Welcome to Amsterdam, a fascinating 700 year old city of picturesque canals, world class museums, theatres and café’s. 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 Amsterdam. This evening join your fellow travellers for a welcome dinner.
Amsterdam - Cruising
This morning board a glass top canal boat and explore Amsterdam’s maze of canals, cruising past 16th century merchant houses and charming churches, dating back to Holland’s Golden Age. 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. After lunch on board, depart on your first day sailing through the Dutch countryside, including canals, locks and windmills.
Enjoy free time on board your ship before arriving into Cologne. Founded by the Romans, and one of Germany’s oldest cities, Cologne is famous for its magnificent World–Heritage listed Gothic Cathedral. Join your guide and explore the city including the Old Town with its beautiful squares and historical monuments. During your free time shop for handicrafts or visit a local market before returning to your ship. Discover More: Take a tour to Drachenburg Castle (extra expense & must be pre booked) with guided tour of Cologne afterwards.
Rhine Gorge - Rüdesheim
Today’s cruising will be a highlight of your trip, as we cruise through the spectacular Rhine Gorge. Keep your camera at the ready as around every bend there are stunning vistas of castles perched above steep vine–covered slopes. We’ll also pass the infamous Lorelei Rock where sailors are said to have been lured onto treacherous rocks by enchanted temptresses. We also pass the impressive Pfalzgrafenstein Castle which was formerly a toll gate perched on an island in the middle of the river. In the afternoon we arrive at Rüdesheim, one of Germany’s most popular towns. Enjoy a cable car ride up to the impressive Germania monument with stunning views of the Rhine Valley, then free time to shop for handicrafts or taste the famous Rudesheim ice coffee.
Arrive into Miltenberg, a picturesque village on the Main River, which creates an imitable feeling of Bavarian life in medieval times due to the Old Town being lined with well-preserved half-timbered buildings. 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).
Known as the “Pearl of the Romantic Road”, Würzburg is surrounded by sloping hills covered with vineyards. After breakfast, visit the Bishops’ Residenz, one of Germany’s largest and most ornate baroque palaces and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your tour highlights the palace’s unique staircase, elaborate 18th century frescoes and the amazing 3-dimensional stuccowork. Then join our guide for a walking tour of Würzburg. Discover More: Rothenburg, a perfectly preserved fortified town (extra expense) guests on this tour will not be able to attend the included walking tour of Wurzburg
Relax on board this morning as we cruise through the Main-Danube Canal, to Bamberg. Feel the magic of the past as you explore this UNESCO World Heritage city with your guide. Boasting one of Europe’s largest intact medieval town centres, Bamberg is bursting with character and charm. At the town centre is the largest preserved old quarter in Europe. Around 2,400 listed buildings and the centuries-old garden quarter form a special cultural heritage. Admire hundreds of building façades richly decorated in fascinating detail with spectacular ornamentation.
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 an EU Lecture.
Kelheim - Regensburg
This morning takes you through the final stretch of the fascinating Main-Danube Canal to Kelheim. Continue cruising along the Danube River to Regensburg, one of Germany’s best preserved medieval cities. On our guided walking tour you’ll have the chance to see one of the oldest bridges crossing the Danube. EmeraldPLUS: Tonight, enjoy a Bavarian Band on board. Discover More: Local brauhaus excursion (extra expense)
Cobblestone streets and graceful arcades welcome you in the beautiful city of Passau. On this morning’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. Return for lunch and an afternoon cruising along the Danube River. Discover More: Tour to Salzburg or Cesky Krumlov (additional cost) guests on these tours will not be able to participate on the included walking tour of Passau
Melk - Dürnstein
Situated within Austria’s wine–growing region, Melk is home to an imposing 900–year old Benedictine Abbey which features Austria’s finest Italian baroque architecture, with its ornate gold leaf walls, 640ft Imperial Corridor and fresco ceilings. Later the ship sails through the spectacular Wachau Valley and on to 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. 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)
Welcome to Vienna, the “City of Waltzes”. Today we will see Vienna’s world famous Opera House, Burgtheatre, Spanish Riding School, Town Hall, St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Hofburg Imperial Palace. Discover More: Exclusive Viennese concert with music from Mozart and Strauss and/or Schönbrunn Palace tour (extra expense)
Set on the crossroads of ancient trade routes in the heart of Europe, Bratislava the capital of Slovakia, embodies various cultures - primarily Celtic, Roman and Slavic. 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. This evening the Captain will be delighted to welcome you to the Captain’s Gala Dinner.
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 with Fisherman’s Bastion, the Matthias Church, and the Chain Bridge linking Buda and Pest. This evening the ship will take you for a night-time cruise along the Danube, passing under the city’s numerous bridges, whilst enjoying a traditional Hungarian farewell dinner, complete with folk dancing and music.
Budapest - Disembarkation
After breakfast, it is time to farewell your fellow passengers and disembark the ship for your transfer to the airport.