Welcome to Budapest, where you will be met at the airport and transferred to your contemporary Emerald Cruises Star-Ship, before enjoying time at leisure to explore the Hungarian capital.
This evening, enjoy an authentic Hungarian folklore show on board, followed by a traditional dinner.
Traditional Hungarian folklore show on board
Architecture from across the centuries shines a light on the history of the Hungarian capital. Originally two separate cities, Buda to the west and Pest to the east, offer incredibly different views on the culture of one of the liveliest cities in Eastern Europe. Today, you will have the opportunity to explore the city during a guided tour, including Heroes’ Square and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Andrássy Avenue and Buda Castle District. Alternatively, enjoy a hike to Buda Hill for a postcard-worthy panorama of the Danube banks.
Hike to Buda Hill
Guided coach tour of Budapest
Excursion to Szentendre (extra expense)
Jewish heritage tour ( extra expense)
This morning, relax on board as we sail to Bratislava. An ancient landscape awaits, where remarkable towers add to a skyline that perfectly encapsulates the history of the city, and preserved medieval fortifications tell tales of a turbulent past. Your local guide will take you through the heart of the city, as you soak in sights of the lavish Episcopal Summer Palace and the neo-Renaissance façade of the Slovak National Theatre.
If you are feeling more active, you could instead choose to hike around the serene gardens of Bratislava Castle, offering the perfect environment for the Shakespeare festival that occurs during the summer months.
This afternoon, you will be invited into the home of a local family to learn about their culture over coffee and cake.
Home-hosted coffee and cake with a local family
Hike to Bratislava Castle
Walking tour of Bratislava
Skoda tour of post-communist Bratislava (extra expense)
Carpathian wine route (extra expense)
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. The Austrian capital is an art-lovers dream and your guided tour will include a visit to the Kunsthistorisches Museum, the largest art museum in the country and one of the most important museums worldwide.
If you are feeling more active, then choose 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.
Guided bike tour in Vienna
Vienna art tour with a visit to the Kunsthistorisches Museum
Viennese evening concert (extra expense)
Tastes of Vienna (extra expense)
This morning, enjoy a guided tour of Göttweig Abbey, a true treasure overlooking the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wachau Valley. Visible from great distance, it is one of Austria's most important Benedictine abbeys and attracts visitors from all over the world and provides epic panoramas.
Afterwards, your Star-Ship will sail through the fascinating Wachau Valley, part of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wachau Cultural Landscape, and on to Dürnstein.
Alternatively, embark on a guided bike tour from Krems to Dürnstein, passing terraced vineyards, castles and ruins along the way, before arriving where your Star-Ship is docked in Dürnstein.
In the afternoon we arrive in Dürnstein; a small town nestled in the heart of the Wachau wine region. you will have the chance to hike to the medieval ruins of Dürnstein Castle, the site where King Richard I was held prisoner following his return from the Third Crusade, and part of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wachau Cultural Landscape, a place peppered with natural lookout points that highlight the beauty of the region.
Guided tour of Göttweig Abbey
Guided hike to Dürnstein Castle
Guided bike tour along the Danube
After a morning of sailing along the Danube, we will take you into the heart of Passau. Nicknamed the Dreiflüssestadt, meaning the “the city of three rivers”, it is situated at the confluence of the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers.
Your included guided tour of Passau will unveil its noteworthy Gothic and Baroque architecture. Or, if you're feeling active, you could join a bike tour along the River Inn, one of the three rivers converging in Passau.
After your tour, enjoy some free time to explore Passau at leisure, before an evening spent sailing towards Regensburg.
Guided tour of Passau
Guided bike tour along the River Inn
Excursion to the Bavarian forest (extra expense)
This morning we will arrive in Regensburg, a city built on the site of an ancient Roman fort. Your guided walking tour of Regensburg will showcase its UNESCO World Heritage-listed medieval centre, where narrow cobbled lanes and tall façades help to define the character of this enchanting Bavarian city.
Alternatively, you could join a bike tour to the Walhalla monument which towers high above the slopes of the Danube. From here you can enjoy a fascinating view of the surrounding landscape and the river.
This evening, enjoy a traditional Bavarian band on board.
Traditional Bavarian band on board
Guided tour of Regensburg
BMW factory behind the scenes (extra expense)
Excursion to Nuremberg (extra expense)
In Regensburg disembark your Star-Ship to be transferred to Prague, home to some of the world’s most pristine collections of architecture from across the ages. Included is a comfortable three-night stay in the city.
This morning, join a walking tour of Prague to explore its vivid history through its Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture, with each style encapsulating a slice of the city’s past. After passing through three castle courtyards, you will visit St. Vitus Cathedral, then we walk down the Castle steps with a wonderful view over the city of Prague and we continue to Charles Bridge which we cross to reach the Old Town of Prague. We finish the city sightseeing tour in front of the famous Astronomical Clock at Old Town Square.
A walking tour of Prague
Coffee & Cake at Lobkowicz Palace (extra expense)
Today is yours to spend exploring Prague at leisure, perhaps uncovering the secrets of Josefov, the Jewish Quarter and Malá Strana, one of the most historic regions in the city. Your tour director will be available to help you plan your day and to answer any questions that you may have.
Tastes of Czechia (extra expense)
After breakfast, it is time to bid farewell to your fellow guests and leave Prague’s idyllic centre for your transfer to the airport, taking memories of ancient wonders and idyllic panoramic views of UNESCO World Heritage-listed areas with you.
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.
We had an outstanding trip down the Danube on Emerald Waterways. The food was amazing, the service was absolutely top-notch, the places we stopped (Passau, Linz and Cesky Krumlov, Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest) were all wonderful in their own way. The options provided by Emerald (active vs. included, and the add-on activities) were just right. Our Cruise Director and the Activity Manager were very knowledgeable and attentive throughout our trip. As alway, Affordable Tours helped us book, and provided great follow-up care when we needed it.
This trip was wonderful, with only 160 passengers we were treated royally. Everyone on board the ship worked with only one thing in mind to please the customers.
Derek was very thorough and easy to work with. Our trip was what we expected.
We were fortunate the trip went as planned. A lock was damaged and the ship we were scheduled for was unavailable. Emerald provided a different ship and we completed our full itinerary. Great job Emerald. The trip wonderful. Great staff, tours and food. Our Affordable agent Allyson fulfilled all our needs efficiently providing excellent customer care.
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