Splendours of Europe
Welcome to Budapest! You will be met and transferred from the airport to the dock. A warm welcome awaits you from your Captain and crew as you board your luxury Emerald Waterways river cruise ship. After boarding, enjoy some time at your leisure to explore Budapest. This evening, join your fellow travellers for a night–time cruise along the Danube, passing under the city’s numerous bridges, whilst enjoying a traditional Hungarian welcome dinner complete with folk dancing and music.
Budapest is Eastern Europe’s liveliest and most cosmopolitan city. Your guided tour takes you past the Royal Palace of Buda, a hilltop castle complex with the Fisherman’s Bastion and Matthias Church, and the iconic Chain Bridge that links Buda and Pest. This evening we bring the culture of Budapest to life with a traditional Hungarian Farewell Dinner, complete with folk dancing and music. This afternoon you depart for Bratislava.
Austria’s vibrant city is a fantastic fusion of old and new. Take a coach tour along the Ringstrasse where you’ll see Vienna’s world-famous Opera House, Burgtheatre, Town Hall and the Hofburg Imperial Palace.
Alternatively, book a Discover More tour to Schönbrunn Palace – Empress Sisi’s former summer residence, complete with an enchanting park. This evening, you have the choice to book a Discover More trip to enjoy a Viennese concert exclusive to Emerald Waterways guests.
You’ll being the day sailing to Dürnstein through the great Wachau Valley – home to the 12th century castle where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned after returning from the crusades or choose to borrow one of the bikes on board and pedal down river to meet the boat in Dürnstein. Later, tour of Austria’s wine-growing region begins in Melk. Here you’ll explore a 900-year old Benedictine abbey which is located above the town on a rocky outcrop. Boasting the finest Italian architecture, elaborate gold leaf walls, a 640ft Imperial Corridor and fabulous fresco ceilings, Melk Abbey is a beautiful sight.
Situated at the confluence of the rivers Danube, Inn and Ilz, is Passau – the “Three Rivers City.” You’ll stroll through the cobblestone streets to find the perfect view of the hilltop Oberhaus Fortress before admiring the wonderfully ornate architecture of St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Afterwards you will return for lunch and an afternoon of cruising along the Danube River.
As an alternative to your included visit to Passau, you may book a full day Discover More excursion to Salzburg or Ceský Krumlov.
This morning’s sailing takes you through the final stretch of the fascinating Main-Danube Canal to Kelheim. As you continue cruising along the Danube River you’ll reach Regensburg, one of Germany’s best preserved Medieval cities. On your guided walking tour you’ll have the chance to see one of the oldest bridges crossing the Danube and the city’s architectural highlights including the Old Town Hall.
In addition to your guided tour of Regensburg, you can book an optional Discover More excursion along the Danube Gorge and a tour of Weltenburg Abbey. This evening’s on board entertainment is a traditional Bavarian Band, playing a mix of contemporary and folk music.
With its colorful past, a tour of Nuremberg has a lot to offer. Stepping into a world of history, you’ll see the 900-year-old ramparts, the Holy Roman Empire’s Imperial Castle, and the Nazi party’s rally grounds. Back on board your ship, you’re invited to the lounge for an interesting and informative lecture on the European Union.
Enjoy a relaxing morning in the comfort of your cabin or taking in the scenery on the Sun Deck or on the terrace as we cruise the Main-Danube Canal to Bamberg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Known as the ‘city of experience’, Bamberg is built on 1,000 years of art and culture. Showing one of Europe’s largest intact Medieval town centers, stylish shops weave between historical buildings and centuries-old gardens.
Würzburg is the “Pearl of the Romantic Road.” You will be taken to the Bishops’ Residenz – Germany’s largest and most ornate Baroque palaces and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The palace’s famous staircase, elaborate 18th century frescoes and amazing three-dimensional stucco work create a truly unique setting. Afterwards, you’ll get to explore Würzburg on a guided walking tour.
You can replace today’s included tour with an optional Discover More full day tour of Rothenburg.
Start the day at Rüdesheim. Enjoy a cable car ride up to the impressive Germania monument. In the afternoon, cruise the mighty Rhine Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Capture the stunning scenery as you sail past storybook castles on the valley’s vine-littered banks before coming face-to-face with Lorelei Rock. Legend says it was haunted by a lovelorn maiden whose singing lured sailors onto the treacherous rocks.
This morning, you’ll enjoy free time on board your ship as you sail to Cologne. Why not take a dip in the heated pool or make the most of the views from the Sun Deck? On arrival, get ready for a guided tour of Cologne – Germany’s oldest city. You’ll take a step back in time to the Old Town, which was rebuilt after its destruction during WWII, and the tour concludes at the Kölner Dom – a UNESCO World Heritage-listed Gothic cathedral and a true masterwork of Medieval architecture. Alternatively you can book a Discover More excursion to Brühl, a town located 20km south of Cologne that’s home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the stunning Augustusburg Palace.
After breakfast you’ll take an included guided walking tour along the cobbled street of Amsterdam to discover its many coffee shops, charming churches and cheese shops. You’ll then take to the waters on an hour-long glass-top canal boat cruise to explore Amsterdam’s picturesque canals. See the city’s bustling streets glide by as you get that perfect picture to bring home.