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Best of Rhine and Main Rivers

Starting At:
$2,040 per person
Step back in time and journey along the beautiful Rhine and Main Rivers on a magical voyage through a Europe of centuries past. From Nuremberg, “unofficial capital” of the Holy Roman Empire and one-time staging ground for the infamous Nuremberg Rallies, to Amsterdam, beautiful port city and cultural heart of the Netherlands, your cruise will be filled with an abundance of enchanting architecture, majestic landscapes, fascinating histories, and captivating legends. Witness the slightly-tilted merchant houses lining Amsterdam’s labyrinth of canals. Gaze up at the magnificent Kölner Dom, Cologne’s World-Heritage-listed Gothic cathedral. Sail past Lorelei Rock, and hope that you escape the same unfortunate fate as the sailors of ancient legend. On this once-in-a-lifetime cruise through the Rhineland, you’ll dive headfirst into the region’s fascinating history and culture. More importantly, you’ll get the opportunity to appreciate the splendor of the countryside you’re visiting in a way that can only be experienced by sailing its rivers.

Itinerary Information

Day 1: Nuremberg

Upon arrival to Munich International Airport, you’ll be met by a friendly Emerald Waterways representative and transferred by coach to your deluxe Star Ship in Nuremberg. Embark to a warm welcome from Captain and crew, then take some time to get better acquainted with your new home for the next eight days. Sit down tonight to a lovely Welcome Dinner and a chance to meet your fellow passengers. Afterward, you’ll receive an introduction from your Cruise Director followed by an evening of entertainment in the Horizon Lounge.

Day 2: Bamberg

At the confluence of the Main and Regnitz Rivers sits Bamberg, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its authentic medieval center — one of the largest still intact in all of Europe. Built on over 1,000 years of art and culture, Bamberg is also a great shopping destination. It boasts a number of stylish boutiques snuggled in between historic buildings and centuries-old gardens. Like Rome, Bamberg is a city built across seven hills, each of which is crowned by a handsome church; as such, it is often referred to as the “Franconian Rome.” You will have free time today to visit the Bamberg Cathedral as well as the Old Town Hall if you choose. If time permits, be sure to stop by the Neue Residenz, or New Palace, to take a stroll through its magnificent rose gardens.

Day 3: Würzburg

Tour the Bishop’s Residenz and other landmarks on a guided excursion through this thoughtfully-designed town in northeast Bavaria. The Residenz, a stunning 18thcentury Baroque palace complete with magnificent 18th-century frescoes and well-manicured gardens, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982 and was quoted by Napoleon Bonaparte to be “the nicest parsonage in Europe.” After visiting the palace, enjoy free time to explore Würzburg further on your own. Alternatively, choose to replace today’s guided tour of Würzburg with an optional full-day tour of Rothenburg, Germany’s best-preserved walled town and a true “fairytale” destination.

Day 4: Miltenberg

Enjoy a guided walking tour of picturesque Miltenberg, a rural Bavarian town that lies on the left bank of the Main River at its passage through the Spessart and Odenwald Ranges. Located along the Franconian Red Wine Hiking Trail, Miltenberg is famed for its locally-produced wines. Visit the Market Square to sample some of the best vintages for yourself in one of the town’s many half-timbered houses, or venture up to Miltenberg Castle for wonderful panoramas of the surrounding countryside. Originally a military fortress, the castle is now a museum housing various art collections. The late-Gothic Merchant Hall—an impressive symbol of the town’s past prosperity—is another must-see during your free time today.

Day 5: Rüdesheim - Koblenz

After breakfast, arrive in Rüdesheim, a quaint wine-making town that appears straight off the set of a Hollywood movie. This popular Rhine Gorge destination is filled with excellent restaurants, trendy wine taverns, and tranquil gardens. Upon your arrival, you’ll board the Winzerexpress—a mini-train that will take you through Old Town. Afterward, return to your ship for a scenic afternoon of cruising along the mighty Rhine Gorge. Have your camera ready to capture the stunning scenery as you sail past storybook castles and vineyard-covered mountains, and be sure to keep a sharp lookout for Lorelei Rock which, according to legend, was haunted by a lovelorn maiden whose singing lured sailors to their untimely deaths among the treacherous rocks. Soaring close to 400 feet above the river below, Lorelei Rock marks the narrowest part of the Rhine between Switzerland and the North Sea, and was added as part of the Rhine Gorge to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2002. Early this evening, arrive in the beautiful 2,000-year-old town of Koblenz.

Day 6: Koblenz - Cologne

This morning, arrive in Cologne—Germany’s oldest city! Founded by the Romans in the first century AD, Cologne later flourished during the Medieval Ages as a major trade route between eastern and western Europe. Cologne is a city with an interesting mix of pre-war and modern architecture, almost entirely rebuilt after heavy bombing in WWII. Your guided walking tour today will visit many of the city’s most impressive landmarks, among them the twelve Romanesque churches of the city’s Old Town (Altstadt), and ends with included entrance to the most impressive Cologne landmark of them all— Kölner Dom, a magnificent Gothic cathedral and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Kölner Dom is Germany’s most visited attraction, and its Shrine of the Three Kings is said to house relics of the Three Magi. This evening, the Captain whole-heartedly welcomes you to the Captain’s Gala Dinner.

Day 7: Amsterdam

Goedemorgen and welcome to Amsterdam, capital city of the Netherlands! At the height of the Dutch Golden Age, Amsterdam was the most significant port city in the entire world; today, it is a cultural center and home to countless attractions including the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum, the Red Light District, the Heineken Factory, and of course, the Anne Frank House. Today, you’ll take to the waters on a glass-ceilinged boat to explore Amsterdam’s picturesque canals. Charming churches, 16th-century merchant houses, and a bustling populace on bicycles line the cobble-stoned streets as we sail pass. This evening, join your newfound friends for a few last laughs at our Farewell Dinner.

Day 8: Amsterdam

Your cruise concludes after breakfast when you disembark and are transferred to the airport. Be sure to say your goodbyes this morning before your onward or homebound journey.