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Home >> Rivers
River Map Summary
The Elbe is the 14th longest river in Europe, flows through Bohemia, Saxony down to Hamburg.

The Name Elbe derives from the ancient indogerman word "albhos" - "white" (river). In modern times it is used for commercial shipping since 1842 as it provides a route between the Hamburg and Prague in Bohemia. The Middelelbe connects to the northgerman canals, thus providing a transport route to the industrial Ruhr Area and the Rhine River at Duisburg.

From its source the Elbe flows southwards, then turns west before it flows north towards the North Sea. At Melnik the Moldau (Vltava) discarges into the Elbe. Actually ithe Vltava is much longer than the Elbe at that point, but due to medieval tradition, the river is still called Elbe. Behind the Czech - German border, the Elbe flows through the Saxony Swiss. North of Meissen the Elbe enters the Northgerman Lowlands. For a short distance the Elbe formed the Inner German border during the Cold War. After it passes Hamburg and its oversea harbour, it discarges into the North Sea.

Total of 7 locks. 6 Locks on the czech side of the border upstream until you reach Melnik (at the confluence of the Vltava). Just close to Hamburg is another lock at Geesthacht. Most cruises end (or start) at Bad Schandau on the german side of the border and transfer to Prague by bus.

Cruise it
A typical two week cruise on the Elbe starts in Hamburg, includes trips to Berlin and ends in the czech capital Prague. If you decide just to go for one week, you will most likely start in Berlin, board in the Magdeburg area and cruise to Prague. Usually cruises do not go the last few miles from Melnik up the Vltava (unlike -2010), so be prepared for some bussing around.
Additional Facts
Altitude Profile
Geographical Facts
Length 1 091 km / 678 mil
Length Airline 563 km / 350 mil
GPS Source 50° 46′ 32.59″ N, 15° 32′ 10.14″ E
Source Elevation 1386 m / 4 547 feet
Mouth Elevation 0 m / 0 feet
GPS Mouth 53° 55′ 20″ N, 8° 43′ 20″ E
Basin Area 148 268 km² / 57 231 mil²
Average Discarge 870 m³/s / 30 724 ft³/s
Waters IntoElbe - North Sea
Runs through countries
Czech Republic - Germany

Upstream KMStation NameYesterday Average
787.00 Melnik 256
718.00 Usti nad Labem 143
695.00 Děčín 110
683.00 Hřensko 139
679.95 Schöna 93
647.33 Pirna 115
626.37 Dresden 77
599.80 Meissen 128
573.60 Riesa 146
553.98 Mühlberg NA
527.85 Torgau 72
497.55 Pretzsch-Mauken NA
481.85 Elster NA
467.86 Wittenberg 121
445.69 Coswig NA
436.38 Vockerode 102
424.16 Rosslau 80
420.84 Dessau 98
407.25 Aken 82
387.18 Barby 75
370.24 Schönebeck 108
356.61 Magdeburg-Buckau NA
355.33 Magdeburg-Strombrücke 84
348.88 Rothensee 126
338.40 Niegripp AP NA
331.36 Rögatz NA
293.74 Tangermünde NA
285.89 Storkau NA
265.94 Sandau NA
234.78 Scharleuk NA
228.02 Wittenberge NA
218.06 Müggendorf NA
207.44 Schnackenburg NA
197.30 Lenzen NA
177.28 Dömitz 117
172.65 Damnatz 210
159.08 Hitzacker 176
145.45 Neu Darchau 179
132.29 Bleckede 596
122.54 Boizenburg 119
113.03 Hohnstorf 447
108.20 Artlenburg 435
98.64 Geestacht 422
96.01 Wehr Geesthacht UP 579