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Take a quiet moment in Passau

Danube Explorer

Budapest - Passau - Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Emerald Star
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Take beautiful pictures in every city visited on this 8-day voyage with Emerald Star. Capture every moment and be a true Danube Explorer. Visit cities like Vienna, Bratislava, and Linz. Journey by coach to Ceský Krumlov in the Czech Republic. This journey begins in Budapest also known as the "Pearl of Danube". Continuing to Bratislava, where you can visit the Slovak National Theatre and a range of Gothic and Art Nouveau buildings. Then head to the home of revolutionary breakthroughs in the fields of music and psychology, Vienna,Austria. You will also visit Durnstein, Melk, and Linz before disembarking in Passau.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Budapest | Embark
Day 2 : Budapest
Day 3 : Bratislava
Day 4 : Vienna
Day 5 : Dürnstein | Melk
Day 6 : Linz | Ceský Krumlov
Day 7 : Passau
Day 8 : Passau | Disembark

Highlights

  • Explore the area around Buda Castle and see the Baroque houses
  • Look at the ornate Romanesque and Baroque architecture in Budapest
  • Enjoy a tour to the lavish castle of Melk Abbey
  • Walk to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city center in Vienna

Ship

Emerald Star

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Take a quiet moment in Passau Discover the architecture and history of Budapest Budapest, the capital city of Hungary A quiet autumn morning in Bratislava Morning view on Bratislava city
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Day 1 Budapest | Embark

Welcome to the “Pearl of the Danube”. Upon arrival to the airport, transfer to the luxurious surrounds of your Emerald Waterways Star-Ship.

This evening, join fellow guests for a traditional Hungarian dinner and folklore performance. Afterwards, enjoy a night-time cruise along the Danube showcasing the illuminated façades of some of the capital’s most illustrious buildings, including the magnificent domed Parliament. Relax on the Sun Deck and watch the way that the city lights dance across the surface of the water. 

Day 2 Budapest

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Explore Budapest’s cobbled medieval quarter today on a coach tour through the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city center. A local guide will highlight several architectural wonders from across the ages, enabling you to follow a journey from Budapest’s Roman beginnings to the addition of ornate Romanesque and Baroque architecture in the centuries that followed.

For those that wish to do something more active, hike to Buda Hill. The surrounding area has been rebuilt several times, most recently following the air raids of WWII. Some 18th-century Baroque houses still stand, best explored from the medieval paths and alleyways in the area around Buda Castle.

Day 3 Bratislava

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Relax on board as the ship sails into the capital of Slovakia this morning. This graceful nation of leafy avenues became an independent country in 1993, and since then, Bratislava has flourished as the new capital and made a name for itself as a cultural center where different styles of music are as readily celebrated as the region’s medieval past. With local guides, explore the romantic cobblestone lanes that weave through the city on a walking tour of the ancient town center, including the Slovak National Theatre and a range of Gothic and Art Nouveau buildings.
 
Alternatively, embark on a guided hike to Bratislava Castle, a landmark steeped in legends that looks as though it came from the pages of a child’s fairytale. This striking building has been rebuilt several times over the last millennia, most recently in a Renaissance style.

Day 4 Vienna

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Vienna, known for its sweeping boulevards and world-famous art exhibitions, is also the birthplace of revolutionary breakthroughs in the fields of music and psychology. The city perfectly encapsulates the opulence of the Habsburg Monarchy and their ornate Baroque palaces, some of which will be seen during the guided coach tour of the Ringstrasse. Continue on a walking tour of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city center and its surrounding classical architectural styles, evidence of the melting pot of artistic influences that existed here at the turn of the 20th century. 

For something more active, choose to explore on two wheels, cycling along the river to Danube Island, before reaching Prater and its nostalgic 19th-century Ferris wheel.

Day 5 Dürnstein | Melk

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Effortlessly suspended in time, Dürnstein is one of the most frequented parts of the Wachau wine region, where warm weather creates the perfect setting for viticulture. Today, choose to hike the ruins of Dürnstein Castle, where a delightful panoramic view of the surrounding medieval villages, rows of vines in beautifully arranged vineyards and a forested backdrop is certain to delight.

Later, sail through the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wachau Valley, passing medieval villages, terraced vineyards and areas of natural beauty. Upon arrival in Melk, enjoy a guided tour of Melk Abbey, originally a lavish castle that was gifted to Benedictine monks during the 11th century. This opulent Baroque building is home to some of the most important collections of medieval manuscripts in the world, as well as some of the most photographed spiral staircases. 

Day 6 Linz | Ceský Krumlov

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
Upon arrival to Linz, transfer by coach to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed center of Ceský Krumlov, a town built around a 13th-century castle. With a local guide, traverse a labyrinth of winding cobblestone streets, passing the colorful façades of buildings that highlight different periods and learn about how they have survived the test of time thanks to the regions peaceful past. The town surrounds the national heritage site that is Ceský Krumlov Castle. Included in this tour, visit the 15th-century St. Vitus’ Church and several delightful High Gothic façades. 

Day 7 Passau

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Narrow cobblestone streets and the aroma of freshly baked gingerbread welcome all to Passau, a town nestled on the confluence of three of Europe’s main waterways. This important historic trading center borders Austria and Croatia, and a distinctive blend of cultures can be found here.

Enjoy a locally guided sightseeing tour of the town, touching on its distinctive historic buildings, including the Baroque St. Stephen’s Cathedral with its ornate columns and arches and the Altes Rathaus, or Town Hall, a collection of eight historic patrician houses that were built between the 14th and 15th centuries.

Day 8 Passau | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast, disembark the ship and transfer to the airport.
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Emerald Star

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Per person starting at
$2,795
Emerald Single Stateroom
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Single Stateroom (ES)
Single Occupancy Only. 117 sq ft. 2 single cabins located on the Riviera Deck with a deluxe single bed, bathroom with shower, indulgent toiletries and hairdryer, flat-screen TV and infotainment system
Emerald Stateroom
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Stateroom (E)
162 sq ft. 9 cabins located on the Riviera Deck with a Queen-size or twin hotel-style beds, bathroom with shower, indulgent toiletries and hairdryer, flat-screen TV and infotainment system
Emerald Stateroom
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Stateroom (D)
162 sq ft. 8 cabins located on the Riviera Deck with a Queen-size or twin hotel-style beds, bathroom with shower, indulgent toiletries and hairdryer, flat-screen TV and infotainment system
Emerald Panorama Balcony Suite
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Panorama Balcony Suite (C)
180 sq ft. 19 cabins located on the Vista Deck with a Queen-size or twin hotel-style beds, indoor balcony with open-air system, bathroom with shower, indulgent toiletries and hairdryer, flat-screen TV and infotainment system
Emerald Panorama Balcony Suite
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Panorama Balcony Suite (B)
Emerald Panorama Balcony Suite - 18 cabins located at Vista Deck with a Queen-size or twin hotel-style beds, indoor balcony with open-air system, bathroom with shower, indulgent toiletries and hairdryer, flat-screen TV and infotainment system
Emerald Panorama Balcony Suite
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Panorama Balcony Suite (A)
180 sq ft. 23 cabins located on the Horizon Deck with a Queen-size or twin hotel-style beds, indoor balcony with open-air system, bathroom with shower, indulgent toiletries and hairdryer, flat-screen TV and infotainment system
Grand Balcony Suite
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Grand Balcony Suite (S)
210 sq ft. 8 cabins located on the Horizon Deck with a Queen-size or twin hotel-style beds, outdoor private balcony with the open-air system, in-suite mini-bar available at own expense, a complimentary Nespresso machine and bathroom with shower, indulgent toiletries, hairdryer, on-board complimentary bathrobes, and slippers
Owners One-Bedroom Suite
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Owner's Suite (SA)
315 sq ft. 4 cabins located on the Horizon Deck with a Queen-size or twin beds, an outdoor private balcony with the open-air system, a separate bathroom and lounge area, a walk-in wardrobe, an in-suite mini-bar, restocked daily with wine, beer, and soft drinks

Notes

Single accommodations are available on some tours for an additional single supplement rate. Contact us for details of pricing and availability.

YOUR CRUISE INCLUDES
  • 7 nights on board an Emerald Waterways Star-Ship
  • Airport transfers to and from the ship
  • The services of an Emerald Waterways Cruise Director
  • Port taxes and charges
  • All tipping and gratuities
INCLUDED EXCURSIONS
  • Guided bus tour of Budapest
  • Guided tour of Bratislava
  • Guided tour of Vienna
  • UNESCO World Heritage-listed Melk Abbey Tour
  • Guided Tour of Passau
EmeraldPLUS
  • Traditional Hungarian Folklore Show on board
  • Budapest Evening Cruise
  • Local Slovakian on-board entertainment
  • Guided tour of UNESCO World Heritage-listed town of Ceský Krumlov
EmeraldACTIVE
  • Guided hike to Buda Hill
  • Hike to Bratislava Castle
  • Guided bike tour in Vienna
  • Guided hike to Dürnstein Castle
  • Guided bike tour from Dürnstein to Melk
  • Guided hike near Passau
DINING HIGHLIGHTS
  • 19 superb meals including 7 Breakfasts (B), 5 Lunches (L), 7 Dinners (D)
  • Captain’s Welcome & Farewell Gala Dinner
  • Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner on board
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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
Jack Charney
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