Welcome to Amsterdam, the capital of The Netherlands famous for world-class museums, artistic heritage and elaborate canal system. You will be met at the airport and taken to your centrally located hotel, with a two-night stay included in your itinerary.
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
Today, you will be transferred from your hotel to your contemporary Emerald Waterways Star-Ship. This evening, join your fellow guests for a welcome dinner on board.
Every narrow street and gabled façade in Amsterdam tells tales of the Dutch Golden Age, a prosperous time when Dutch art was among the most acclaimed in the world.
Today, relax during a glass top canal boat tour through Amsterdam’s elaborate UNESCO World Heritage-listed canal system, sailing through the medieval centre of the city and past Roman patrician houses. Alternatively, embark on a guided bike tour to Waterland, passing quintessential villages, traditional windmills and flower fields.
Enjoy sailing through the countryside and on towards the Rhine River this afternoon, perhaps enjoying a drink on the Sun Deck and watching the passing scenery before joining your captain for a gala dinner.
Guided bike tour to Waterland
Cologne is one of the oldest cities in Germany. Step back in time today, as a guided walking tour takes you through the ancient heart of the city, passing iconic landmarks such as Cologne Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site. 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 incredible place.
Guided tour of Cologne's Old Town
Visit to a local farm estate with cooking demo
Immerse yourself in fairytale-like surrounds today as we cruise to Koblenz, a town with a postcard-worthy backdrop of vineyards and mountain ranges. Your included walking tour of the town will unveil the twin-towered façade of the Church of Our Lady, the point at which two of Europe’s great rivers meet at the German Corner and Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, one of the largest preserved fortresses in Europe.
Enjoy sailing through the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Rhine Gorge this afternoon, where romantic castles sit atop tree-covered canyons and half-timbered medieval villages appear as though they have been suspended in time.
Orientation walk of Koblenz & a visit to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress
Moselle Valley & Cochem Castle visit (extra expense)
This morning you will discover Heidelberg. The idyllic UNESCO City of Literature has inspired the likes of Mark Twain and famed British artist William Turner.
A guided tour of the town will unveil its rich history, starting at the Renaissance ruins of Heidelberg Castle, where the carefully curated gardens host serene water features, sculptures and colourful flowerbeds.
Hike from Mount Königstuhl to Heidelberg
Guided tour of Heidelberg
Evening concert at Bruchsal Palace (extra expense, available on select departures)
This morning, you'll dock in Kehl and be transferred by coach to the picturesque town of Strasbourg, where a medieval past is yours to discover among cobbled squares surrounded by half-timbered houses.
Your included walking tour of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed old town will touch on many of Strasbourg’s highlights, including the astrological signs that adorn the façade of the Maison Kammerzell and the idyllic historic scenery around Petite France. This afternoon, enjoy free time to explore Strasbourg at leisure.
Guided tour of Strasbourg
Alsace wine route with tasting (extra expense)
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
After breakfast, it's time to say farewell to your fellow guests and disembark the ship for your transfer to the airport, taking memories of traditional cuckoo clocks and the Black Forest with you.
Please book your flight to depart out of Basel after 10:00 AM.
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. Please refer to our terms and conditions for further information.
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.
Was great, food was good, cabin small but nice, excursions were good.
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.
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The staff and crew of the ship was fantastic. Christmas Markets are not to be missed.