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.
EmeraldPLUS: A traditional Hungarian folklore show
EmeraldPLUS: An evening cruise through Budapest (Dinner)
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.
EmeraldACTIVE: A guided hike to Buda Hill
EmeraldEXCURSION: A guided tour of Budapest (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
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.
EmeraldPLUS: Local Slovakian entertainment on board
EmeraldACTIVE: A guided hike to Bratislava Castle
EmeraldEXCURSION: A guided tour of Bratislava (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
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.
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) (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
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.
EmeraldACTIVE: A guided bike ride along the Danube
EmeraldACTIVE: A guided hike to Dürnstein Castle
EmeraldEXCURSION: A tour of Melk Abbey (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
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.
EmeraldPLUS: A guided tour of Ceský Krumlov (Breakfast, Dinner)
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.
EmeraldACTIVE: A guided hike near Passau
EmeraldEXCURSION: A guided tour of Passau
DiscoverMORE: A Bavarian beer tour (extra expense) (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8 Passau - Prague
After breakfast, disembark the ship and transfer to Prague for your three night stay. (Breakfast)
Day 9 Prague
Explore the sights of Old Town Square on a guided walking tour. See Mozart´s Theatre, Little Square and the Astronomical Clock. The tour continues as we walk across the Charles Bridge spanning the River Vltava, to board our coach to drive to the 1,000 year old Prague Castle area. With our local guide we walk through Hradcany Square, for the spectacle of the Changing of the Guard. This evening, EmeraldPLUS dinner and a night of local entertainment. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 10 Prague
Your Tour Director is on hand to help plan your day. The baroque quarter of Mala Strana is a must see, as is Josefov, the Jewish quarter. You will no doubt return to the lively atmosphere around the Charles Bridge for another look.
DiscoverMORE: Tastes of Czechia (extra expense) (Breakfast)
Day 11 Prague
After breakfast, it’s time to farewell your fellow passengers for your transfer to the airport. (Breakfast)
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.