From Paris to Prague, visit some of Europe's most beautiful cities on this 21 day journey including Cologne, Vienna & Budapest with guided tours included.
Itinerary also travels in reverse.
The perfect addition to any trip through the heart of Europe would have to be Paris, the world-famous “City of Light”. This breathtaking capital is known for its unique romantic atmosphere and the laid back style of life that exists here, where a simple stroll down one of its many tree-lined boulevards will unveil a plethora of UNESCO World Heritage-listed monuments and panoramic views of the cityscape. Your itinerary includes a three-night stay.
Today, join a local guide for a tour of Paris, touching on some of its many iconic landmarks. The Notre-Dame de Paris is certain to delight, being one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in the world, as is the Arc de Triomphe, standing tall to one side of the Champs-Élysées. Later, join a river cruise along the Seine to see the Eiffel Tower overlooking the city.
A guided tour of Paris and a Seine River cruise
A retro side car tour of Paris (additional cost)
The storied beauty of Paris is yours to discover independently today, perhaps choosing to visit the mighty Louvre and witness the legendary Mona Lisa, or venturing below the city to explore an intricate labyrinth of catacombs that exists below the colourful streets above. Your tour director will be available to help you plan your day of independent exploration.
Tastes of Paris (extra expense)
Paris – Amsterdam
After breakfast, you will be transferred from Paris to Amsterdam to board your contemporary Emerald Waterways Star-Ship, where you will be warmly welcomed by your captain and crew. This evening, join your fellow guests for dinner on board as you prepare for a cruise through Europe.
This morning, you can decide to explore the Dutch Golden Age as you board a glass top canal boat cruise to explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed canal system or enjoy a guided bike tour to Waterland.
Both excellent ways to experience the city in all its authenticity, take to its charming waterways, passing iconic buildings and elegant merchant’s residences that reflect a time when Amsterdam was one of the most lucrative ports in the world. If you are feeling more active, then explore on two wheels, cycling alongside a backdrop of historical villages and traditional windmills.
Upon returning to your ship, your first day of sailing will take you through the Dutch countryside to the Rhine River.
A guided bike tour to Waterland
A canal cruise
Guided tour of Haarlem (extra expense)
Founded by the Romans in 50 AD, the cathedral city of Cologne is one of the oldest cities in Germany and the largest on the Rhine. The historic capital of the Rhineland, this illustrious city has been generously peppered with ancient architecture, from Roman ruins to medieval structures, despite much of the inner city being completely destroyed during WWII.
Join your local guide and explore the city, including the Old Town with its beautiful squares, historic monuments and contemporary architecture. Your tour will conclude at the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cologne Cathedral, whose filigree twin towers form an iconic part of the skyline. During your free time, shop for trinkets or explore further before returning to your ship.
A guided tour of Cologne’s Old Town
Today’s cruising will be a highlight of your trip, as we meander through the fairytale-like surrounds of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Rhine Gorge. Hilltop castles and fortresses will be yours to admire as we sail.
We will pass the infamous Lorelai Rock, where sailors are said to have been lured onto treacherous rocks by an enchanting siren, and the impressive Pfalzgrafenstein Castle, a former stronghold.
This afternoon, arrive in Rüdesheim, a town with a vibrant wine-growing heritage. You will have a choice of either riding on the Winzerexpress and visiting Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet Museum or, if you feel active, take an active walk through a local vineyard to explore this section of the Rheingau wine region.
An active walk through the vineyards
Visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet Museum
Miltenberg – Wertheim
Welcome to Miltenberg, a picturesque village on the Main River, which creates an inimitable feeling of Bavarian life in medieval times due to the 15th-century half-timbered buildings.
On your included walking tour, stroll down cobblestone streets that are lined with these colourful houses and view the Gothic Merchant Hall, an impressive symbol of past affluence created by trade from river traffic.
Alternatively, enjoy an active walk through the forest to Mildenburg Castle. This iconic landmark was once lost to time and now houses a wonderful collection of contemporary art and old masters.
An active walk to Mildenburg Castle
A guided tour of Miltenberg
Known as the “Pearl of the Romantic Road”, Würzburg, is a centre for grape-growing, the product of the sloping vineyard-laden hills which surround the former capital of Franconia.
The architects behind the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Würzburg Residence drew inspiration from a spectrum of different styles, including Viennese Baroque and secular features from Italy, but it was heavily damaged during WWII. Enjoy learning about how this impressive building was restored to its former glory with a guided tour.
A tour of Würzburg and visit to the Bishop Residence
A tour to Rothenburg (extra expense)
This morning, relax on the Sun Deck with a drink in hand or witness the beauty of Europe’s waterways from the plush surrounds of your cabin as we cruise to Bamberg. The UNESCO World Heritage-listed town boasts one of the largest medieval centres in Europe, with around 2,400 listed buildings gracing its streets.
Feel the magic of the past as you explore the city with your local guide, marvelling at the opulence of the New Residence, once resided in by the prince bishops and now home to a plethora of old German and Baroque paintings from the Bavarian State collection. Enjoy a tranquil stroll around the Rose Garden.
A guided tour of Bamberg
Your included excursion today is a sightseeing tour of the historic city of Nuremberg, touching on the architectural wonders that have inspired famous artists for centuries and exploring the effects that the war years had.
After your tour, enjoy time to explore Nuremberg at leisure, passing half-timbered houses that were beautifully reconstructed following the war.
A guided tour of Nuremberg
A World War II tour with Courtroom visit (extra expense)
Kelheim – Regensburg
This morning, you’ll sail the final stretch of the fascinating Main-Danube Canal to Regensburg. As you continue sailing down the Danube, one of Germany’s best-preserved medieval cities welcomes you with two millennia of history.
For almost 150 years, the Old Town Hall was the seat of parliament and, dating back to the 13th century, it consists of the Town Hall Tower, the Imperial Chamber building and the Town Hall. Wander the streets with your guide as the romantic narrow alleys of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town enable you to live through the city’s history, in the present.
The main highlight of your tour will be the 12th-century Stone Bridge, a medieval structure crossing the Danube. Enjoy time to explore Regensburg at leisure after your guided tour or return to your Star-Ship.
Tonight, enjoy a traditional Bavarian band performance on board.
A Bavarian band performance
A guided tour of Regensburg
Visit to a local brewery (extra expense)
Passau is a picturesque city that has been shaped by the surrounding rivers over the years, sitting right on the confluence of the Danube, Inn and Ilz. This memorable destination is dominated by large squares, magical promenades and romantic lanes.
Cobblestone streets and graceful arcades welcome you in the beautiful city of Passau. On this morning’s walking tour, stroll through streets lined by Baroque buildings dating back to the 17th century and look at the Gothic Town Hall, Bishop’s Residence and St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a wonderful example of Baroque architecture and home to the largest church organ in Europe.
Return for lunch on board and an afternoon peacefully cruising along the Danube.
A guided tour of Passau
A tour to Salzburg (extra expense)
A tour to Ceský Krumlov (extra expense)
Melk – Dürnstein
Situated within Austria’s wine-growing region, Melk is home to a 900-year-old Benedictine abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site, which is yours to explore today during an included tour. Your guide will take you through a series of opulent rooms, each adorned with the finest Italian Baroque architecture and ornate gold leaf walls, including the ancient monastic library, renowned for its extensive collection of medieval manuscripts.
Later, the Star-Ship sails through the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wachau Valley and on to Dürnstein , one of the most enchanting villages in the Wachau wine region, where you can choose to hike to Dürnstein Castle, the site where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned after returning from the Crusades.
Alternatively, enjoy an EmeraldACTIVE guided bike ride along the Danube from Melk to Dürnstein, passing famous vineyards and quaint towns before settling down for a picnic lunch on the riverbanks.
A guided bike tour along the Danube
A guided hike to Dürnstein Castle
A tour of Melk Abbey
Austria’s breath-taking capital is recognised for its cultural legacy. As the former residence of Mozart and Beethoven, a multitude of imperial palaces represent a rich history, and the museum district boasts contemporary buildings, housing the work of some of the world’s most prolific artists.
Explore the famous sights of the Ringstrasse and Vienna’s city centre by coach and on foot, or join a guided bike tour. Marvel at the Renaissance-style arches that adorn the faades of the Opera House, the Baroque Burgtheater and the Flemish Gothic Parliament before enjoying time to explore Vienna at leisure.
A guided bike tour
A guided tour of Vienna
An exclusive Viennese concert with music from Mozart and Strauss (extra expense)
A visit to Schönbrunn Palace (extra expense)
Set at the crossroads of ancient trade routes in the heart of Europe, Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, is a place where Baroque palaces, boutiques and cafés adorn cobblestone streets. In the morning, enjoy a sightseeing tour, including the enchanting Old City or hike to Bratislava Castle.
Your local guide will take you through the heart of the city. Pass by the botanical gardens of the Episcopal Summer Palace, the Old Town Hall and its delightful Renaissance courtyard and the Slovak National Theatre, where busts of famous composers adorn the façade. After your tour, enjoy free time to explore at leisure.
This afternoon, a local family will be happy to welcome you into their home for some great conversation over traditional sweet treats and coffee.
Coffee and cake with a local family
A guided hike to Bratislava Castle
A walking tour of Bratislava
Budapest is Eastern Europe’s liveliest and most cosmopolitan city. Divided by the iconic Danube River, Buda and Pest on either side can be reached via the Chain Bridge, one of the city’s most symbolic structures.
Enjoy a guided tour of the city with your local guide this morning. Alternatively, embark on a hike to Buda Hill, traversing winding cobblestone streets underneath the massive Baroque masterpiece that is Buda Castle.
This evening, you will enjoy a Hungarian folklore show before your farewell dinner.
Traditional Hungarian folklore show
A hike to Buda Hill
A guided coach tour of Budapest
Tour to Szentendre (extra expense)
Jewish Heritage tour (extra expense)
Budapest - Prague
After breakfast, disembark your Star-Ship to be transferred to Prague, home to some of the world’s most pristine collections of architecture from across the ages. Included is a comfortable three-night stay in the city.
The centre of Prague is a true delight, where some of Europe’s most pristine collections of architecture from across the ages can be found. Join a local guide today for a proper introduction to some of these gems, as well as an insightful tour past Mozart’s Theatre and the Astronomical Clock. Later, board a coach and relax as you are transferred to the area around Hradcany Castle.
A guided tour of Prague
Coffee & Cake at Lobkowicz Palace
Prague is yours to explore independently today, perhaps enjoying some delicious Czech treats or immersing yourself in the culture that surrounds you. Your tour director will be available to help plan your day’s exploring and to answer any questions that you may have.
Tastes of Czechia (extra expense)
After breakfast, it is time to bid farewell to your fellow guests and leave Prague’s idyllic centre for your transfer to the airport, taking memories of ancient wonders and idyllic panoramic views of UNESCO World Heritage-listed areas 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.