Three Destinations You Didn’t Know You Can Explore by Cruise
All too often the concept of a cruise is associated with a certain age group who may be quite content to spend all their time being entertained at sea by some onboard variety shows. This is most definitely not the case with river cruises.
One of the most important things to remember about a river cruise is that your companions have a sense of adventure and are on holiday for exploration and learning rather than just sitting in the sun on a deckchair. One example of this type of holiday is an Elbe River cruise.
Most non-Europeans aren’t too familiar with this river, unless they’re historians or complete Europhiles, yet a cruise along this river will take you right through the heart of central Europe and open up a whole new world of pleasure for you.
The river Elbe starts its meandering journey in Berlin. The city is now as famous for its nightclubs as for the infamous wall. Try and visit ‘Berghain’ in a disused power station. Most visitors will have seen Potsdammer Platz on film or in documentaries but a stroll across this iconic square is quite eerie, especially if you make your way to the Reichstag and the Brandenburg Gate.
Look out for fragments of the Berlin Wall; locals are currently up in arms as there are plans afoot to demolish what’s left of the structure and transform the space into a hotel. A Europe cruise is about so much more than just sitting on a boat and letting the world drift by; you’ll really want to get off and explore wherever your boat should take you.
The Elbe will take you right through the former DDR, including the city of Dresden. Despite the heavy bombing that the city sustained in the Second World War, Dresden is still beautiful, thanks in part to its reconstruction by its citizens. Dresden Castle is stunning and still the repository of the Saxon Royal Jewels. The Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) has been totally rebuilt and is well worth a visit.
The journey from Berlin through Eastern Germany also stops off at the home of Meissen Porcelain. This pretty decorative china may not be to everyone’s taste but the craft and skills that go into making one of these pieces are absorbing. You’ll also be able to visit Torgau where the Russian and US forces met in 1945. ‘Perestroika’ in the making, it just took a long time to come about.