Walk the cobblestone streets of Medieval cities, explore Austria’s wine-growing region and marvel at the fusion of old and new in musical Vienna and eclectic Budapest.
Itinerary also travels in reverse.
Welcome to the “Pearl of the Danube”. You will be met at the airport and transferred to the luxurious surrounds of your Emerald Cruises Star-Ship, where your friendly captain and crew will be waiting to welcome you. This evening, join your fellow guests for a traditional Hungarian dinner followed by an onboard folklore performance.
A traditional Hungarian folklore show
Explore Budapest’s cobbled medieval quarter today, as you embark on a coach tour through the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city centre. Your guide will highlight a number of architectural wonders from across the ages, enabling you to follow a journey from Budapest’s Roman beginnings to the addition of ornate Romanesque and Baroque architecture in the centuries that followed. If you are feeling more active, then you may instead choose to hike to Buda Hill. The surrounding area has been rebuilt several times, most recently following the air raids of WWII. Some 18th-century Baroque houses still stand, best explored from the medieval paths and alleyways in the area around Buda Castle.
A hike to Buda Hill
A guided tour of Budapest
Relax on board as we sail into the capital of Slovakia this morning. This graceful nation of leafy avenues became an independent country in 1993, and since then, Bratislava has flourished as a new capital and made a name for itself as a cultural centre where different styles of music are as readily celebrated as the region’s medieval past. The romantic cobblestone lanes that weave through the city are yours to explore with your local guide, as you enjoy a walking tour of the ancient town centre, including the Slovak National Theatre and a range of Gothic and Art Nouveau buildings. Alternatively, embark on a guided hike to Bratislava Castle, a landmark steeped in legends that looks as though it came from the pages of a child’s fairytale. This striking building has been rebuilt several times over the last millennia, most recently in a Renaissance style.
Local Slovakian entertainment on board
A guided hike to Bratislava Castle
A guided tour of Bratislava
Sweeping boulevards and world-famous art exhibitions welcome you to Vienna, the birthplace of revolutionary breakthroughs in the fields of music and psychology. The city perfectly encapsulates the opulence of the Habsburg Monarchy and their ornate Baroque palaces, some of which you will be able to see during your guided coach tour of the Ringstrasse, followed by a walking tour of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city centre and its surrounding classical architectural styles, evidence of the melting pot of artistic influences that existed here at the turn of the 20th century. If you are feeling more active, then perhaps choose to explore on two wheels, cycling along the river to the Danube Island.
A bike tour in Vienna
A guided tour of Vienna
Tastes of Vienna (extra expense)
An exclusive Viennese evening concert with the music of Mozart and Strauss (extra expense)
Dürnstein - Melk
Effortlessly suspended in time, Dürnstein is one of the most frequented parts of the Wachau wine region, where the delightful warm weather creates the perfect setting for viticulture. Today, you can choose to hike the ruins of Dürnstein Castle, where a delightful panoramic view of the surrounding medieval villages, rows of vines in beautifully arranged vineyards and a forested backdrop is certain to delight. Later, sail through the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wachau Valley, passing medieval villages, terraced vineyards and areas of natural beauty. When you arrive in Melk, enjoy a guided tour of Melk Abbey, originally a lavish castle that was gifted to Benedictine monks during the 11th century. This opulent Baroque building is home to some of the most important collections of medieval manuscripts in the world.
A guided bike ride along the Danube
A guided hike to Dürnstein Castle
A tour of Melk Abbey
Visit to Schallaburg castle (extra expense)
Linz – Ceský Krumlov
This morning, your Star-Ship will dock in Linz and you will be transferred by coach to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed centre of Ceský Krumlov, a town built around a 13th-century castle. Join your local guide to traverse a labyrinth of winding cobblestone streets, passing the colourful façades of buildings that highlight different time periods as you learn about how they have survived the test of time thanks to the regions peaceful past. The town surrounds the national heritage site that is Ceský Krumlov Castle, and your guided tour will include the 15th-century St. Vitus’ Church and a number of delightful High Gothic façades.
A guided tour of Ceský Krumlov
Narrow cobblestone streets and the aroma of freshly baked gingerbread welcome you to Passau, a town nestled on the confluence of three of Europe’s main waterways. This important historic trading centre borders Austria, and a distinctive blend of cultures can be found here. Your local guide will take you on a sightseeing tour of the town, touching on its distinctive historic buildings, including the Baroque St. Stephen’s Cathedral with its ornate columns and arches and the Altes Rathaus, or Town Hall, a collection of eight historic patrician houses that were built between the 14th and 15th centuries.
A hike near Passau
A guided tour of Passau
Bavaria Live (extra expense)
After breakfast, it’s time to disembark the Star-Ship for your transfer to the airport, taking memories of ancient libraries and Europe’s iconic skylines with you.
This itinerary is a guide only and may be amended for operational reasons such as high and low water. As such, the cruise may operate altered from that stated above.