An iconic glass-top canal boat cruise in Amsterdam marks the beginning of this wonderful itinerary through the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. Promising natural beauty, medieval towns and hikes to hilltop fortresses, four capital cities offer a unique insight into the region’s past, present and future.
- Airfare to Amsterdam and return from Budapest
- 14 nights on board an Emerald Cruises Star-Ship
- Airport transfers to and from the ship
- Dining Highlights:
-41 superb meals including 14 Breakfasts (B), 13 Lunches (L), 14 Dinners (D)
-Including a Welcome and Farewell Reception & Dinner
-Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner on board
- The services of an Emerald Cruises Cruise Director
- Port taxes and charges
- All tipping and gratuities
- Included Excursions
- Canal cruise in Amsterdam
- Guided tour of Cologne’s Old TownVisit
- Visit to Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet Museum
- Guided Tour of Miltenberg
- Walking tour of Wurzburg & Visit to UNESCO World Heritage-listed Bishop Residence
- Guided Tour of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Bamberg
- Guided tour of Nuremberg
- Guided tour of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Regensburg
- Guided tour of Passau
- Tour of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Melk Abbey
- Guided tour of Vienna
- Walking tour of Bratislava
- Guided coach tour of Budapest
- EmeraldPLUS: Exclusive visit to the Glass Art Museum in Wertheim with presentation
- EmeraldPLUS: Traditional Bavarian band performance on board
- EmeraldPLUS: Home-hosted coffee and cake with a Slovakian family
- EmeraldPLUS: Hungarian folklore show performance on board
- EmeraldACTIVE: Guided bike tour to Waterland
- EmeraldACTIVE: Hike to Niederwalddenkmal
- EmeraldACTIVE: Active Walk to Mildenburg Castle
- EmeraldACTIVE: A guided bike tour along the Danube River
- EmeraldACTIVE: Guided hike to Dürnstein Castle
- EmeraldACTIVE: Guided bike tour in Vienna
- EmeraldACTIVE: Guided hike to Bratislava castle
- EmeraldACTIVE: Hike to Buda Hill
- Book by Dec 31: FREE airfare and save $600 per couple! (price reflects discounts)
|Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto||July 15, 2023||July 27, 2023||Pay in Full Save 10%*|
|Panorama Balcony Suite||$8545||$8545||$7661|
|Taxes & Fees||$780||$780||$780|
Paris Extension 3 nights add $1620 per person
Other dates and air from other gateway cities are available. Please call for more details. Terms and conditions apply. *Early payment savings offer is valid for new bookings. Savings are applicable if full payment is received at least 12 months prior to departure. Bookings made within 12 months of departure require full payment at time of booking.
Day 1: Amsterdam (D)
Welcome to Amsterdam, a postcard-worthy destination of picturesque canals, cafés and art galleries.
Here, you ‘ll be met at the airport and transferred to your luxurious Emerald Cruises Star-Ship. After boarding, you can enjoy some time to explore the cobbled streets and gabled houses at leisure.
This evening, join your fellow guests for dinner on board.
Day 2: Amsterdam (B,L,D)
This morning, 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.
Guided bike tour to Waterland
Haarlem Discovery Visit (extra expense)
Day 3: Cologne (B,L,D)
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.
Guided tour of Cologne’s Old Town
Day 4: Rüdesheim (B,L,D)
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 the choice of either riding on the Winzerexpress and visiting Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet Museum or, if you’re feeling active, taking an active hike to Niederwalddenkmal.
Hike to Niederwalddenkmal
Visit to Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet Museum
Day 5: Miltenberg – Wertheim (B,L,D)
Welcome to Miltenberg, a picturesque village on the Main River, boasting an inimitable feeling of medieval Bavaria with its 15th century half-timbered buildings.
On your included walking tour, stroll down the cobblestone streets, lined with these colourful houses and view the Gothic Merchant Hall, an impressive symbol of past affluence. Alternatively, enjoy an active walk through the forest to Mildenburg Castle. This iconic landmark now houses a wonderful collection of contemporary art and old masters.
Later, we will venture to the charming town of Wertheim where, as part of your EmeraldPLUS programme, you will have an exclusive glassblowing presentation at the Glass Art Museum.
Exclusive visit to the Glass Art Museum in Wertheim with presentation
Active walk to Mildenburg Castle
Guided tour of Miltenberg
Vineyard visit & Franconian wine (extra expense)
Day 6: Würzburg (B,L,D)
Known as the “Pearl of the Romantic Road”, Würzburg, is the 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 on a guided tour.
Walking tour of Würzburg and a visit to the Bishops Residence
Excursion to Rothenburg (extra expense)
Day 7: Bamberg (B,L,D)
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.
Guided tour of Bamberg
Day 8: Nuremberg (B,L,D)
Embark on a sightseeing tour of the historic city of Nuremberg, including 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.
Guided tour of Nuremberg
World War II tour (extra expense)
Day 9: Regensburg (B,L,D)
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
Bavarian band performance on board
Guided tour of Regensburg
Visit to a local brewery (extra expense)
Day 10: Passau (B,L,D)
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.
Guided tour of Passau
Excursion to Salzburg (extra expense)
Excursion to Ceský Krumlov (extra expense)
Day 11: Melk – Dürnstein (B,L,D)
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.
Guided bike tour along the Danube
Guided hike to Dürnstein Castle
Tour of Melk Abbey
Day 12: Vienna (B,L,D)
Austria’s breathtaking 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 façades of the Opera House, the Baroque Burgtheater and the Flemish Gothic Parliament before enjoying time to explore Vienna at leisure.
Guided bike tour
Guided tour of Vienna
Viennese evening concert (extra expense)
Visit to Schönbrunn Palace (extra expense)
Day 13: Bratislava (B,L,D)
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.
Home-hosted coffee and cake with a Slovakian family
Guided hike to Bratislava Castle
Walking tour of Bratislava
Skoda tour of post-Communist Bratislava (extra expense)
Day 14: Budapest (B,L,D)
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 on board
Guided hike to Buda Hill
Guided coach tour of Budapest
Excursion to Szentendre (exta expense)
Jewish heritage tour (extra expense)
Day 15: Budapest (B)
After breakfast, it’s time to say farewell to your fellow guests and disembark the ship for your transfer to the airport, taking memories of the delightful Danube 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. Please refer to our terms and conditions for further information.
3 Nights Paris Extension
Day 1 Paris
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.
Day 2 Paris (B)
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 (extra expense)
Day 3 Paris (B)
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)
Day 4 Paris (B,D)
After breakfast, you will be transferred from your hotel to the airport, taking memories of ancient Roman architecture and Parisian cuisine with you.