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Meissen River Cruises

About Meissen 

Meissen stands on both banks of the River Elbe in Eastern Germany, 16 miles northwest of Dresden and about 60 miles east of Leipzig. Famed for the discovery of porcelain in Europe, and for the first factory in Europe to produce it, Meissen is home to a porcelain-ware brand of the same name. Aside from this heritage it has a wealth of history to its name and is one of the oldest towns in the Saxony region, dating back to 929 when it was founded by the German king Henry the Fowler.

Exploring Meissen 

Meissen is a city overflowing with history, where diners at the stone-walled Schloss Taverne and the old-world Restaurant Vincenz Richter will find themselves surrounded by the guns, armour and dark period woodwork of old Saxony. The view from the river Elbe is dominated by Castle Albrechtsburg and the adjoining Meissen Cathedral, while the cobbled streets of the city are lined with the neat, solid Renaissance architecture of traditional cafes and shops. 

Visitors may have the chance to disembark and visit the Meissen porcelain factory, founded in 1710 and the first factory of its kind in Europe – now a global brand in jewellery, interior design, artwork, fabric and tableware. You can even tour the museum and see the porcelain plates, bowls, tea sets and classical figurines being hand-made, and stamped with their distinctive mark of the blue crossed swords. 

Tours may continue into Meissen’s Old Town to show you around the cobbled streets and Castle Hill, where Albrechtsburg Castle and the impressive Meissen Cathedral share a cramped space overlooking the town. As such, the cathedral is one of the smallest in Europe, but no less beautiful and dramatic for it – being one of the most definitive examples of the elaborate, decoratively-arched Gothic style and a true landmark of the region. 

Meissen certainly has no shortage of wine taverns, despite its location in the smallest wine region in Germany – and the town’s September wine festival is testament to the quality of the local vineyards, where the Gold Riesling grape flourishes. Other seasonal attractions include the Musik-Marathon and the Pianoforte Festival, but it’s in December when the Old Town really comes into its own. Meissen’s historic guildhall and Church of Our Lady frame the scene of a beautiful Christmas market, where fairy-lit market booths offer all the sights, sounds and smells of the season. Even the guildhall itself becomes an enormous advent calendar, with each of its window shutters revealing festive surprises for the 24 days up to Christmas. 

Meissen tips 

Meissen truly comes alive during the festive season, so visiting it as part of a Christmas markets river cruise is an especially rewarding experience. Whatever time of the year you visit however, it presents the perfect opportunity to pick up some quality porcelain for the collection, too.

Meissen Itineraries

Prague

Elegant Elbe - Berlin to Prague

95 sailing dates March 2019 to November 2020
9 Nights From Berlin, to Prague
Viking Cruises logo FROM £2795pp
Meissen

Elegant Elbe - Prague To Berlin

92 sailing dates April 2019 to November 2020
9 Nights From Prague, to Berlin
Viking Cruises logo FROM £2595pp
Dessau

Poland, Prague and the Magic of Saxony

1 sailing date May 2019
11 Nights From Dessau, Germany to , Krakow
Saga Group logo CALL
Dresden

Poland, Prague and the Magic of Saxony

1 sailing date October 2019
11 Nights From Krakow , to Germany , Potsdam
Saga Group logo CALL
Prague

Berlin to the City of 100 Spires Prague to Berlin

1 sailing date April 2019
10 Nights From Prague, to Berlin
Saga Group logo CALL
Prague

Poland, Prague and the Magic of Saxony

1 sailing date May 2019
11 Nights From Dessau, Germany to , Krakow
Saga Group logo CALL
Bad Schandau

Prague and the Magic of Saxony

1 sailing date May 2019
8 Nights From Prague, to Brandenburg
Saga Group logo CALL
Prague

Berlin to the City

1 sailing date April 2019
10 Nights From Berlin, to Prague
Saga Group logo CALL
Berlin

Prague and the Magic of Saxony Dessau to Prague

1 sailing date May 2019
8 Nights From Berlin, to Prague
Saga Group logo FROM £1449pp
Prague

Prague To Berlin

13 sailing dates March 2019 to October 2019
8 Nights From Prague, to Berlin
CroisiEurope logo FROM £1819pp
Magdeburg

New Year's Eve on the Elbe

1 sailing date December 2018
6 Nights From Dresden, to Berlin, Warnemunde
CroisiEurope logo CALL
Berlin

Christmas on the Berlin Elbe In Dresden

1 sailing date December 2018
6 Nights From Berlin, Warnemunde, to Dresden
CroisiEurope logo FROM £499pp

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