Emerald Cruises has recently introduced two new 10 and 11-day European river itineraries for 2024, responding to the market’s demand for longer cruises and extended destination stays. Guests will get to explore two of the most popular river cruise regions, the Danube and the Rhine rivers, aboard Emerald Cruises’ cutting-edge Star-Ships. Plus, guests who book select departures of the 10-day Danube Explorer & Highlights of Budapest cruise before October 31, 2023 will enjoy a complimentary 3-night Prague Land Extension valued at $1,600 per couple while offer availability lasts.
Sailing through four countries along the Danube River, enjoy a deeper look into the culture, history and cuisine of Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and Germany on Emerald Cruises’ 10-day itinerary. Explore the captivating capital cities of Vienna, Budapest and Bratislava, where history and culture intertwine, and architectural gems await at every turn. Delve into the region’s fascinating past with guided tours to medieval castles, baroque palaces, and UNESCO World Heritage – listed sites.
Your cruise starts in Budapest, where you’ll be met at the airport and transferred to your contemporary Star-Ship, before enjoying plenty of free time to explore the Hungarian capital over the next 3 days. Originally two separate cities, Buda to the west and Pest to the east, you will enjoy different views on the culture of this lovely city. Your guided culinary tour of the city will take you to the Grand Market, Budapest’s oldest and most expansive indoor market, where you will have time to explore on your own. You will also have time to hike Gellért Hill, a 235 metre high limestone outcrop of the Buda Hills for panoramic views of the city or take one of the ship’s bicycles for a ride along the river.
In Bratislava, the city’s well-preserved medieval fortifications tell tales of a turbulent past. Walk through the heart of the city, soaking in the sights of the neo-Renaissance façade of the Slovak National Theatre and the lavish Episcopal Summer Palace. Take a guided hike to Bratislava Castle or enjoy coffee and cake with a local family.
Sweeping boulevards and world-famous art exhibitions welcome you to Vienna, a city which perfectly encapsulates the opulence of the Habsburg Monarchy and their ornate Baroque palaces. Visit the Kunsthistorisches Museum, the largest art museum in the country and one of the most important museums worldwide. If you’re feeling more active, you may opt to explore on two wheels instead, cycling along the riverbanks before touching on Danube Island and Prater, the famous Viennese amusement park, home to the traditional 19th-century Ferris wheel.
Sail through the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wachau Valley and arrive in Melk, where you will enjoy a guided tour of the famous Melk Abbey or an EmeraldACTIVE hike to Weißenkirchen, a quaint Austrian village with terraced vineyards and green forests.
Explore Linz or take a full-day coach tour across the border into the South Bohemia region of the Czech Republic and visit the UNESCO World-Heritage-listed town of Český Krumlov, built around a 13th-century castle. Walk the labyrinth of winding cobblestone streets, enjoy great views and delightful traditional snacks as you learn how the local architecture survived the test of time.
Narrow cobblestone streets and the aroma of freshly baked goods welcome you to Passau, a town nestled on the confluence of three waterways, the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers. This historic German trading centre borders Austria and boasts a distinctive blend of cultures. Experience a typical Bavarian farm for some interesting insights into the life of local farmers and livestock farming, then try their homemade specialities. Alternatively, you can set off on a hike, catching sights such as the Mariahilf and St. Severin, an ancient church dating back to the Ottonian dynasty.
Next day, after breakfast, disembark your Star-Ship and transfer by coach to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, and home to some of the world’s most pristine collections of architecture from across the ages. Over the next few days, explore Prague Castle and its three courtyards, visit St. Vitus Cathedral, cross the famous Charles Bridge over the Vltava river (sometimes referred to by its German name Moldau), and into the Old Town of Prague where you will find the famous Astronomical Clock. While visiting the Prague Castle, enjoy Coffee and Cake at Lobkowicz Palace, a 16th-century palace boasting breathtaking panoramic city views that enhance the unique, cultural experiences housed within the palace, one of Europe’s oldest and finest private collections, comprising of items dating back 2,000 years.
Next day, Prague is yours to explore independently, perhaps enjoying some delicious Czech treats, local beer or immersing yourself in the culture that surrounds you. Your tour director will be available to help plan your day’s exploring and to answer any questions that you may have.
Your 3-Night Prague Extension Includes:
• A coach transfer from the ship in Passau to Prague
• 3 nights at a centrally-located hotel in Prague
• A guided tour of Prague
• Coffee & Cake at Lobkowicz Palace
• Transfer to Prague airport for your return flight home
• 3 Breakfasts
Emerald Cruises’ second new 2024 itinerary, the 11-day Rhine Castles & Moselle Vineyards, puts a sharper focus on the ports across four countries that make the Rhine River one of the most popular for river cruises. Sailing between Amsterdam in the Netherlands and Basel, Switzerland in either direction, you will explore a landscape of sun-drenched vineyards, magnificent castles, and quaint villages along the Rhine and Moselle rivers.
While visiting a region in Germany known for its castles that look as though they belong in a fairytale, guests will tour the impressive medieval Marksburg Castle in Braubach (Koblenz) and Reichsburg Castle in Cochem, both dating back to the 1100s. Those looking to get active can hike to the Landshut Castle Ruins high above the charming town of Bernkastel. Built in 1277 and destroyed with all its treasures by fire in 1692, it is surrounded by various paths, offering visitors a range of leisurely hiking routes to choose from. Countless vineyards line the valleys along the Rhine here, and guests can experience a tour and wine tasting at Schloss Johannisberg during a stop in Rüdesheim or travel the Alsace Wine Route (France’s oldest, offering exceptional landscapes, unrivalled beauty and seven grape varieties to sample) complete with a tasting in Strasbourg. New ports of call in Utrecht and Nijmegen in the Netherlands include a canal cruise to take in the mesmerizing Dutch architecture and a visit to the iconic, UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kinderdijk Windmills, a group of 19 monumental windmills constructed in the late 1730’s which provided the area with a reliable flood protection. Three of the windmills have been designated as museum mills, where it is possible to go inside and see how the mill families lived.
Designed to dock directly in the heart of cities, towns and villages that line the banks of the Danube and the Rhine, Emerald Cruises’ Star-Ships boast spacious staterooms and suites, including the line’s innovative balconies complete with decked area and open-air system. Featuring three-tier atriums, comfortable lounges and heated swimming pools that transform into a cinema, the vessels have been meticulously designed to maximize space and guarantee comfort, ensuring your journey is as memorable as the destination you are visiting.
Emerald Cruises has included everything you need to get the most out of your cruise, so you won’t have to spend a penny extra if you don’t want to. From included excursions and transfers to delicious onboard dining with complimentary drinks with lunch and dinner, their inclusive promise ensures complete peace of mind. Even all gratuities are taken care of.
• Stylish accommodation onboard a fleet of Star-Ships
• All meals on board
• Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks to accompany lunch and dinner
• Complimentary bottled water and state-of-the-art coffee machines and tea stations
• An included excursion in every port of call escorted by knowledgeable local guides
• EmeraldPLUS and EmeraldACTIVE experiences and activities
• Complimentary Wi-Fi onboard
• All airport taxes and port charges
• All gratuities onboard
• Airport transfers
Contact your Travel Professional for complete details or visit here.