Welcome to Budapest! You will be met and transferred from the airport to the dock. A warm welcome awaits you from your Captain and crew as you board your luxury Emerald Waterways river cruise ship. After boarding, enjoy some time at your leisure to explore Budapest. This evening join your fellow travellers for a night-time cruise along the Danube, passing under the city’s numerous bridges, whilst enjoying a traditional Hungarian welcome dinner complete with folk dancing and music.
Budapest is Eastern Europe’s liveliest and most cosmopolitan city. Enjoy a guided tour of the city sights including the Royal Palace of Buda, hilltop castle complex and the Chain Bridge linking Buda and Pest. This afternoon you depart for Bratislava.
This morning we arrive at the city of Bratislava, capital of the Republic of Slovakia. Enjoy a sightseeing tour including the enchanting Old City with its Town Hall, Mirbach Palace and the Gothic Cathedral of St Martin. EmeraldPLUS: The highlight will be a home hosted afternoon tea with a local Slovakian family.
Today we explore Austria’s capital beginning with a drive along the Ringstrasse, where we will see Vienna’s world-famous Opera House, Burgtheatre, Spanish Riding School, Town Hall, St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Hofburg Imperial Palace. Then you have free time to sample the wonderful tastes of Vienna. Discover More: Exclusive Viennese concert with music from Mozart and Strauss and/or Schönbrunn Palace tour (extra expense)
Dürnstein - Melk
In the morning we arrive in Dürnstein, one of the most enchanting villages of the Wachau wine region. This is the site of the castle where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned after returning from the crusades in the 12th century. Thereafter you drive through the picturesque landscape of this district to the 900-year old Benedictine Abbey of Melk, which features Austria’s finest Italian baroque architecture. Emerald Active: Guided bike tour along the Danube River (active fitness level) or a guided hike to Durnstein Castle (active fitness level recommended – actual hike)
Cruise along the Danube this morning, in the afternoon we reach Passau. Cobblestone streets and graceful arcades welcome you in this beautiful city. On this afternoon’s walking tour, stroll through the old town’s narrow alleys and see the hilltop Oberhaus Fortress from the town below. Visit St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a wonderful example of Baroque architecture and home to Europe’s largest church organ with more than 17,000 pipes. Discover More: Full Day Trips to Salzburg or Cesky Krumlov (extra expense) guests on these tours will not be able to participate on the included walking tour of Passau
Regensburg - Kelheim
After breakfast we arrive in magnificent Regensburg. On our guided walking tour you’ll have the chance to see one of the oldest bridges crossing the Danube and see the city’s architectural highlights including the Old Town Hall. EmeraldPLUS: Tonight, enjoy a Bavarian band on board. Discover More: Excursion to a local brauhaus (extra expense)
Your included choices today include a sightseeing tour of the historic city of Nuremberg. See the storybook 900-year-old ramparts, the Imperial Castle and the Justice Palace where the War Crimes Tribunal sat in 1946. The city tour leads you to the major sights, from the early beginnings to the present. Alternatively, journey to the Nazi party rally grounds, where rallies were held from 1933 until 1938 and take a self-guided tour of the WWII Documentation Centre. EmeraldPLUS: This evening enjoy a lecture given by your cruise director.
This morning we arrive at Bamberg, a UNESCO World Heritage city. Boasting one of Europe’s largest intact medieval town centres, Bamberg is bursting with original character and charm. At the centre of the town is the largest preserved old quarter in Europe.
Known as the “Pearl of the Romantic Road”, Würzburg is surrounded by sloping hills covered with vineyards. Join our guide for a walking tour of Würzburg followed by a visit to the Bishops’ Residenz, one of Germany’s largest and most ornate baroque palaces and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Discover More: Rothenburg, a perfectly preserved fortified town (extra expense)
Travel to the picturesque village of Miltenberg on the Main River. The village creates an imitable feeling of Bavarian life in the middle ages and the Old Town is lined with well-preserved half-timbered buildings. The gothic Merchant Hall is an impressive symbol of past affluence created by trade from river traffic. Enjoy a guided tour of Miltenberg and free time, also an opportunity to join Emerald Active, with a guided hike to Wertheim Castle (active fitness level).
Rüdesheim - Koblenz
After breakfast arrive at Rüdesheim, one of Germany’s most popular towns. Enjoy free time to take the cable car up to the impressive Germania monument with stunning views of the Rhine Valley (operating on selected departures, enquire for details). Today’s cruising will be a highlight of your trip, as we cruise through the spectacular Rhine Gorge. We’ll pass the infamous Lorelei Rock where sailors are said to have been lured onto treacherous rocks by enchanted temptresses. In the early evening we arrive into the beautiful 2,000 year old town of Koblenz.
Koblenz - Cologne
This morning we arrive in Cologne. Founded by the Romans, Cologne is one of Germany’s oldest cities and is famous for its magnificent World-heritage listed Gothic Cathedral and market squares lined with cafes, shops and beer halls. This evening the captain will be delighted to welcome you to the Captain’s Gala Dinner. Discover More: Take a tour to Drachenburg Castle (extra expense & must be pre booked) with guided tour of Cologne afterwards.
Cruising - Amsterdam
The ship sails along the Amsterdam Rijnkanaal and into Amsterdam. Join a glass top canal boat cruise and explore Amsterdam’s maze of canals. Also enjoy an orientation tour of Amsterdam or why not join Emerald Active for a city guided walking tour around the famous landmarks of Amsterdam. You then have free time in the afternoon to visit the Rijks Museum or Van Gogh Museum, or simply enjoy the lively atmosphere and watch the world go by. This evening join your fellow travellers for a farewell dinner.
After breakfast, it’s time to farewell your fellow passengers and disembark the ship for your transfer to the airport.