Welcome to Amsterdam. This amazing destination full of surprises awaiting to be discovered around every corner will be yours during the two-night stay in the city.
Celebrate the holiday season in Amsterdam, a fairy-tale mix of twinkle lights, city sparkles with bright lights, fun markets, snowy scenery and festive good cheer! The Dutch do know how to make the most of the holiday season so come join them in this special time of the year.
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 start your journey through the Rhine when you will be transferred from your hotel to the Emerald Cruises Star-Ships.
Board a glass top canal boat for a tour down the Dutch capital’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed canal system, passing historic merchant’s houses that reflect the bygone era of the Dutch Golden Age, as well as delightful Christmas stalls, each surrounded by people in their finest knitwear drinking hot mugs of mulled wine.
Seven idyllic Christmas markets effortlessly transform the postcard-worthy city of Cologne into a winter wonderland over the Christmas period. Following your guided tour of the city, you will have the opportunity to explore independently, perhaps visiting the ornate stalls beneath the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cologne Cathedral, where you can drink traditional glühwein out of beautifully decorated mugs.
Guided tour of Cologne's Old Town
Visit to Eau de Cologne Museum (extra expense)
Today, we will take you into the heart of Koblenz, an ancient city that looks as though it has been pulled from the pages of a German fairytale. Enjoy a picturesque backdrop of vineyards and snow-topped mountain ranges as your local guide takes you through open cobbled squares and down narrow streets. Your tour will include the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers at the German Corner and idyllic panoramic views of the Rhine from Ehrenbreitstein Fortress.
Walking tour of Koblenz & a visit to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress
Moselle Valley & Cochem Castle visit (extra expense)
Your guided tour of Heidelberg’s rich history includes a wine tasting and a visit to the ruins of Heidelberg Castle, overlooking the Rhine River and a red-roofed skyline. Some of the most successful painters of the Romantic era drew inspiration from Heidelberg Castle, including British artist William Turner, who depicted images of the ruins in several of his paintings. Afterwards, stroll down the cobbled streets of the Old Town, touching on the Church of the Holy Spirit and the oldest university in Germany.
Guided tour of Heidelberg
This morning, we will dock in Kehl and you will be transferred by coach across the river to Strasbourg, the storied capital of France’s Alsace region. Your guided tour of Strasbourg will include the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Grande Île, the historical centre of the city, known for its medieval half-timbered buildings, old tanning houses, Baroque sandstone buildings and charming canal system. After this, you will have the opportunity to visit one of its most charming Christmas markets.
Guided tour of Strasbourg
Evening concert at Bruchsal Palace (extra expense)
Alsace Wine Route with tasting (extra expense)
Today, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the Rhine town of Breisach. Entrenched between two countries, it is also known as the gateway to Germany’s Black Forest region. In the afternoon, enjoy a scenic drive through the Black Forest Highlands on your way to the Hofgut Sternen complex located at the foothill of Ravenna Gorge, a place where history and tradition merge. It was here that in 1770 Marie Antoinette stopped with 52 beautifully decorated carriages on the way to her wedding to King Louis XVI.
As part of your EmeraldPLUS programme you will also have the chance to see the postcard-worthy Christmas market situated underneath the 40-metre-high Ravenna Viaduct. Be amazed by the magical smell of Black Forest specialties and unique handcrafted regional products sold there.
Guided visit to the Christmas Market at Ravenna Viaduct
Guided tour of Breisach
After breakfast, bid farewell to your fellow guests as you are transferred to the airport, taking memories of quintessential German villages and emerald canopies 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. 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.
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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.