Welcome to Frankfurt, where you will be met at the airport and transferred to your luxurious Emerald Cruises Star-Ship in Mainz. This evening, join your fellow guests for dinner on board.
Rüdesheim is a charming town that perfectly encapsulates the spirit of Germany; where stalls adorned with cuckoo clocks captivate and live oompah bands playing in beer gardens during the summer months entertain.
Today, ride the Winzerexpress to Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet Museum. When you arrive, peruse exhibits full of rare music boxes inside of a 15th-century knight’s tower with vaulted ceilings and painted frescoes.
A visit to Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet Museum
The ancient city of Koblenz is the gateway to the Rhine Gorge. Once a Roman stronghold, the area is now full of postcard-worthy parks and flowers. These are yours to discover today during a guided tour of the city, including the German Corner, where the Moselle meets the Rhine. This confluence is best viewed during a cable car ride across the water to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, part of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Rhine Valley.
Later, sail through the Rhine Gorge and soak in breath-taking vistas along the way. This fascinating area has a storyline that has crossed the centuries, moving from people fighting and leaving ruins behind to the Romantics of the 19th century immortalising its beauty.
A tour of Koblenz and a visit to the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress
Bike tour in Koblenz
Moselle & Cochem Castle visit (extra expense)
German Romanticism often depicts idealistic cityscapes and fairytale-like scenes, full of Baroque buildings and charming narrow streets. It’s easy to see why so many of the most notable poets and composers of the era lost their imaginations to the beauty of Heidelberg.
Your guided tour of the historic university town will start in the grounds of Heidelberg Castle, once a royal residence. Visit some of the town’s main highlights, including the oldest university in Germany, before enjoying a wine tasting session.
Alternatively, hike from Mount Königstuhl to Heidelberg for awe-inspiring panoramas.
A hike from Mount Königstuhl to Heidelberg
A guided tour of Heidelberg with wine tasting
This morning, a coach will take you from where the ship is docked in Rastatt to whimsical Baden-Baden, a spa town that has been frequented by celebrities and royalty for centuries.
If you are feeling active, then you may choose to embark on a guided hike to Altes Schloss, the Old Castle, a fascinating ruin full of hidden dungeons and winding staircases. Enjoy panoramic views of the Black Forest and the Rhine Valley as you trace the footsteps of former residents.
Alternatively, enjoy a guided walking tour of Baden-Baden, soaking in the nostalgic elegant boutiques and timeless gardens before entering The Baden-Baden Casino, a favourite of silent film star Marlene Dietrich.
Entrance to The Baden-Baden Casino
A guided hike to Altes Schloss
A guided walking tour of Baden-Baden
This morning, dock in Kehl and be transferred by coach to the medieval capital of France’s Alsace Region, Strasbourg. The best way to discover Strasbourg’s charm is from its quaint waterways, which is why today’s EmeraldPLUS activity will involve embarking on a traditional canal tour.
Relax as you pass through petite France, full of storybook canals, half-timbered houses and narrow lanes. Witness the Covered Bridges and the Vauban Dam before reaching the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Neustadt imperial quarter, a place where many of Strasbourg’s administrative buildings are based. This afternoon, enjoy free time to explore at leisure.
A canal boat tour in Strasbourg
Tour to Riquewihr (extra expense)
Commence your magical morning with a tour to Colmar. As you walk down the cobblestone lanes, it’s easy to imagine the characters from the Grimm’s Fairy Tales here, where half-timbered façades are adorned with window boxes full of colourful blooms. Alternatively, embark on a guided bike tour from Breisach to Colmar.
A guided bike tour
A guided tour of Colmar
After breakfast, it is time to say farewell to your fellow guests and disembark the ship for your transfer to the airport, taking memories of the picturesque Rhine Gorge with you.
This itinerary is a guide only and may be amended for operational reasons such as high and low water. As such, the cruise may operate altered from that stated above.
The world may have changed, however, our commitment to our guests and crew, the guest experience and their health, safety and wellbeing remains our key priority. We are working closely with Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), local and international Government Health agencies, to ensure our protocols exceed the latest regulatory requirements. Our Health & Safety Steering Committee oversees all health and safety policies and training with Emerald Cruises, ensuring you can travel with complete confidence that your wellbeing and safety are taken care of to the highest standard. In addition, we are implementing the most recent insights and technologies, with our Emerald Cruises team dedicated to exceeding the levels of cleanliness required in today’s travel climate.
We are continuously updating our protocols to safeguard both the health, safety and the experience of our valued guests. You will be informed about these important procedures, well in advance of your journey departure, which may include the following information and guidelines:
Medical Evaluation & Test
To ensure all of our guests are safe and well before your journey with us begins, we will require you to complete a pre-departure medical health evaluation. During the phased embarkation process you, and your fellow passengers, will be tested for COVID-19 by a medical specialist. This will allow you to relax with complete peace-of-mind when you board our Star-Ships, in the company of other like-minded travelers.
Our Dedicated Team
Our Captains, Hotel Managers and Cruise Directors, alongside their exceptional teams, will deliver a first-class level of service during your time traveling with us. You can enjoy the same exciting program of on board and on shore experiences, tailored to smaller groups to allow for safe social distancing. The team are readily available to ensure every detail of your journey with us is memorable, for all the right reasons. They will ensure health and safety protocols are followed on a daily basis.
Having the best crew to look after you is at the heart of our core values at Emerald Cruises, and we will go the extra mile to ensure our crew is healthy in doing so. All crew will be regularly tested for COVID-19 and will have daily temperature and health checks. They will also be trained and regularly briefed on all aspects in preventing COVID-19 amongst themselves as well as our guests. They will go beyond the ordinary to make your cruise a truly exceptional experience.
Contact-Free Check In & Check Out
We have adjusted the various touchpoints of your journey, allowing you to check in and check out in a completely contact-free way. Through a phased embarkation you will be able to arrive and depart from your Star-Ship smoothly and with safe social proximity in mind. And, of course, every time you return to your Star-Ship, our crew will be there to greet you with a warm smile.
Briefings & Screenings
Our medical expert will host mandatory briefings and screenings. These events are designed to ensure every member of our guests and crew are healthy, and also offer an opportunity to allay any concerns or ask any questions you may have about our safety protocols.
Enhanced Cleaning Commitment
Our on board crew will be increasing and enhancing our already frequent and high standard cleaning protocols in public areas and suites, leaving surfaces and spaces spotless. Additional care and attention will be paid to high contact zones, such as communal restrooms and dining facilities.
Socially Aware Dining
You can expect the same delightful dining experiences when you travel with us, savoring a choice of dishes inspired by regional cuisine and local produce. We are adapting and redesigning our on board food and beverage service to ensure extra care is taken in order to minimize social contact. We will serve our delicious food a la carte or via served buffets.
The spacious surrounds of our ships in combination with the guest numbers provide ample room for you to relax, allowing for an abundance of personal space. We are introducing contact-free movement across our Star-Ships to further reduce risks. Contact-free hand sanitizer dispensers will be readily available in all public spaces and guest corridors on board, whilst automated doors and contact-free guest servicing will minimize the number of touchpoints.
Our Star-Ships are equipped with air circulation systems. These systems ensure there is no re-circulation of inside air on board the ship. When you are relaxing in your suite you will be breathing air from outside the ship that is channeled directly to your suite. The air will also be released from your suite directly to the outside.
Smaller Groups & Social Proximity
Discovering the local culture of your destination is the highlight of every river cruise. Create memories to cherish during our choice of on shore excursions. You will travel in smaller groups, allowing for a more intimate travel experience, whilst respecting social proximity and destination specific regulations. To enhance your sightseeing, you can utilize our digital headsets, which will act as your personal tour guide and travel map.
Carefully Selected Local Partners
As well as enhancing our health and safety protocols on board and with our crew, we’re working closely with our local partners. We have forged long-standing relationships with our local partners, all of whom have been carefully selected for their expertise and high levels of service, and are committed to ensuring your safety. They will receive extensive training to adhere with our enhanced protocols. We will also introduce strict control and screening procedures for anyone boarding our Star-Ships.
Wellness Throughout Your Journey
Your wellbeing is our number one priority, both during your time on board and on shore. Journey to and from your destination with complete peace-of-mind. All transport vehicles will be equipped with hand sanitizer and will undergo deep cleaning after every journey, surpassing the high industry standards required. You can also rest assured that we will monitor social proximity, allowing you to travel safely, with plenty of personal space.
We are committed to continually reviewing and updating our protocols and guidelines as new information becomes available, to ensure that our guests can travel safely in the many destinations we operate in.
Great river cruise, the operator Emerald Waterways did not disappoint. On board service was exceptional and the tours were very good. Only thought would be that having a little more free time during site visits would have made the excursions good to great.
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