Welcome to Amsterdam, a fascinating 700 year old city of picturesque canals, world class museums, theatres and cafés. 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 Amsterdam. This evening join your fellow travellers for a welcome dinner.
This morning you can decide to either enjoy a glass top canal boat tour through Amsterdam’s canal or a guided bike tour. Return to the ship for your first day sailing through the Dutch countryside passing windmills and sailing through locks towards the Rhine River. Tonight the Captain will be delighted to host a gala dinner. Emerald Active: Guided Bike Tour
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 squares and historical monuments. During your free time shop for handicrafts or visit a local market before returning to your ship. Discover More: Tour to Drachenburg Castle (extra expense and please note - passengers on this tour will have the guided tour of Cologne afterwards)
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 will 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 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. Emerald Active: Hike to Local Winery
Miltenberg - Wertheim
Welcome to 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. The gothic Merchant Hall is an impressive symbol of past affluence created by trade from river traffic. After your included tour of Miltenberg and free time, you will be transferred by coach to the stunning medieval glass-blowing town of Wertheim to enjoy free time until the ship arrives. Emerald Active: Guided hike to Wertheim Castle (active fitness level recommended)
Known as the “Pearl of the Romantic Road”, Wurzburg 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. Discover More: Tour to Rothenburg (extra expense and please note - passengers on this tour will not be able to attend the included walking tour of Wurzburg as both tours run at the same time)
Relax on board this morning as we cruise 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. You will also get the chance see 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.
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 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)
Passau - Linz
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 (extra expense and please note - you can only choose one Discover More as both 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)
Melk - Durnstein
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: A guided biking tour along the Danube River from Melk to Durnstein Emerald Active: A guided hike to Durnstein Castle (active fitness level recommended)
Welcome to Vienna, the capital of classical music. Today you have a choice of either exploring Austria’s capital beginning with a drive along the magnificent 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. If you feel active, join the guided bike tour instead of the drive around and guided walk. Emerald Active: Guided bike Tour Discover More: Exclusive Viennese concert with music from Mozart and Strauss AND / OR Schonbrunn Palace tour (extra expense and please note - passengers on the Palace tour will not be able to join the included Vienna tour)
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. This evening the Captain will be delighted to welcome you to the Captain’s Gala Dinner. EmeraldPLUS: Home Hosted Coffee and Cake with Slovakians
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 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. Emerald Active: A guided hike to Buda Hill (active fitness level recommended) EmeraldPLUS: Traditional Hungarian Folklore Show & Budapest Evening Cruise
After breakfast, it is time to farewell your fellow passengers and disembark the ship for your transfer to the airport.