Straddling the northernmost tip of Lake Zurich, Zurich is one of the most beloved cities in Switzerland. Today, you will be able to explore the city at leisure, perhaps taking in its delightful lakeside setting or frequenting one of its many charming cafés. Included is a restful one-night stay in Zurich.
This morning, enjoy a walking tour of Zurich before you are transferred to Lucerne, an area known for its spectacular natural setting. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to explore Lucerne, perhaps strolling down cobblestone streets in its colourful Altstadt.
A guided tour of Zurich
The awe-inspiring natural beauty enveloping Lucerne is a true delight, and yours to discover today during a guided tour of this small city. Lucerne effortlessly reflects what most people imagine when they think of a Swiss city, with a backdrop of snow-capped mountain ranges and tree-lined boulevards cutting through the city centre. Enjoy learning about the history of Lucerne as you visit the well-preserved medieval Altstadt, Chapel Bridge and the octagonal Water Tower.
A guided tour of Lucerne
Train and cable car to Rigi - Weggis (extra expense)
This morning, journey by coach through idyllic landscapes as you carve a course to the Rhine-side town of Basel. When you arrive, you will be able to board your Emerald Cruises Star-Ship, where your friendly captain and crew will be waiting to welcome you. This evening, join your fellow guests for dinner on board.
Today as part of your incredible EmeraldPLUS programme, you will visit the city of Freiburg. Considered the 'capital of the Black Forest', Freiburg has lovely sights that will leave you amazed. As part of your visit, you will also have the opportunity to sample true Black Forest delicacies from the lively market in the city centre near the main cathedral. If you are feeling more active, why not join a guided bike tour in Breisach.
Guided tour of Freiburg with market tasting
Guided bike tour in Breisach
This morning, your Star-Ship will be docking in Kehl and you will be transferred across the river to the medieval town of Strasbourg, the capital of France’s Alsace Region. Cobbled squares surrounded by half-timbered houses make Strasbourg appear as if it has been effortlessly suspended in time, and you will get the opportunity to explore the past during your included walking tour of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed old town. Witness the ornate beauty of many of Strasbourg’s highlights, including the Maison Kammerzell and the canal network that weaves through Petite France, before enjoying free time to explore at leisure.
Guided tour of Strasbourg
Alsace wine route with tasting (extra expense)
Relax on board this morning as you sail towards Ludwigshafen, following the meandering Rhine River and passing the confluence of the Rhine and Neckar. Travel by coach to Heidelberg, where you will have the opportunity to learn about how it became a UNESCO City of Literature, having inspired the likes of Mark Twain and William Turner with its historical setting.
Your guided tour of the town will allow you to find your own inspiration among its delightful landmarks, including Heidelberg Castle, one of the most impressive Renaissance ruins in Europe. Alternatively, hike from Mount Königstuhl to Heidelberg.
Hike from Mount Königstuhl to Heidelberg
Guided tour of Heidelberg
Cruise to the 2000-year-old town of Koblenz today and discover its fairytale-like surrounds nestled on the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers. Your local guide will take you on a tour through the town, touching on the twin-towered façade of the Church of Our Lady and the German Corner, where the two inspirational waterways meet. Journey by cable car to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, offering exceptional views of the surrounding area from its hilltop position.
Walking tour of Koblenz & a visit to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress
Moselle Valley & Cochem Castle visit (extra expense)
Effortlessly steeped in history and tales of the past, Cologne is one of the oldest cities in Germany, encapsulating a timeline that spans more than two millennia. Your included city tour will take you to the heart of its Old Town. After your tour, you will be taken to a one-of-a-kind farm estate just outside of Cologne, which provides the locals with sustainable products. As part of your EmeraldPLUS programme, enjoy a fantastic cooking demo and have a glimpse behind the scenes of this fantastic place.
Guided tour of Cologne's Old Town
Visit to a local farm estate with cooking demo
This morning, you can choose to embark on a guided bike tour to Waterland, learning about how the water is reclaiming Holland as you pass through quintessential Dutch surrounds and witness traditional villages and windmills. Alternatively, take to Amsterdam’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed canal network during a glass top canal cruise, passing Roman patrician houses and ornate merchant houses that tell tales of the prosperous Dutch Golden Age.
Guided bike tour to Waterland
After breakfast, you will be transferred to your centrally located hotel in Amsterdam for a delightful two-night stay in the city. Enjoy the afternoon on own by strolling along the famous canals or visiting a local market. Amsterdam is full of surprises awaiting to be discovered around every corner.
This morning, your local guide will take you on a tour of Amsterdam, introducing you to a place of fascinating stories, spellbinding art and remarkable architecture. Amsterdam is considered one of the greatest small capitals in the world where your destination is never too far away. Your carefully planned walking tour will take you to one of world's greatest museums, the Rijksmuseum, hosting a collecting of over 8000 works including those of Dutch masters Rembrandt, Vermeer and Rubens.
Walking tour of Amsterdam with Rijksmuseum visit
After breakfast, it is time to bid farewell to your fellow passengers as you leave your accommodation for your transfer to the airport, taking memories from a fascinating journey on the Rhine.
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.
Emerald was awesome. It offered us cultural experience that was unusual and authentic. We felt like we got to know the countries we visited. We are looking to book with Emerald again in Europe. Local and tour Director was the best
first emerald waterway tour was excellent ! excellent and unique excursions included plus good optional tours offered loved the Vespa ride, ox cart and rickshaw ride Hoi Ann and Halong bay are highlights emerald staff very welcoming to us
The staff and crew of the ship was fantastic. Christmas Markets are not to be missed.
Although this is my first river cruise, so I cannot compare with other companies, I was very happy with Emerald with a few exceptions. They advertise that it is all inclusive and do offer several free tour options at each port, but that also sell Discovery options that are more money. We did 4 of those which increased the cost for 2 by $600. If you like to workout, forget the gym, which had one rowing machine, an exercise bike and some dumbbells with enough room for 3 people at most. The staff were all great, the food was very good and the itinerary was excellent. They have a small swimming pool and late night activities. Good diversity with most people from US, Canada, Australia and new Zealand.
Was great, food was good, cabin small but nice, excursions were good.
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.
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.
Our third river cruise but found the baths on this particular ship to be very small. The crew, though, was excellent, especially the director!
This trip was all we expected and more. The booking and planning by Affordable Tours weas very helpful. The Emerald Radiance was a joy. The ship and crew were unbelievable. The Douro Valley is so very beautiful and Portugal an amazing destination-just need to explore it further.
Emerald provided a very memorable experience. Everything went according to plan. There were many activity options to pick from. The food and drink and staff were excellent. I liked the pool and bikes which gave us additional activities to enjoy, which Viking Cruises did not offer when I went on a previous river boat cruise with them 3 years ago.
I absolutely loved the cities and towns we visited. I met mant new friends on this trip. The staff were very friendly, professional and attentive to my needs.
Vacationing has never been easier or cheaper with the help of a dedicated travel consultant from AffordableTours.com
Find your perfect trip on our website and simply request a free quote. Need to speak to a live person? Call us 7 days a week at 1-800-342-0019. No robots here!
Your personal travel consultant will reach out and be your point of contact for your entire travel experience from start to finish. Did we mention you'll be working with an award winning team? Sweet!
Because we're one of the largest sellers of travel, we're able to give you a discount on your vacation package. No one beats our prices!
Knowing you got the best deal, all that's left is for you to pack your bags and enjoy your vacation!
AffordableTours.com is a proud recipient of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) awards 2006-2022 with A+ Rating.
It's simple: Sign up your friends, family, and anyone to us and when they book you will receive an American Express gift card worth up to $200 in the mail for simply referring.Read More
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.