double occupancy | $1,598 per person single occupancy

Explore the history Prague, beginning with the Nazi takeover in 1939 and the systematic execution of its Jewish population. As Nazi Germany was in full retreat and nearing surrender in May 1945, the citizens of Prague rose up in rebellion to ensure that the Werhmacht could not continue fighting from Czech territory. The rebellion ended with the German surrender on May 8, 1945, and the Red Army occupied the city. By 1948, a repressive Communist government controlled Czechoslovakia. Visit sites associated with the German occupation and the Communist period, including the Jewish Quarter, Prague Castle, and the Church of Cyril and Methodius, where Reinhard Heydrich’s assassins made their last stand.

Prague Boscolo Hotel

Prague, Charles Bridge Prague

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What's Included in the Tour?

Program Inclusions

  • 8-night river cruise experience aboard the newly launched 4-star MS Elbe Princesse
  • 8 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, and 8 Dinners
  • Welcome and Farewell Receptions
  • Free flow beer, wine, spirits, coffee, water, tea and soft drinks with included on-board throughout the cruise
  • A comprehensive collection of included shore experiences
  • Personal listening devices on all included touring
  • Entrance fees to all sights, museums and attractions, as highlighted
  • VIP access to sites not offered on other tours
  • Video Oral History presentations from the Museum collection
  • Private, first-class, air conditioned motor coach transportation on all shore excursions
  • Roundtrip Airport Transfers (when arriving and departing on scheduled group tour dates)
  • Included gratuities to shipboard crew, guides, drivers, and porters
  • Full-time Logistical Tour Manager
  • Expert local battlefield guides
  • Informative map book including useful battlefield maps and archival images to be used throughout your journey
  • Document wallet, personalized luggage tags and customized name badge
  • Personal journal and pen to document your journey

Accommodations

MS Elbe Princesse

MS Elbe Princesse

The newly launched 4-star MS Elbe Princesse provides all the comforts and amenities of a 4-star hotel. With an ultra shallow draft and unique paddlewheel propulsion, she is also ideal for navigating the water levels of this iconic river.

Her sleek exterior and smartly designed interior spaces are perfect for this unique journey. A full-service lounge with large windows, expansive outdoor seating areas with chaise lounges, and a comfortable dining room that accommodates all guests in a single seating. Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the ship ensures you are able to stay connected to friends and family at home.

Sofitel Berlin Kurfürstendamm

Sofitel Berlin Kurfürstendamm Hotel
(Optional Pre-Cruise Hotel)

The Sofitel Berlin Kurfürstendamm combines art and architecture and this luxurious modern hotel is characterized by elegance and understatement. The exclusive interior design is enhanced by an elegant lighting concept, warm tones and modern art. Rooms include complimentary WiFi, flatscreen TV, walk in closet, Nespresso machine and Bose audio system.

Prague Boscolo

Prague Boscolo Hotel
(Optional Post-Cruise Hotel)

The Boscolo Prague is located in the center of Prague and epitomizes refined elegance, often considered among the most prestigious 5-star hotels of the Czech capital. Stuccoes, marble, classic motifs, precious woods, antique furnishings, rich fabrics, and a mosaic bottom pool speak to the details of luxury everywhere you look.


Map & Deck Plan


Featured historian

Featured Historian Sir Antony Beevor

Sir Antony Beevor

Antony Beevor’s latest book is Ardennes 1944—Hitler’s Last Gamble. He is also the author of the award-winning books Crete—The Battle and the Resistance (Runciman Prize), Stalingrad (Samuel Johnson Prize, Wolfson Prize for History and Hawthornden Prize for Literature), Berlin—The Downfall, The Battle for Spain (Premio La Vanguardia), and D-Day: The Battle for Normandy (Prix Henry Malherbe and the Royal United Services Institute Westminster Medal).

His work The Second World War was another international bestseller. His books have been translated into more than thirty languages and sold over seven million copies. A former chairman of the Society of Authors, he has received honorary doctorates from the Universities of Kent, Bath, East Anglia, and York. He is also a visiting professor at the University of Kent and a Fellow of King’s College London. In 2016, Sir Antony Beevor was made Commander of the Order of the Crown by the Belgian Government. In addition, he received a knighthood in the New Year’s Honours List in 2017, the Pritzker Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing in 2014, and the Norton Medlicott Medal for Services to History in 2016.

Sir Beevor will join the tour as featured historian on the optional pre-tour in Berlin.

Featured historian

Featured Historian Alexandra Richie

Alexandra Richie

Alexandra Richie is an historian of Germany and Central and Eastern Europe, with a specialization in defense and security issues. She completed her B.A. (Hons) in Political Science at the University of Victoria and went on to study at St. Antony’s College, Oxford, where she wrote her doctoral thesis, The Political Manipulation of History in East and West Germany.

Richie is also the author of Faust’s Metropolis: A History of Berlin, which was named one of the top ten books of the year by American Publisher’s Weekly, and Warsaw 1944, which won the Newsweek Teresa Torańska Prize for best non-fiction book of 2014 and the Kazimierz Moczarski Prize for Best History Book 2015.

She has contributed to many articles, documentaries, radio, and television programs, and is the Convener of the Presidential Counselors at The National WWII Museum. She is also a member of the Senate at the Collegium Civitas University in Warsaw, Poland, and the Władysław Bartoszewski co-chair of History and International Studies at the Collegium Civitas.

Featured historian

Featured Historian James Holland

James Holland

James Holland is a historian, writer, and broadcaster. The author of the best-selling Fortress Malta, Battle of Britain, and Dam Busters, he has also written nine works of historical fiction, five of which feature the heroic Jack Tanner, a soldier of the Second World War. He is currently writing a three-volume new history of the Second World War in the West and a book about the Defense of the Admin Box in Burma. The first volume, The War in the West: Germany Ascendant, 1939-1941, is out now and the second, The Allies Strike Back: 1941-1943, will be released in October 2017. He regularly appears on television and radio, and has written and presented the BAFTA-shortlisted documentaries Battle of Britain and Dam Busters for the BBC, as well as the Battle for Malta, Cold War, Hot Jets, and Normandy 44.

Co-founder and Programme Director of the hugely successful Chalke Valley History Festival, he has his own collection at the Imperial War Museum, and is Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He is also an avid cricketer, and plays for both Chalke Valley CC and the Authors CC.

Featured Guest

Featured Historian James Holland

T. Moffatt Burris

From 1940-1945, T. Moffatt Burriss went from Clemson graduate and first-year physics teacher, to a battlehardened paratrooper who fought through Sicily, Anzio, Nijmegen, and the Ardennes with the 3rd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division. At Fort Benning in 1942, Burris volunteered for the paratroopers, lured in part by the extra pay, and in part by a remark from a former ROTC classmate who claimed that paratroopers “never have to dig a foxhole and live in it for three months.” He would end the war as one of only a few Americans to cross the Elbe before the German surrender, and one of the first Americans to enter Berlin.

Burriss distinguished himself in combat in Sicily and Anzio before dropping into the Netherlands for Operation Market-Garden. Tasked with crossing the Waal River at Nijmegen, Burriss faced his toughest challenge to date. The river was swift, and it was a textbook example of an impregnable defense. The Germans claimed the high ground and possessed superior firepower. Burriss and his fellow paratroopers were supplied with collapsible canvas boats and only a few paddles – some men paddled with their rifle butts. The crossing was chaotic, as boats were swept down river or capsized while under fire, but Burris and his men still captured the objective.

After advancing to the Elbe, Burriss crossed the river without permission and persuaded a German three-star general to surrender his entire corps. Burriss thought that his experiences in Sicily, Anzio, Nijmegen, and the Ardennes left his men “prepared for everything, immune to shock, and inured to horror.” Just a few miles east of the Elbe River, a gag-inducing smell hung over the towns. It would lead them to the Wobbelin Concentration Camp, which was beyond anything he could have imagined, “A gruesome and sickening sight.”

Tour Price

All Prices Based on Double Occupancy

Three-Day Pre-Cruise Extension, Berlin: From Nazism to the Wall—Double Occupancy—$1,199 Per Person

Three-Day Pre-Cruise Extension, Berlin: From Nazism to the Wall—Single Occupancy—$1,598 Per Person

Category A Stateroom— $6,495 Per Person—Early Booking $5,995

Category B Stateroom—$5,995 Per Person—Early Booking $5,495

Category C Stateroom—$5,495 Per Person—Early Booking $4,995

Two-Day Post-Cruise Extension, Prague: Depression and Revolt—Double Occupancy—$1,199 Per Person

Two-Day Post-Cruise Extension, Prague: Depression and Revolt—Single Occupancy—$1,598 Per Person

Pricing and itinerary subject to change.
A 60% Single Supplement applies for single accommodation and is available in Category B only.
Port taxes and fees of $199 per person are additional

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