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Dresden Cruises & boat tours

Our most recommended Dresden Cruises & boat tours

Dresden: River Sightseeing Boat Cruise

1. Dresden: River Sightseeing Boat Cruise

Discover Dresden's charm and history on a boat cruise down the Elbe River. See the Elbe Valley's most beautiful landmarks and the historic old town of Dresden on this sightseeing boat cruise. Begin at the Terrassenufer and discover the three Elbe palaces: Albrechtsberg Palace, Eckberg Palace, and the Lingner Palace. Travel to the Loschwitz Villa Quarter and pass four of the famous Elbe Bridges, including Loschwitz Bridge, affectionately known as the "Blue Wonder".

Dresden: Elbe River Cruise to Pillnitz Castle

2. Dresden: Elbe River Cruise to Pillnitz Castle

Discover the historic old town of Dresden aboard a ship and admire the most beautiful sites of the Elbe Valley. Start off at Terrassenufer and see the three famous castles: Albrechtsberg, Eckberg, and Lingner Castle, along the Elbe on the way to the villa quarter Loschwitz. Pass the 4 famous Elbe bridges, whose histories affect the city up until now. The most memorable bridge is called Blue Wonder, which gets its name because of the color. Soak up the views of the impressive Pillnitz Palace as your boat drops anchor for roughly twenty minutes. It was built in the 18th century under the Elector of Saxony August the Strong and is now the site of the Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Arts and Crafts) as well as the Schlossmuseum (Castle Museum).

Dresden: Evening River Cruise with Dinner

3. Dresden: Evening River Cruise with Dinner

Glide along the Elbe river after dark and enjoy Dresden’s lights in the evening. Pass the beautifully illuminated Pillnitz Palace, Blue Wonder bridge and old town. Tuck in to a three-course meal and listen to the smooth background music on this river cruise. Board the boat in central Dresden and set off along the Elbe. Cruise under the Blue Wonder bridge and continue past Dresden’s numerous riverside castles and palaces, whose lights shimmer on the river at night. Eat your three-course dinner to a backdrop of live piano music in the boat’s decorated salon. As you return to the city center, enjoy the warm glow of Dresden’s old town at night.

Dresden: Elbe River Cruise to Meissen

4. Dresden: Elbe River Cruise to Meissen

Explore the picturesque Saxon Wine Route on a boat trip from Dresden to Meissen and back. On board the boat you can discover interesting facts about the cathedral town, the cozy wine taverns, and the wine villages in the region. Set off on the paddle steamer in the morning and reach Meissen at midday for a break of 3 hrs. Even from a distance you can discover the silhouette of the town characterized by its castle hill and surrounded by the hills in the Elbe Valley. In the town itself, you can visit the Albrechtsburg with its cathedral. Heading from the pier, simply take a right turn down under the bridge and you'll reach the castle after a 10-minute walk or by using the lift. Take a stroll through the town with its historical wall and visit the town museum or the porcelain factory. Meissen's Frauenkirche is also worth a visit. The church, built in the 15th century, is located in the center of the town, a few minutes walk from the Albrechtsburg. Ride on the paddle steamer back to Dresden and reach the city in the evening.

Dresden: Königstein Fortress Paddle Steamer Cruise

5. Dresden: Königstein Fortress Paddle Steamer Cruise

Witness the versatility of „Dresden Elbe” and the Saxon Switzerland with a cruise between Dresden and Königstein. From bizarrely shaped rock formations via opulent wine-growing districts and fascinating baroque palaces through to the unique skyline of Dresden. Only the city center of Dresden, with the Frauenkirche, Semperoper, and the Brühl´s Terrace, presents priceless views. Above that, you can discover the three beautiful Elbe castles and the Pillnitz Palace and Park along the riverbanks of the Elbe while driving.  In Saxon Switzerland await the cities Pirna, Stadt Wehlen and Kurort Rathen and also Königstein to be spotted. Here you can admire the world-famous “Festung Königstein”, which is 250 meters high and looks back at a history of more than 700 years. This tour offers different options for traveling, like a round trip or single trips with start in Dresden or Königstein. Please check the several journey times.

Bad Schandau/Dresden: Saxon Switzerland Boat Trip

6. Bad Schandau/Dresden: Saxon Switzerland Boat Trip

Discover a unique landscape from this historic paddle steamer and enjoy the journey along the Elbe River. Admire the prettiest scenes of the Elbe valley in Saxon Switzerland National Park. Choose from a return trip starting in Bad Schaundau or a one-way trip from Dresden. Discover the picturesque Old Town with the Canaletto-House and the church St. Marien. Also pay a visit to Sonnenstein Castle for a fantastic view of Pirna. Take a closer look at the 250-meter high Fortress in Koenigstein and the impressive bastion rocks, Basteifelsen, in Kurort Rathen. Settle back and enjoy a delicious cake and specialty coffees while passing small picturesque villages. The National Park Saxon Switzerland, with its diverse flora and fauna, is a paradise for hikers and climbers.

Dresden: Sunset Paddle Steamer Tour on the Elbe River

7. Dresden: Sunset Paddle Steamer Tour on the Elbe River

Gently roll down the Elbe on a relaxing boat trip to Pillnitz and back. Sit back and relax as you float by the scenic landscapes of the Elbe Valley. See the Albrechtsberg castle, the Eckberg castle, the Lingner Castle and the Blue Bridge. Start your tour by boarding a historical steamship in the Terrasanufer, located in the heart of Dresden. Admire the stately manors of the Loschwitzer district. In the 1920s and ’30s, the district was the most expensive living area in all of Europe. Marvel at the vineyards that line the banks of the Elbe. Pass by the 4 famous bridges of the Elbe. Listen to the onboard commentary and learn about the history of the area. Take a peek at your steamboat’s engine. Look down into the engine room and watch the pistons as they propel the boat forward. This is an authentic steamboat, not a replica. Be mesmerized by the soft glow of the evening light at your return to the old city center. Enjoy food and drinks available for purchase onboard.

Dresden: Bridges River Tour

8. Dresden: Bridges River Tour

Pass romantic riverside castles as you cruise to Blasewitz the Blue Wonder Bridge on this group boat tour of Dresden on the Elbe river. Immerse yourself in Dresden's old town and its bridges with this steamer cruise. Once you get to the Blue Wonder bridge, head back to see Dresden's old town. Sail by the Augustus Bridge, the Semper Opera House, and the congressional center to Pieschen. Take in stunning views of of the famous Canaletto view.

From Dresden: Saxon Wine Route Steamer Day Cruise

9. From Dresden: Saxon Wine Route Steamer Day Cruise

Discover the Saxon Wine Route on a Paddle Steamer boat tour. Start the tour in Dresden's old town and travel through the heart of the famous Saxon wine-growing region on the River Elbe. Travel past Radebeul and Meissen and see the famous Meissen Cathedral and the grand Albrechtsburg Castle. Around noon reach the charming wine villages of Diesbar and Seusslitz. After a short stop in each village, the steamer will return to Dresden.

Dresden: Paddle Steamer Cruise & Canaletto View

10. Dresden: Paddle Steamer Cruise & Canaletto View

Experience a 1-hour steamer cruise through Dresden. Board your authentic paddle steamer a few blocks away from the Frauenkirche. Soak up the sun and relax as you enjoy a scenic view of the historical old town of Dresden. After traveling upriver, change course towards Dresden-Übigau. Catch sight of the world-renowned Canaletto View, the view made famous by painter Bernardo Bellotto. Float down the river and admire the Semper Opera House, the Catholic chapel of the palace built by Italian master builder Gaetano Chivari, the Bruehl Terrace, and the Dresdner Frauenkirche. Marvel at the stark beauty of Dresden’s magnificent skyline.

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Frequently asked questions about Dresden

What top attractions are a must-see in Dresden?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Dresden?

The best day trips and excursions from Dresden are:

Saxon Switzerland National Park

Other Sightseeing Options in Dresden

Want to discover all there is to do in Dresden? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Dresden

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 20 reviews

It was a very nice boat trip, where you got to know some sights and their history. You can also order food and drinks while driving. Highly recommended!

My wife and I love the river cruise, the food and the musical entertainment. Everything worked out.

Relaxing steamer trip to Saxon Switzerland, relaxation, pure relaxation, pleasant trip on the Elbr

It was an amazing boat trip, althout due to winter time the last part of the trip was at night

Nice trip on the Elbe with good information and very nice employees