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Emerald Waterways River Cruises
15 Days | The Christmas Markets of Europe
Southbound


AMSTERDAM TO BUDAPEST

Day 1 | Amsterdam, Holland. A warm welcome awaits you in the amazing city of Amsterdam. After you’ve been transferred from the airport to your deluxe ship to settle in, you’ll visit Leidseplein Square – home to Amsterdam’s most spectacular Christmas market. As evening falls, you’re invited to an elegant Cocktail Reception and Welcome Dinner. (D)

Included Excursion. Trip to Amsterdam’s Christmas markets.

Day 2 | Amsterdam. Cruising. Today you’ll take to the waters on a glass-top canal boat to explore Amsterdam’s picturesque canals. Charming churches, 16th century merchant houses and the city’s bustling streets glide by, providing an illustrative introduction to the guided walking tour of the city centre to follow. (B,L,D)

EmeraldPLUS. Glass-top canal boat cruise.
Included Excursion. Walking tour of Amsterdam.

Day 3 | Cologne, Germany. You’ll start the day with a guided tour of Cologne – Germany’s oldest city. You’ll take a humbling step back in time to the Old Town, which was lovingly rebuilt after its destruction during WWII, and the tour concludes with entry to the Kölner Dom – a World-Heritage listed Gothic Cathedral and a true masterwork of medieval architecture. This afternoon you’ll visit the Maritime Market situated by the Rhine River. (B,L,D)

Included Excursion. Guided city tour of Cologne and a trip to the Maritime Market.

Day 4 | Koblenz. Rhine Gorge. Rüdesheim. Today you’re cruising the mighty Rhine Gorge. Have your camera ready to capture the stunning scenery as you sail past storybook castles on the valley’s vine-littered banks, before coming face-to-face with Lorelei Rock, which legend says, was haunted by a lovelorn maiden whose singing lured sailors onto the treacherous rocks. In the afternoon you’ll board the Winzerexpress – a mini-train ride through the fruitful vineyards and on to Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Instrument Museum. (B,L,D)

Included Excursions. Ride the Winzerexpress mini-train and take a guided tour of Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Instrument Museum.

Day 5 | Miltenberg. Wertheim. This morning you’ll be given a demonstration of the traditional glassblowing the region’s famous for. Afterwards, you’ll take a walking tour of Miltenberg, strolling between its half-timbered buildings and past Miltenberg Castle. Originally a military fortress, the castle is now a museum of art collections. After lunch, you’ll sail to Wertheim where you’ll join another guided walking tour along its charming cobblestone streets. (B,L,D)

EmeraldPLUS. Glassblowing demonstration.
Included excursions. Guided walking tours of Miltenberg and Wertheim.

Day 6 | Würzburg. Welcome to Würzburg – the “Pearl of the Romantic Road”. Today we take you to the Bishops’ Residenz – one of Germany’s largest and most ornate baroque palaces and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The palace’s famous staircase, elaborate 18th century frescoes and amazing three-dimensional stuccowork create a truly unique setting and ensure a memorable experience. The rest of the day you’re free to explore Würzburg as you please. Alternatively, you can use your free time to book an optional tour of Rothenburg. (B,L,D)

Included Excursion. Guided trip to Würzburg’s Bishops’ Residenz.

Day 7 | Bamberg. Enjoy a relaxing morning in the comfort of your cabin or take in the scenery on the Sun Deck as we cruise the Main-Danube Canal to Bamberg. Known as the ‘city of experience’, Bamberg is built on 1,000 years of art and culture. Boasting one of Europe’s largest intact medieval town centres, stylish shops weave between historical buildings and centuries-old gardens, creating a truly enchanting place for you to discover on your guided tour. Afterwards, you’ll have chance to feel fabulously festive with a visit the city’s Christmas markets. (B,L,D)

Included Excursion. Guided tour of Bamberg and a trip to the Christmas markets.

Day 8 | Nuremberg. With its colourful past, a sightseeing walking and bus tour of Nuremberg has a lot to offer. Stepping into a world of history, you’ll see the 900-year-old ramparts; the Holy Roman Empire’s Imperial Castle; the Justice Palace where the War Crimes Tribunal sat in 1946; and the Nazi party’s rally grounds. You’ll also take a self-guided audio tour of the WWII Documentation Centre and a trip to the Christkindlmarkt, which showcases Franconian and German traditional arts and handicrafts. (B,L,D)

Included Excursions. Guided tour of Nuremberg and a trip to the Christkindlmarkt.

Day 9 | Weltenburg. Regensburg. On today’s agenda is a relaxing boat trip along the Danube Gorge which carves through magnificent 300ft cliffs before reaching Weltenburg Abbey – the oldest monastery in Bavaria. After exploring the ancient Abbey you’ll sample Weltenburg’s famous dark beer before returning to your ship in Regensburg. Here, you’ll take a guided tour of Germany’s best preserved medieval city, where architectural highlights include one of the oldest bridges crossing the Danube. This evening’s onboard entertainment is a traditional Bavarian Oompah Band, playing a mix of contemporary and folk music. (B,L,D)

EmeraldPLUS. Evening entertainment with a traditional Bavarian Oompah Band.
Included Excursions. Guided tours of Weltenburg Abbey and Regensburg.

Day 10 | Passau. Linz, Austria. Situated at the confluence of the rivers Danube, Inn and Ilz, is Passau – the “Three Rivers City”. On this morning’s walking tour, you’ll stroll through the cobblestone streets to find the perfect view of the hilltop Oberhaus Fortress before admiring the wonderfully ornate architecture of St. Stephen’s Cathedral. As an alternative to your included visit to Passau, you may book an optional tour to Salzburg or Ceský Krumlov. As night falls, Linz’s town square comes alive. After dinner, why not take a walk under the stars to see the Trinity Column or stop for an espresso and sample the famed Linzer Torte? (B,L,D)

Included Excursion. Guided tour of Passau.

Day 11 | Melk. Dürnstein. Vienna. Your tour of Austria’s wine-growing region begins in Melk. Here you’ll explore a 900-year old Benedictine Abbey which boasts the finest Italian architecture, elaborate gold leaf walls, a 640ft Imperial Corridor and fabulous fresco ceilings. Later, you’ll sail through the great Wachau Valley and onto Dürnstein where you’ll enjoy a guided walking tour of the town and free time to explore its breath-taking scenery, traditional architecture, and places of historic interest. (B,L,D)

EmeraldPLUS. Guided tour of Melk Abbey
Included Excursion. Guided tour of Dürnstein.

Day 12 | Vienna. Austria’s vibrant city of Vienna is a fantastic fusion of old and new. Today, we take you on an icon-filled coach tour along the Ringstrasse where you’ll see Vienna’s world-famous Opera House, Burgtheatre, Town Hall and the Hofburg Imperial Palace before hopping off to explore the city on foot. This afternoon you’re free to discover Vienna for yourself or take an optional tour of Schönbrunn Palace. In the evening, you can book an optional trip to watch a Viennese concert. (B,L,D)

Included excursion. Sightseeing drive along the Ringstrasse and walking tour of Vienna.

Day 13 | Bratislava, Slovakia. Today you’ll experience the pedestrian plazas, 18th century rococo buildings and stylish street cafés of Bratislava. For a more profound insight, you’ll be taken on a sightseeing tour of the Old City with its magnificent Mirbach Palace and the Gothic cathedral of St Martin, before enjoying home-hosted afternoon tea with a local Slovakian family. And this evening, you have an extra special invite to the Captain’s Gala Dinner.

EmeraldPLUS. Home-hosted afternoon tea with a local Slovakian family.
Included Excursion. Tour of Bratislava.

Day 14 | Budapest, Hungary. For an amazing end to a fantastic holiday, we welcome you to Budapest. Your guided tour takes you past the Royal Palace of Buda, a hilltop castle complex with the Fisherman’s Bastion and Matthias Church, and the iconic Chain Bridge that links Buda and Pest. This evening we bring the waters of Budapest to life with a traditional Hungarian Farewell Dinner, complete with folk dancing and music. After our feast, you can dance the night away as we cruise along the Danube. (B,L,D)

EmeraldPLUS. Authentic Hungarian Farewell Dinner with traditional entertainment.
Included Excursions. Guided tour of Budapest.

Day 15 | Budapest. Disembark. After breakfast, it’s time to say your goodbyes before you’re transferred to the airport to begin your journey homeward. (B)

NOTE: Itinerary is subject to change without notice. For the most up-to-date information, please refer to the itinerary schedule you receive with your final documents.

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ITINERARY
15 DAYS | AMSTERDAM TO BUDAPEST

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