Welcome to Amsterdam, a postcard-worthy destination of picturesque canals, cafés and innovative galleries that showcase contemporary art and the works of world-renowned artists, like van Gogh and Rembrandt.
You will be met and transferred from the airport to your luxurious Emerald Cruises Star-Ship and, after boarding, will enjoy some time to explore the narrow-cobbled streets and gabled houses of Amsterdam at leisure.
This evening, join your fellow guests for a welcome dinner on board.
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)
Floriade Expo Visit (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
After breakfast, it is time to say farewell to your fellow guests and disembark the ship for your transfer to the airport for your onward or homebound flight, taking memories of the delightful Rhine and Main rivers 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.