Welcome to Budapest! You will be met and transferred from the airport to your Emerald Waterways luxury 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. EmeraldPLUS: Traditional Hungarian Folklore Show & Budapest Evening Cruise
Budapest is Eastern Europe’s liveliest and most cosmopolitan city. Enjoy a guided tour of the city sights including the Hungarian Parliament Building, the Buda Castle and the Chain Bridge linking Buda and Pest or an exciting hike on the Buda Hill. This afternoon you depart for Bratislava. EmeraldACTIVE: A guided hike to Buda Hill (active fitness level recommended)
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: Home Hosted Coffee and Cake with Slovakians
Today you have a choice of either exploring 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. Alternatively, join the guided bike tour instead of the drive around and guided walk. Then you have free time to sample the wonderful tastes of Vienna. EmeraldACTIVE: Guided bike Tour Discover More: Exclusive Viennese concert with music from Mozart and Strauss (extra expense) AND / OR Schonbrunn Palace tour (extra expense, please note that passengers on this tour will not be able to join the included Vienna tour)
Durnstein - 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. EmeraldACTIVE: Guided hike to Durnstein Castle (active fitness level recommended) or EmeraldACTIVE: A guided biking tour along the Danube River from Durnstein to Melk
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: Tour to Salzburg (extra expense) OR Tour to Cesky Krumlov (extra expense) Please note, you can only choose either the Salzburg or the Ceský as both Discover More tours run at the same time. Also note that passengers 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: Traditional Bavarian Band on board Discover More: Visit to a brewery (extra expense)
Today you will have a sightseeing coach tour of the historic city of Nuremberg. Your coach tour would pass by the 900-year-old ramparts and the Justice Palace where the War Crimes Tribunal sat in 1946. You will also get the chance to pass by the Nazi party rally grounds, where rallies were held from 1933 until 1938. Afterwards take a self-guided tour of the WWII Documentation Centre or instead enjoy free time in the city centre.
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”, Wurzburg is surrounded by sloping hills covered with vineyards. Join our guide for a walking tour of Wurzburg followed by a visit to 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. Discover More: Tour to Rothenburg (extra expense) passengers on this tour will not be able to attend the included walking tour of Wurzburg as both tours run at the same time.
Wertheim - Miltenberg
Today we start from the stunning medieval glass-blowing town of Wertheim, where you have the opportunity to explore on your own. Then, travel by coach 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. After your guided tour enjoy free time until the ship arrives. EmeraldACTIVE: Guided hike to Wertheim Castle (active fitness level recommended)
After breakfast arrive in Rüdesheim, one of Germany’s most popular towns. You will either have a choice of visiting the Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum or if you feel active take a guided hike to a local winery. In your free time, continue exploring and perhaps taste the famous “Rudesheimer Coffee”, made with Germany’s most famous brandy Asbach Uralt. After lunch, the ships will sail through the spectacular Rhine Gorge. We will 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. EmeraldACTIVE: Guided hike through vineyards
The ship sails from Koblenz in the early morning, cruising along the Rhine 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 Farewell Gala Dinner. Discover More: Tour to Drachenburg Castle (extra expense) passengers on this tour will have the guided tour of Cologne afterwards.
The ship sails along the Amsterdam Rijnkanaal and into Amsterdam. This morning you can decide to either enjoy a glass top canal boat tour through Amsterdam’s canal or a guided bike tour. For those on the canal cruise, afterwards continue with an orientation walk followed by free time, to visit some other famous attractions, such as the Rijks or Van Gogh Museums, or simply enjoy the lively atmosphere and watch the world go by. EmeraldACTIVE: Guided Bike Tour
After breakfast, your tour concludes and you will be transferred to the airport for your ongoing flight.