Day 1 Budapest
Welcome to Budapest. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your luxury Emerald Waterways Star-Ship, before enjoying time at leisure to explore Budapest.
This evening, enjoy an authentic Hungarian folklore show on board, followed by a traditional dinner. Later, join your fellow guests on the Sun Deck for a memorable evening cruise on the Danube, witnessing the illuminated façades of some of Hungary’s most iconic buildings and the delightful UNESCO World Heritage-listed Buda Castle Quarter. (Dinner)
EmeraldPLUS: A traditional Hungarian folklore show
EmeraldPLUS: A Budapest evening cruise
Day 2 Budapest
The ancient Roman city of Aquincum once sat on the site of modern Budapest, where architecture from across the centuries shines a light on the history of the Hungarian capital. Originally two separate cities, Buda on the right and Pest on the left offer incredibly different views on the culture of one of the liveliest cities in Eastern Europe.
Today, you will have the opportunity to explore the city during a guided tour, including Heroes’ Square and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Andrássy Avenue and Buda Castle District. Alternatively, enjoy a guided hike to Buda Hill for a postcard-worthy panorama of the Danube banks. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
EmeraldACTIVE: A guided hike to Buda Hill
EmeraldEXCURSION: A guided tour of Budapest
Day 3 Bratislava
This morning, relax on board as we sail to Bratislava. An ancient landscape awaits, where remarkable towers add to a skyline that perfectly encapsulates the history of the city, and preserved medieval fortifications tell tales of a turbulent past. Your local guide will take you through the heart of the city, as you soak in sights of the lavish Episcopal Summer Palace and the neo-Renaissance façade of the Slovak National Theatre.
If you are feeling more active, then you could instead choose to hike around the serene gardens of Bratislava Castle, offering the perfect environment for the Shakespeare festival that occurs during the summer months.
This afternoon, you will be invited into the home of a local family to learn about their culture over coffee and cake, before being welcomed to the Captain’s Gala Dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
EmeraldPLUS: Home-hosted coffee and cake with a local family
EmeraldACTIVE: A hike to Bratislava Castle
EmeraldEXCURSION: A walking tour of Bratislava
Day 4 Vienna
Set on the banks of the Danube, Vienna has been considered to be Europe’s capital of music for centuries. Viennese Classicism is still highly regarded around the world, as the 18th century brought with it the First Viennese School, consisting of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.
Today, your local guide will take you for a drive around the world-famous Ringstrasse and a walking tour of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Historic Centre of Vienna, including a peppering of lavish Baroque mansions and the Vienna State Opera. If you are feeling more active, then choose to explore on two wheels instead, cycling along the riverbanks before touching on Danube Island and Prater, home to a traditional 19th-century Ferris wheel. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
EmeraldACTIVE: A guided bike tour
EmeraldEXCURSION: A guided tour of the Ringstrasse and Vienna
DiscoverMORE: An exclusive Viennese concert with music from Mozart and Strauss (extra expense)
DiscoverMORE: Tastes of Vienna tour (extra expense)
Day 5 Dürnstein - Melk
This morning, arrive in Dürnstein; a small town nestled in the heart of the Wachau wine region. When you arrive, you will have the chance to hike to the medieval ruins of Dürnstein Castle, the site where King Richard I was held prisoner following his return from the Third Crusade, and part of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wachau Cultural Landscape, a place peppered with natural lookout points that highlight the beauty of the region. Alternatively, enjoy a guided bike ride from Dürnstein to Melk, traversing the banks of the Danube.
Later, sail through the Wachau Valley, a place that showcases a plethora of historic architecture, in the form of monasteries, castles and ruins, and the development of urban design through the ages. When you arrive in Melk, you will be taken for a tour of the 900-year-old Melk Abbey, touching on the lavish surrounds of the former palace and viewing ancient manuscripts in the monastic library. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
EmeraldACTIVE: A guided hike to Dürnstein Castle
EmeraldACTIVE: A guided bike tour along the Danube from Dürnstein to Melk
EmeraldEXCURSION: A visit to Melk Abbey
Day 6 Passau
After a morning of sailing along the Danube, perhaps relaxing with a drink in hand on the Sun Deck, we will take you into the heart of Passau. As the point at which the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers meet, Passau is also known as the Dreiflüssestadt, meaning the “City of Three Rivers”.
Your included guided tour of Passau will unveil its noteworthy Gothic and Baroque architecture. The town was destroyed by a series of fires in the 17th century, leaving a blank canvas for Italian architects to work with.
After your tour, enjoy some free time to explore Passau at leisure, before an afternoon spent sailing towards Regensburg. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
EmeraldEXCURSION: A guided tour of Passau
DiscoverMORE: Tour to Salzburg (additional cost)
Day 7 Regensburg
This morning, we will arrive in Regensburg, a city that has been generously steeped in history, built on the site of an ancient Roman fort that went on to become a major centre for trade during the Middle Ages. Your guided walking tour of Regensburg will showcase its UNESCO World Heritage-listed medieval centre, where ancient Roman architecture can be found sitting alongside 11th – 13th century patrician houses. Narrow cobbled lanes and tall façades help to define the character of this enchanting Bavarian city.
Afterwards, sail down the Main-Danube Canal, passing over a series of aqueducts as panoramas of idyllic landscapes pass by. This evening, enjoy a traditional Bavarian band on board. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
EmeraldPLUS: A traditional Bavarian band on board
EmeraldEXCURSION: A guided tour of Regensburg
Day 8 Nuremberg
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 Roman architecture and the cultural divide in Budapest with you. (Breakfast)
An unforgettable cruise down the iconic Danube & through the heart of old Europe. Walking tours, invitations into the homes of locals & sightseeing excursions showcase the magnificence of yesteryear.
20 meals including 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches and 7 Dinners
Boutique contemporary hotel feel, with spectacular on board heated pool, cinema, spa and lounge (Emerald Radiance Star-Ship pool is located on the sun deck and the Cinema is not available.)
Spacious, comfortable accommodations you'll want to spend time in, with panoramic suites and staterooms, and innovative open-air system for cabins on the Vista and Horizon decks
Gourmet all-included on board meals and highlight dinner events, al-fresco on The Terrace or in the well-appointed Reflections Restaurant
Enjoy in depth cultural experiences with EmeraldPLUS excursions; cheese and olive tasting or Provencal dinner on board hosted by a local chef
Emerald's Concierge Service - served right to your suite, enjoy continental breakfast, pre-dinner canapés and after dinner treats (Only applies to Owner’s One-bedroom Suites, Riverview Suites, and Grand Balcony Suites (CAT S, SA, RA))
A refined selection of wine, beer and soft drinks to accompany lunch and dinner
Tea and coffee available at all times
Bottled water restocked daily in your cabin
Built-in adventure, with an included on shore excursion at every port
Visits to many UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Emerald Active guided biking and hiking tours
Excellent service from an English speaking crew
Knowledgeable, personable local destination guides
Complimentary bicycles on board
Complimentary on board Wi-Fi
All airport transfers to and from your Star Ship, and all gratuities
Port charges now included in your tour price
All gratuities for onboard and shore side staff
Cruising: Cabin onboard Emerald Sun, Emerald Destiny, Emerald Dawn, Emerald Star, or Emerald Sky
The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.