Cruising the Elbe River
After two nights in Prague embark the Elbe Princesse for a cruise to Berlin. Marvel at the glittering treasures of the Green Vault and the incredible collection of Old Masters paintings at the Zwinger Museum in Dresden. Explore the village of Wittenberg and its Castle Church where Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses. Visit the UNESCO-listed Bauhaus school in Dessau, one of the most influential art & design programs of the 20th century. Stroll the fanciful gardens of Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam and explore Cecilienhof Palace, where Truman, Churchill, and Stalin met in 1945 to redraw the map of Europe.
Depart home on an overnight flight to Prague,the capital of the Czech Republic.
Arrive and transfer to your hotel, located near the Vltava River in historic Old Town. Gather for a welcome reception this evening. Four Seasons Prague (R)
After a morning lecture, join a walking tour to explore Prague’s Old Town including the Jewish Quarter, visiting the haunting Old Jewish Cemetery and the 13th-century Old-New Synagogue, the oldest active synagogue in Europe. Sample regional specialties during lunch at a local restaurant, then spend the afternoon and evening at leisure in central Prague or beyond. Four Seasons Prague (B,L)
Ascend to the imposing Prague Castle, a royal residence as far back as the 10th century and still the seat of the Czech government. Its walls encompass Renaissance-era St. Vitus Cathedral, an imposing structure that incorporates a unique mix of Gothic and Baroque elements; and the Old Royal Palace, one of the oldest parts of the castle, with its elongated throne room and soaring Vladislav Hall, once the site of coronation banquets and indoor jousting tournaments. Stay within the castle walls to stroll along Golden Lane, a charmingly quaint street that dates back to the 15th century. Inside the eleven historic houses that line the lane are period scenes depicting the life of the goldsmiths and other artisans who once lived and worked here. Embark the Elbe Princesse this evening in time for the Captain’s welcome dinner. Elbe Princesse (B,L,D)
Call at Litoměřice, a royal enclave with an official history dating to the 10th Century, making it one of the oldest Bohemian settlements. A well-known trading post of the Holy Roman Empire, its old town is now under the protection of the Czech Ministry of Culture as a national cultural monument and is highlighted by the Baroque St. Stephen’s Cathedral, finished in 1057. Elbe Princesse (B,L,D)
Enjoy a morning of cruising along the beautiful Elbe River through “Saxon Switzerland” to the picturesque spa town of Bad Schandau, a summer resort for more than two centuries. Travel uphill and inland by motorcoach to see the spectacular Bastei rock formations and the pinnacles, ravines, and spectacular river views they provide.Elbe Princesse (B,L,D)
One of the most historically important cities in Germany, Dresden is renowned for its splendid Baroque architecture and world-class art collections. Enjoy a walking tour of the Old Town, including Theater Square and the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady), an outstanding example of Protestant sacred architecture that was rebuilt and reconsecrated in 2005 after being leveled by Allied bombs during World War II. Also, marvel at the glittering displays of precious objects from the late Renaissance and Rococo periods at Dresden Castle’s Green Vault. This afternoon, choose to visit Dresden’s Transparent Factory, a glass-walled facility designed by Volkswagen for the production of its top-of-the-line sedans and expanded into a fascinating interactive exhibition space for innovative future technologies, or enjoy free time to explore Dresden independently. Elbe Princesse (B,L,D)
This morning, visit the Zwinger Palace museum and explore the Old Masters Gallery, where works by Rembrandt, Rubens, and Raphael are displayed. Continue to nearby Meissen this afternoon, where the formula for hard-paste porcelain was developed in 1708. Choose between a visit to the workshop that continues to make the “white gold” by hand and the exquisite collection at the Porcelain Museum, an e-bike excursion along the banks of the Elbe, or independent free time in Meissen’s historic center. Elbe Princesse (B,L,D)
Following a morning of relaxed cruising and shipboard lectures, call at Wittenberg for a visit to the Castle Church, where in 1517 Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door, beginning the Protestant Reformation. Wittenberg’s historic Market Square, spared by the Allies during bombing raids, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On a walking tour of Old Town, visit Luther’s home as well as St. Mary’s Church, where he preached. Elbe Princesse (B,L,D)
Tour the city of Dessau, home of the famous Bauhaus school of architecture and the Wörlitz Garden Kingdom, each of which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See the influential Main Building at Bauhaus as well as the Masters’ Houses, once home to visiting artists such as Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky. Enjoy a gondola ride through the lakes and canals of the English-style gardens at Wörlitz, among the largest gardens in continental Europe. Elbe Princesse (B,L,D)
Arrive in Potsdam to explore the magnificently Rococo Sanssouci Palace and Park, originally sketched by Frederick the Great and now the largest UNESCO World Heritage Site in Germany. Also visit Cecilienhof Palace, where Churchill, Truman, and Stalin met at the historic Potsdam Conference in 1945 and redrew the map of Europe. Enjoy the captain’s farewell dinner this evening. Elbe Princesse (B,L,D)
Disembark and transfer to the airport for flights home, or to the center of Berlin to begin the optional extension. (B)
Cost and Details
The delightful Elbe Princesse, launched in 2016, is specifically designed to navigate the rapidly-changing conditions of the Elbe River using advanced engineering technologies. With stern wheel propulsion and a remarkably shallow draft, she is able to navigate low waters and traverse areas that other vessels operating in this region are not. Accommodating a maximum of just 70 passengers, a warm and intimate atmosphere is created on board. The restaurant accommodates all guests in one sitting, and the lounge is a pleasant space for relaxation with panoramic windows, a large TV, and a bar area. The modern and comfortable cabins all face outside and feature picture windows, a small desk and seating area, independent climate control, a safe, hairdryer, bathroom with full amenities, and TV. With plenty of light in public areas and a large Sun Deck, there is ample opportunity to watch the shoreline gently glide by as you relax on your comfortable floating hotel and take advantage of the open bar. Wifi (intermittent) is accessible throughout the vessel.
Main Deck: (156 square feet, picture window)
$7,990 double, per person
$12,490 single occupancy
Main Deck Single: (118 square feet, picture window)
$11,990 single occupancy
Upper Deck: (156 square feet, large sliding windows with balcony rail)
$8,990 double, per person
$12,990 single occupancy
See brochure for deck plan.
PROGRAM RATES INCLUDE All accommodations, meals, and excursions as specified in the itinerary, including two hotel nights and eight nights aboard Elbe Princesse • Comprehensive program of briefings, lectures, and presentations • Transfers for all participants on group arrival and departure dates • Gratuities to shipboard personnel, porters, wait staff, guides, and drivers for all group activities • Entrance fees and port charges • Welcome and farewell wine receptions • House wine, beer, and soft drinks with all group lunches and dinners • Bottled water on motorcoaches • Complete packet of pre-departure information • Professional tour manager throughout the program
The pace of this tour is moderately active, with considerable walking each day, often over rough, cobblestoned terrain. Participants should be in good health, physically fit, and capable of undertaking this level of activity without assistance from tour staff. By forwarding the deposit, the participant certifies that he/ she does not have any physical or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other participants. SARS-COV-2 (COVID 19) vaccinations are required for all participants as well as tour staff and shipboard crew. Up-to-date COVID-related protocols and procedures will communicated in pre-trip documents.
Expert guides and onboard lectures illuminate the destinations visited throughout the voyage.
Dr. Carla Thorson is Vice President of Programs at the Commonwealth Club. A political scientist who specializes in Russian politics and relations among the former Soviet states and East Europe, she holds a PhD from UCLA, an M.Litt. from the University of Oxford and a BA from the University of Wisconsin. Prior to joining the Commonwealth Club, she was Senior Vice President at World Affairs in San Francisco and worked previously at UCLA’s International Institute, the RAND Corporation, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Inc, and the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX). Her work has focused on the rule of law in socialist regimes and the process of democratization. She enjoys travelling the world and has led and lectured on numerous tours including the Baltics, Finland, Iceland, Russia, Central Asia, China and Cuba.
Terms and Conditions
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Complete Terms and Conditions including a Statement of Responsibility will be made available to you at the time of registration, or in advance upon request. A signed “Terms & Conditions, Release from Liability, Assumption of Risk and Binding Arbitration Clause” is required from each applicant prior to participation on the tour.
U.S. domestic and international airfare is not included in the program rates. Valerie Wilson Travel, Inc., can help with airline arrangements for this trip and can be reached at 877-376-1754. You are also welcome to book your air transportation through your local travel agent, an online travel site, or the airline of your choice.
This program is limited to 62 participants, including travelers from Harvard Alumni Travel, Vanderbilt Alumni Travel, and the National Trust for HIstoric Preservation.
We require membership to the Commonwealth Club to travel with us. People who live outside of the Bay Area may purchase a worldwide membership. To learn about membership types and to purchase a membership, visit our membership page or call (415) 597-6720.
We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance, which is available for coverage of expenses in conjunction with cancellation due to illness or accident. Baggage insurance is also recommended. In the event you must cancel your participation in the travel program, trip cancellation insurance may be the only source of reimbursement. Information will be sent upon registration and can be viewed Travel Insurance Services website
A NOTE ABOUT RATES
Tour rates are based upon current fuel prices, currency values, taxes, tariffs, and a minimum number of participants. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, they are subject to change. If there are significant changes, details and costs will be advised prior to departure
RESERVATIONS & PAYMENTS
A deposit of $1,000 per person is required to reserve space on this program.
Final payment is due December 5, 2022, and needs to be by check or bank transfer. For those who register after December 5, 2022, full payment is due upon registration.
CANCELLATIONS & REFUNDS
Upon payment of the $1,000 per person deposit, all reservations are subject to the cancellation provisions set forth below and by which the passenger agrees to be bound. Cancellations shall not be in effect until they are received in writing and confirmed by Commonwealth Club Travel. Deposits are refundable until December 5, 2022, less a $250 per person administration fee.
Cancellations after December 5, 2022: All payments are 100% non-refundable, regardless of the booking date. Trip cancellation insurance is strongly recommended.
NOTE: Neither the Commonwealth Club nor the tour operator accepts liability for any airline cancellation penalties incurred with the purchase of nonrefundable tickets.
All participants should be in good health and capable of keeping up with an active group of travelers. By forwarding the deposit for passage, the passenger certifies that he/she does not have any physical or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for him/ herself or other passengers. SARSCOV-2 (COVID 19) vaccinations are a requirement for participation on this program. Up-to-date COVID-specific protocols and requirements for this destination will be sent to confirmed participants and are available upon request. Every reasonable effort will be made to operate the program as planned; however, should unforeseen world events and conditions require the itinerary to be altered, the tour operator reserves the right to do so for the safety and best interest of the group. Any extra expenses incurred in this situation are the responsibility of the participant.
CALIFORNIA SELLER OF TRAVEL PROGRAM CST #2088800-40; 2096889-40