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Christmas Markets of Europe 2020

15 days with Emerald Waterways  Rating: Deluxe

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  • Save $1000 per couple off this river cruise. Expires April 30. Click here for eligible departures.

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

River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Arrival Amsterdam
Welcome to Amsterdam, a fascinating 700-year-old city of picturesque canals, world class museums, theatres and cafés. You will be met and transferred from the airport to your Emerald Waterways luxury river Star-Ship. After boarding, enjoy some time at your leisure to explore Amsterdam. This evening, join your fellow travellers for dinner on-board. (Dinner)

Day 2 Amsterdam Cruising
This morning you will enjoy a glass top canal boat tour through Amsterdam’s canal. After the canal tour, enjoy free time to visit some of Amsterdam’s other famous attractions, such as the Rijks or Van Gogh Museums, or simply enjoy the lively atmosphere and watch the world go by. Tonight, the captain will be delighted to host a gala dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3 Cologne
Seven markets transform picturesque Cologne into a winter wonderland over the Christmas period. Be sure to pay a visit to the stalls around the Alter Markt, Neumarkt, Rudolfplatz and the cathedral, beneath which you’ll locate the Christmas tree. Decorated mugs hold steaming hot Glühwein, and local vendors sell handmade sweets and local delicacies. Be sure not to miss the mesmerising ‘Stars at Night’ theme adopted around the Neumarkt, where looking up unveils a beautiful light display above your head. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4 Rüdesheim
Today’s cruising will be a highlight of your trip, as we cruise through the spectacular Rhine Gorge. Keep your camera at the ready as around every bend there are stunning vistas of castles perched above steep vine–covered slopes. We will also pass the infamous Lorelei Rock where sailors are said to have been lured onto treacherous rocks by enchanted temptresses. We also pass the impressive Pfalzgrafenstein Castle which was formerly a toll gate perched on an island in the middle of the river. In the afternoon, we arrive in Rüdesheim, one of Germany’s most popular towns. You will visit the Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum and in your free time, continue exploring and perhaps taste the famous “Rudesheimer Coffee”, made with Germany’s most famous brandy Asbach Uralt. Later in the day, experience a special on-board performance. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5 Miltenberg - Wertheim
Welcome to Miltenberg, a picturesque village on the Main River, which creates an imitable feeling of Bavarian life in medieval times due to the Old Town being lined with well-preserved half-timbered buildings. The gothic Merchant Hall is an impressive symbol of past affluence created by trade from river traffic. After your included tour of Miltenberg and free time, you will be transferred by coach to the stunning medieval glass-blowing town of Wertheim to enjoy free time until the ship arrives. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6 Würzburg
Known as the “Pearl of the Romantic Road”, Würzburg is surrounded by sloping hills covered with vineyards. After breakfast, visit the Bishops’ Residenz, one of Germany’s largest and most ornate baroque palaces and a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site. Your tour highlights the palace’s unique staircase, elaborate 18th century frescoes and the amazing 3–dimensional stuccowork. Later in the day, experience a special onboard performance. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DiscoverMORE: Tour to Rothenburg (extra expense)

***passengers on this tour will not be able to attend the included walking tour of Würzburg & visit to UNESCO World Heritage-listed Bishop’s Residenz as both tours run at the same time

Day 7 Bamberg
Relax on-board this morning as we cruise to Bamberg. Feel the magic of the past as you explore this UNESCO World Heritage-listed city with your guide. Boasting one of Europe’s largest intact medieval town centres, Bamberg is bursting with character and charm. At the town centre is the largest preserved old quarter in Europe. Around 2,400 listed buildings and the centuries–old garden quarter form a special cultural heritage. Admire hundreds of building façades richly decorated in fascinating detail with spectacular ornamentation. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8 Nuremberg
Today you will have a sightseeing coach tour of the historic city of Nuremberg. Your coach tour would pass by the 900-year-old ramparts, the Justice Palace where the War Crimes Tribunal sat in 194, the Nazi party rally grounds, where rallies were held from 1933 until 1938. Nuremberg is also known for its Christmas market squares which you can visit in your free time. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DiscoverMORE: Gingerbread Cooking Class (extra expense)

Day 9 Kelheim - Regensburg
This morning takes you through the final stretch of the fascinating Main–Danube Canal to Kelheim. Continue cruising along the Danube River to UNESCO World Heritage-listed city of Regensburg, one of Germany’s best-preserved medieval cities. On our guided walking tour, you’ll have the chance to see one of the oldest bridges crossing the Danube and see the city’s architectural highlights including the Old Town Hall. Regensburg is also home to one of the loveliest’ Christmas market of the German-speaking countries. With its many quaint wooden stalls, the market is located around the Neupfarr Church and the city Guard House, adorned by row-upon-row of twinkling lights. Taste your way through the narrow streets and hidden passageways, picking up a mug of delicious Glühwein and treating yourself to homemade gingerbread and cookies. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

EmeraldPLUS: Traditional Bavarian Band on-board & Visit to Christmas Market at Thurn & Taxis Palace grounds

DiscoverMORE: Excursion to Kuchlbauer Brewery (extra expense)

Day 10 Passau - Linz
Cruise along the Danube this morning, in the afternoon we reach Passau. Cobblestone streets and graceful arcades welcome you in this beautiful city. On this afternoon’s walking tour, stroll through the old town’s narrow alleys and see the hilltop Oberhaus Fortress from the town below. Visit St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a wonderful example of Baroque architecture and home to Europe’s largest church organ with more than 17,000 pipes. Passau’s annual Christmas market, or Christkindlmarkt, takes place in front of the St. Stephan Cathedral. Around 70 gingerbread-like stalls selling festive souvenirs, handmade gifts and delicious treats are illuminated by strings of twinkling fairy lights, as the smell of Glühwein and fresh baking fills the cool air. Indulge on gingerbread as music groups and choirs take to the stage as the perfect accompaniment. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DiscoverMORE: Tour to UNESCO World Heritage-listed Salzburg (extra expense)

Tour to UNESCO World Heritage-listed town of Ceský Krumlov (extra expense)

***passengers need to choose between either Salzburg or Cesky Kumlov DiscoverMORE tours, and they will not be able to attend the included walking tour of Passau, as all tours run at the same time

Day 11 Melk - Dürnstein
Situated within Austria’s wine–growing region, Melk is home to the imposing UNESCO World Heritage-listed 900–year old Benedictine Melk Abbey. The Abbey features Austria’s finest Italian baroque architecture, with its ornate gold leaf walls, 640ft Imperial Corridor and fresco ceilings. Later, the ship sails through the spectacular UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wachau Valley and on to Dürnstein, one of the most enchanting villages of the Wachau wine region. This is the site of the castle where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned after returning from the crusades in the 12th century. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 12 Vienna
Welcome to Vienna, the capital of classical music. Today, you have a choice of either exploring Austria’s capital beginning with a drive along the magnificent Ringstrasse, where we will see the sights of the Vienna’s world-famous attractions such as the Opera House, Burgtheater, Town Hall, St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Hofburg Imperial Palace. After the tour, enjoy your free time to sample the wonderful Christmas markets of Vienna which are set up in 15 different squares in the city.  (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DiscoverMORE: UNESCO World Heritage-listed Schönbrunn Palace tour (extra expense)

DiscoverMORE: Exclusive Viennese concert with music from Mozart and Strauss (extra expense)

Day 13 Bratislava
Set on the crossroads of ancient trade routes in the heart of Europe, Bratislava the capital of Slovakia, embodies various cultures – primarily Celtic, Roman and Slavic. Enjoy a sightseeing tour including the enchanting Old City with its Town Hall, Mirbach Palace and the Gothic Cathedral of St Martin. Bratislava also hosts charming Christmas markets throughout the city, which you can enjoy. This evening, the Captain will be delighted to welcome you to the Captain’s Gala Dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

EmeraldPLUS: Home hosted coffee and cake with Slovakians

Day 14 Budapest
Budapest is Eastern Europe’s liveliest and most cosmopolitan city. Enjoy a guided bus tour passing by the Hungarian Parliament Building, the Buda Castle and the Chain Bridge linking Buda and Pest, amongst other fantastic sights. This evening, enjoy a Hungarian folk dancing and music performance on-board followed by a traditional Hungarian farewell dinner. After dinner, join your fellow travellers for a night–time cruise along the Danube, passing under the city’s numerous bridges.

EmeraldPLUS: Traditional Hungarian Folklore Show on-board & Budapest evening cruise

DiscoverMORE: Budapest Jewish Heritage tour (extra expense)

Day 15 Budapest Disembarkation
After breakfast, your tour concludes and you will be transferred to the airport for your ongoing flight. (Breakfast)

Tour Map
All This Included
Get in the festive spirit as you navigate the width of Germany, the home of Christmas markets. Sip mulled wine and collect gifts as you enjoy the Rhine’s new wintery personality.

Get in the festive spirit as you navigate the width of Germany, the home of Christmas markets. Sip mulled wine and collect gifts as you enjoy the Rhine’s new wintery personality.
  • 41 meals including 14 Breakfasts, 13 Lunches and 14 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
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Cabin onboard Emerald Dawn
Notes
  • Pre-release itinerary 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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