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Splendours of Europe

Starting At:
$3,995 per person
In just 15 days, you'll have the chance to experience many of Europe's highlights in one seamless journey along the continent's wonderful waterways. As you sail along the epic Rhine and the fantastic Main and Danube rivers, you’ll weave through the most stunning landscapes sprinkled with charming churches, story-book castles and vine-covered slopes, creating the perfect backdrop for an amazing cruise. Along the way, we take you on a voyage of discovery to a variety of imperial cities including Vienna and Budapest, giving you the opportunity to explore their vibrant culture, which is contrasted brilliantly with the rural districts of Miltenberg.

Itinerary Information

Day 1: Budapest

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.

Day 2: Budapest

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.

Day 3: Bratislava

Today you’ll experience the pedestrian plazas, 18th century Rococo stylish streets of Bratislava. For a more profound insight, you’ll be taken on a walking tour of the Old City with its magnificent Mirbach Palace. Enjoy a hosted afternoon tea with a local Slovakian family. 

Day 4: Vienna

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.

Day 5: Dürnstein - Melk

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.

Day 6: Passau

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.

Day 7: Regensburg - Kelheim

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.

Day 8: Nuremberg

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.

Day 9: Bamberg

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.

Day 10: Würzburg

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.

Day 11: Miltenberg

Take a walking tour of Miltenberg, strolling between its half-timbered buildings and past Miltenberg Castle. Originally a military fortress, the castle is now a museum of art collections. Or be coached to Wertheim where you can take a hiking tour up to Wertheim castle.

Day 12: Rüdesheim - Rhine Gorge

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.

Day 13: Cologne

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.

Day 14: Amsterdam

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.

Day 15: Amsterdam

After breakfast, your tour concludes and you will be transferred to the airport for your ongoing flight.