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Danube Explorer 2020
(Budapest to Passau)

8 days with Emerald Waterways  Rating: Deluxe

Book this River Cruise Now and Save!


  • Fly for free from select gateways or save $2,000 per couple. Expires November 23. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Active and retired military personnel save 10% off this cruises. Expires November 27. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Save an additional $650 per couple off this cruise. Expires November 23. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Save an additional $500 per couple when you book a suite on the Horizon Deck. Expires November 23. Click here for eligible departures.

Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some discounts are not combinable.

River Cruise Itinerary

Day 1 Budapest
Welcome to the “Pearl of the Danube”. You will be met at the airport and transferred to the luxurious surrounds of your Emerald Waterways Star-Ship, where your friendly captain and crew will be waiting to welcome you.

This evening, join your fellow guests for a traditional Hungarian dinner and folklore performance, before a night-time cruise along the Danube showcases the illuminated façades of some of the capital’s most illustrious buildings, including the magnificent domed Parliament. Relax on the Sun Deck and watch the way that the city lights dance across the surface of the water. (Dinner)

EmeraldPLUS: A traditional Hungarian folklore show

EmeraldPLUS: An evening cruise through Budapest

Day 2 Budapest
Explore Budapest’s cobbled medieval quarter today, as you embark on a coach tour through the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city centre. Your guide will highlight a number of architectural wonders from across the ages, enabling you to follow a journey from Budapest’s Roman beginnings to the addition of ornate Romanesque and Baroque architecture in the centuries that followed.

If you are feeling more active, then you may instead choose to hike to Buda Hill. The surrounding area has been rebuilt several times, most recently following the air raids of WWII. Some 18th-century Baroque houses still stand, best explored from the medieval paths and alleyways in the area around Buda Castle. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

EmeraldACTIVE: A guided hike to Buda Hill

EmeraldEXCURSION: A guided tour of Budapest

Day 3 Bratislava
Relax on board as we sail into the capital of Slovakia this morning. This graceful nation of leafy avenues became an independent country in 1993, and since then, Bratislava has flourished as a new capital and made a name for itself as a cultural centre where different styles of music are as readily celebrated as the region’s medieval past. The romantic cobblestone lanes that weave through the city are yours to explore with your local guide, as you enjoy a walking tour of the ancient town centre, including the Slovak National Theatre and a range of Gothic and Art Nouveau buildings.

Alternatively, embark on a guided hike to Bratislava Castle, a landmark steeped in legends that looks as though it came from the pages of a child’s fairytale. This striking building has been rebuilt several times over the last millennia, most recently in a Renaissance style. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

EmeraldPLUS: Local Slovakian entertainment on board

EmeraldACTIVE: A guided hike to Bratislava Castle

EmeraldEXCURSION: A guided tour of Bratislava

Day 4 Vienna
Sweeping boulevards and world-famous art exhibitions welcome you to Vienna, the birthplace of revolutionary breakthroughs in the fields of music and psychology. The city perfectly encapsulates the opulence of the Habsburg Monarchy and their ornate Baroque palaces, some of which you will be able to see during your guided coach tour of the Ringstrasse, followed by a walking tour of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city centre and its surrounding classical architectural styles, evidence of the melting pot of artistic influences that existed here at the turn of the 20th century.

If you are feeling more active, then perhaps choose to explore on two wheels, cycling along the river to Danube Island, before reaching Prater and its nostalgic 19th-century Ferris wheel. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

EmeraldACTIVE: A bike tour

EmeraldEXCURSION: A guided tour of the Ringstrasse and Vienna

DiscoverMORE: Tastes of Vienna tour (extra expense)

DiscoverMORE: An exclusive Viennese evening concert with the music of Mozart and Strauss (extra expense)

Day 5 Dürnstein - Melk
Effortlessly suspended in time, Dürnstein is one of the most frequented parts of the Wachau wine region, where the delightful warm weather creates the perfect setting for viticulture. Today, you can choose to hike the ruins of Dürnstein Castle, where a delightful panoramic view of the surrounding medieval villages, rows of vines in beautifully arranged vineyards and a forested backdrop is certain to delight.

Later, sail through the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wachau Valley, passing medieval villages, terraced vineyards and areas of natural beauty. When you arrive in Melk, enjoy a guided tour of Melk Abbey, originally a lavish castle that was gifted to Benedictine monks during the 11th century. This opulent Baroque building is home to some of the most important collections of medieval manuscripts in the world, as well as some of the most photographed spiral staircases. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

EmeraldACTIVE: A guided bike ride along the Danube

EmeraldACTIVE: A guided hike to Dürnstein Castle

EmeraldEXCURSION: A tour of Melk Abbey

Day 6 Linz – Ceský Krumlov
This morning, your Star-Ship will dock in Linz and you will be transferred by coach to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed centre of Ceský Krumlov, a town built around a 13th-century castle. Join your local guide to traverse a labyrinth of winding cobblestone streets, passing the colourful façades of buildings that highlight different time periods as you learn about how they have survived the test of time thanks to the regions peaceful past. The town surrounds the national heritage site that is Ceský Krumlov Castle, and your guided tour will include the 15th-century St. Vitus’ Church and a number of delightful High Gothic façades. (Breakfast, Dinner)

EmeraldPLUS: A guided tour of Ceský Krumlov

Day 7 Passau
Narrow cobblestone streets and the aroma of freshly baked gingerbread welcome you to Passau, a town nestled on the confluence of three of Europe’s main waterways. This important historic trading centre borders Austria and Croatia, and a distinctive blend of cultures can be found here.

Your local guide will take you on a sightseeing tour of the town, touching on its distinctive historic buildings, including the Baroque St. Stephen’s Cathedral with its ornate columns and arches and the Altes Rathaus, or Town Hall, a collection of eight historic patrician houses that were built between the 14th and 15th centuries. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

EmeraldACTIVE: A guided hike near Passau

EmeraldEXCURSION: A guided tour of Passau

DiscoverMORE: A Bavarian beer tour (extra expense)

Day 8 Passau
After breakfast, it’s time to disembark the Star-Ship for your transfer to the airport, taking memories of ancient libraries and Europe’s iconic skylines with you. (Breakfast)

Tour Map
All This Included
Walk the cobblestone streets of Medieval cities, explore Austria’s wine-growing region and marvel at the fusion of old and new in musical Vienna and eclectic Budapest.
  • 19 meals including 7 Breakfasts, 5 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
  • All gratuities for onboard and shore side staff
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Cabin onboard Emerald Sky, or Emerald Star
Notes
  • Itineraries are subject to change.
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions

* 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.



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