A most disappointing trip. As veterans of RS trips to Egypt and China, we were expecting a high standard - particularly of education. This trip failed in so many ways that it threatens our continued use of RS. Let's first begin with the astonishingly condescending customer service of Matt Faucher, sadly "Director of Customer Experience". A more condescending and unlistening manager is hard to imagine. Just say no and wonder at the mystery of his continued employment. We were accustomed to the astonishingly well planned prior trips - great guides, and theme ... telling the story of the country. And after all ... this title talks about the "storied" Elbe ... and such possible stories ... the Holy Roman Empire, Luther, the Thirty Years War, the Enlightenment, Communism (the entire trip was behind the "Iron Curtain"), and the velvet revolutions of German unification and the Czech Republic. Total story failure. Nice RS tour guide for babysitting but no interest or competence in stories or history. Local guides hired thru riverboat company of mixed quality but no integrated stories. No theme. No continuity. No university lectures. An example. Riverboat moored 1 km from THE major holocaust museum of Czech Republic. Instead our tour bussed 2 hours to a picturesque, but irrelevant German 17thC fort. Is this what RS calls - education? Riverboat - a French company. Good accommodations. Good food. Bad company. Half the boat were separately contracted French tourists .. that were actually mean and nasty. We assumed RS's good intentions and did not do our own due diligence on river conditions. As it happens, months before the trip it was clear there was low water and it would be unlikely that the Elbe would be fully passable. We were informed by RS of this a week or two in advance - and the trip (not fully disclosed) became 80% a bus tour with a floating hotel. And because of Matt - no real way of expressing this other than this review.