The MS Katharina von Bora, Frederic Chopin, Koenigstein and Floretina are Nicko Tours riverboats cruising on the Elbe between Berlin and Prague.
German riverboat cruise specialist Nicko Tours has the largest number of cruises on the Elbe River. Nicko Tours uses the MS Königstein, MS Frederic Chopin, and MS Katharina von Bora (all former Peter Deilmann boats) and the MS Floretina for cruising on the Elbe, Vltava, Havel, Spree and canals in the region. Nicko Tours’ boats on the Elbe are generally rated four star with only the Viking Schuman and Viking Fontane more luxurious (and much more expensive). Nicko Tours focus on the German market but its river cruise boat vacations offer great deals for travelers willing to book excursions separately and not insisting on an all-inclusive cruise package deal.
Riverboat Cruise Vacations on Nicko Tours
Nicko Tours is a German tour operator with three decades of experience with riverboat cruise vacations. From 2010, Nicko Tours took over most of the boats and cruise routes of Peter Deilmann, which withdrew from the river cruise market, and has since grew to one of the largest river cruise line companies in Europe.
Nicko Tours are mostly sold on the German travel market but any international traveler can also book cruises on its boats, either directly or through a German or European travel agent. Germany has many riverboat cruise specialists who can probably find the better deal for travelers with some flexibility. An increasing number of German travel agents have English websites and even if the main site is in German, agents can almost always converse in English by phone or email.
Nicko Tours Boats on the Elbe, Vltava and Havel
Nicko Tours has four boats stationed permanently in the Elbe region. The MS Königstein, MS Frederic Chopin, and MS Katharina von Bora are all former Peter Deilmann boats and rated four stars (or at least three-star superior when compared to the latest five-star Rhine and Danube boats with gyms and extensive facilities). The smaller MS Florentina cruises only in the Czech Republic and should be rated three stars in comparison.
The Elbe boats have cabins on two decks with a sun or panorama deck on the roof of the main deck. Cabins on the main deck often have French balconies.
Service and meals are generally rated very well on Nicko Tours boats.
Nicko Tours currently offer three weeklong cruise routes on the Elbe River with departures most weeks from April to November:
The MS Frederic Chopin and MS Katharina von Bora operate weeklong, one-way cruises between Berlin and Prague. Double cabins on these two boats are generally 12m² with a few smaller, single berth cabins offering savings to solo travelers. Cabins on the upper deck mainly have French balconies. The boats can accommodate 80 passengers.
The MS Königstein cruises from Potsdam along the Elbe-Havel canal to Magdeburg, down the Elbe to Havelberg and then up the Havel River back to Potsdam. The Königstein is Nicko’s smallest boat in the region sleeping up to 64 passengers in 30 cabins. The boat has a few three-berth cabins offering savings for families. At 11m² the cabins are typically riverboat small.
The MS Floretina cruises only in the Czech Republic on round-trip itineraries from Prague down the Vltava to Melnik and up the Elbe River to Nymburk (Neuenburg) and back. The Floretina is a mid-class, three-star ship and sleep up to 90. A few single cabins offer savings for solo travelers.
Nicko Tours Riverboat Policies
German is the main language on Nicko Tours riverboats. English may not be used on all cruises but some personnel (and passengers) will speak English in addition to German.
In contrast to Viking River Cruises, which usually offer all-inclusive packages to the international market, Nicko Tours do not include excursions, drinks, and other options. Excursions, if desired, can be booked onboard or in advance. Recommended tipping on Nicko Tours boats is €5-7 per person per day.
Children are generally welcome on Nicko Tours river cruises. Although riverboats traditionally do not have special facilities for children, children under 12 do get 30% discount on most Nicko Tours cruises. The minimum age for children on Nicko boats is three years.
Discount for special birthday and wedding anniversaries are no longer widely advertised but it is always worth enquiring. Mention any special date to a travel agent who may know about discounts (usually 5 to 10%) that may be available from some operators.