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Explore the inspiring Amsterdam

Splendours of Europe

Amsterdam - Budapest - Example 15 Day Cruise aboard Emerald Destiny
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Embark on this 15-day Splendors of Europe cruise aboard the Emerald Destiny from Amsterdam to Budapest. This trip includes a scenic route through the countries of the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary. Begin the exploration in Amsterdam, and delve into the history of the Dutch Golden Age. Venture to Cologne, a historic city on the Rhine River's banks. Along the way, visit UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the Rhine Gorge in Rudesheim and the Benedictine Abbey in Melk. Discover the charm of enchanting towns such as Wurzburg, Nuremberg, and Passau. Immerse in Vienna's rich cultural heritage and the splendid Renaissance-style arches of the Vienna Opera House—next, venture to Bratislava, an ancient city that once thrived along the historic trade routes. Disembark in the captivating city of Budapest.
Western Church with water canal view in AmsterdamBrilliant tulips growing near AmsterdamBudapest, the capital city of HungaryDiscover the gorgeous architecture of BudapestOld buildings in AmsterdamVienna Opera House, AustriaPassau at sunset, GermanyExplore the inspiring Amsterdam
  • Explore the Dutch Golden Age in Amsterdam
  • Discover UNESCO World Heritage sites along the Rhine River
  • Immerse in Vienna's rich cultural heritage and the Vienna Opera House
  • Explore charming towns like Miltenberg, Wurzburg, Bamberg, and more
Activity Level: Variable
Activity options vary depending on destination and operator. Activity level is determined by the range and intensity of activities you choose to participate in. Discuss with your Trip Planner which options are best for you.

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Amsterdam | Embark

Welcome to Amsterdam, a postcard-worthy destination of picturesque canals, cafés, and art galleries. Here, you'll be met at the airport and transferred to the ship. After boarding, you can enjoy some time exploring the cobbled streets and gabled houses at leisure. This evening, join your fellow guests for dinner on board.


Day 2: Amsterdam

This morning, explore the Dutch Golden Age, as you board a glass-top canal boat cruise to explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed canal system or enjoy a guided bike tour to Waterland.

Both are excellent ways to experience the city in all its authenticity, taking to its charming waterways, passing iconic buildings, and elegant merchant residences that reflect a time when Amsterdam was one of the most lucrative ports in the world. If you’re feeling more active, then explore on two wheels, cycling alongside a backdrop of historical villages and traditional windmills.

On returning to your Star-Ship, your first day of sailing will take you through the tranquil Dutch countryside to the Rhine River.

Day 3: Cologne

Founded by the Romans in 50 AD, the cathedral city of Cologne is one of the oldest cities in Germany and the largest on the Rhine. The historic capital of the Rhineland, this illustrious city has been generously peppered with ancient architecture, from Roman ruins to medieval structures, despite much of the inner city being completely destroyed during WWII.

Join your local guide and explore the city, including the Old Town with its beautiful squares, historic monuments, and contemporary architecture. Your tour will conclude at the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cologne Cathedral, whose filigree twin towers form an iconic part of the skyline. During your free time, explore the city centre where locals meet for shopping trips and to enjoy authentic German beer before returning to your Star-Ship.

Day 4: Rudesheim

Today’s cruise route meanders through the fairytale-like surrounds of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Rhine Gorge. Hilltop castles and fortresses will be yours to admire as travelers sail leisurely down the Rhine River. We will pass the infamous Lorelai Rock, where sailors are said to have been lured onto treacherous rocks by an enchanting siren, and the impressive Pfalzgrafenstein Castle, a former stronghold.

This afternoon, arrive in Rüdesheim, a town with a vibrant wine-growing heritage. You will have the choice of either riding on the Winzerexpress and visiting Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet Museum or, if you're feeling active, taking an active hike to Niederwalddenkmal.

Day 5: Miltenberg | Wertheim

Welcome to Miltenberg, a picturesque village on the Main River, boasting an inimitable feeling of medieval Bavaria with its 15th-century half-timbered buildings.

On your included walking tour, stroll down the cobblestone streets, lined with these colorful houses and view the Gothic Merchant Hall, an impressive symbol of past affluence. Alternatively, enjoy an active walk through the forest to Mildenburg Castle. This iconic landmark now houses a wonderful collection of contemporary art and old masters.

Later, travelers venture to the charming town of Wertheim where, as part of your EmeraldPLUS program, you’ll have an exclusive glassblowing presentation at the Glass Art Museum.

Day 6: Wurzburg

Known as the ‘Pearl of the Romantic Road’, Würzburg, is the center for grape-growing, the product of the sloping vineyard-laden hills which surround the former capital of Franconia. The architects behind the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Würzburg Residence drew inspiration from a spectrum of different styles, including Viennese Baroque and secular features from Italy, but it was heavily damaged during WWII. Enjoy learning about how this impressive building was restored to its former glory on a guided tour.

Day 7: Bamberg

This morning, relax on the Sun Deck with a drink in hand or witness the beauty of Europe’s waterways from the plush surrounds of your cabin as we cruise to Bamberg. The UNESCO World Heritage-listed town boasts one of the largest medieval centers in Europe, with around 2,400 listed buildings gracing its streets.

Feel the magic of the past as you explore the city with your local guide, marveling at the opulence of the New Residence, once resided in by the prince bishops and now home to a plethora of old German and Baroque paintings from the Bavarian State collection. Enjoy a tranquil stroll around the Rose Garden to round your day off peacefully.

Day 8: Nuremberg

Embark on a sightseeing tour of the historic city of Nuremberg, including the architectural wonders that have inspired famous artists for centuries, and exploring the effects that the war years had. After your tour, enjoy time to explore Nuremberg at leisure, passing half-timbered houses that were beautifully reconstructed following the war.

Day 9: Regensburg

This morning, you’ll sail the final stretch of the fascinating Main-Danube Canal to Regensburg. As you continue sailing down the Danube, one of Germany’s best-preserved medieval cities welcomes you with two millennia of history. For almost 150 years, the Old Town Hall was the seat of parliament. Dating back to the 13th century, it consists of the Town Hall Tower, the Imperial Chamber building, and the Town Hall. Wander the streets with your guide, as the romantic narrow alleys of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town enable you to live through the city’s history.

The main highlight of your tour will be the 12th-century Stone Bridge, a medieval structure crossing the Danube. Enjoy time to explore Regensburg at leisure after your guided tour or return to your Star Ship for some peace and tranquillity. Tonight, enjoy a traditional Bavarian band performance on board.

Day 10: Passau

Passau is a picturesque city that has been shaped by the surrounding rivers over the years, sitting right on the confluence of the Danube, Inn, and Ilz. This memorable destination is dominated by large squares, magical promenades, and romantic lanes. Cobblestone streets and graceful arcades welcome you to the beautiful city of Passau. On this morning’s walking tour, stroll through streets lined by Baroque buildings dating back to the 17th century and look at the Gothic Town Hall, Bishop’s Residence, and St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a wonderful example of Baroque architecture and home to the largest church organ in Europe.

Return for lunch on board and an afternoon peacefully cruising along the Danube.

Day 11: Melk | Durnstein

Situated within Austria’s wine-growing region, Melk is home to an old Benedictine abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site, which is yours to explore today during an included tour. Your guide will take you through a series of opulent rooms, each adorned with the finest Italian Baroque architecture and ornate gold leaf walls, including the ancient monastic library, renowned for its extensive collection of medieval manuscripts.

Later, the Star-Ship sails through the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wachau Valley and on to Dürnstein, one of the most enchanting villages in the Wachau wine region, where you can choose to hike to Dürnstein Castle, the site where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned after returning from the Crusades.

Alternatively, enjoy an EmeraldACTIVE guided bike ride along the Danube from Melk to Dürnstein, passing famous vineyards and quaint towns before settling down for a picnic lunch on the riverbanks.

Day 12: Vienna

Austria’s breathtaking capital is recognized for its cultural legacy. As the former residence of Mozart and Beethoven, a multitude of imperial palaces represent a rich history, and the museum district boasts contemporary buildings, housing the work of some of the world’s most prolific artists.

Explore the famous sights of the Ringstrasse and Vienna’s city center by coach and on foot or join a guided bike tour. Marvel at the Renaissance-style arches that adorn the façades of the Opera House, the Baroque Burgtheater, and the Flemish Gothic Parliament before enjoying time to explore Vienna at leisure.

Day 13: Bratislava

Set at the crossroads of ancient trade routes in the heart of Europe, Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, is a place where Baroque palaces, boutiques, and cafés adorn cobblestone streets. In the morning, enjoy a sightseeing tour, including the enchanting Old City, or hike to Bratislava Castle.

Your local guide will take you through the heart of the city. Pass by the botanical gardens of the Episcopal Summer Palace, the Old Town Hall and its delightful Renaissance courtyard, and the Slovak National Theatre, where busts of famous composers adorn the façade. After your tour, enjoy free time to explore at leisure.

This afternoon, a local family will be happy to welcome you into their home for some great conversation over traditional sweet treats and coffee.

Day 14: Budapest

Budapest is a place of striking contrasts, with Buda on one side housing a generous scattering of the city's elegant landmarks, and Pest on the other encapsulating its fascinating past. Separated by the mighty Danube, you can explore them both by crossing the Chain Bridge, one of the most symbolic structures in the capital.

Today, you have the opportunity to discover the city's history during a guided tour, including the Castle District, where the sights of Buda Castle perched on top of a rocky outcrop overlooking the city's delight. If you feel active, then you may choose to hike to Buda Hill, following a maze of cobblestone streets to the massive Baroque masterpiece towering overhead.

This evening, you will enjoy a Hungarian folklore show before your farewell dinner.

Day 15: Budapest | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast, it's time to say farewell to your fellow guests and disembark your Star-Ship for your transfer to the airport, taking memories of the delightful Danube 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 the terms and conditions for further information.


Emerald Destiny

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Emerald Destiny

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$11,190 2-3 travelers
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)
180 sq ft. 18 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 (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


Single accommodations are available on some tours for an additional single supplement rate. Contact us for details of pricing and availability.
  • 14 Breakfasts, 13 Lunches, 14 Dinners
  • 14 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Choice between Emerald Plus and Emerald Active Excursions
  • Wifi
  • Complimentary Wine, Beer and Soft drinks with lunch and dinner on board
  • The services of an Emerald Cruises Tour Manager
  • Airport transfers to and from the ship
  • Port taxes and charges
  • All tipping and gratuities
  • Including a Welcome and Farewell Reception & Dinner
  • Guided tour of Vienna
  • Guided tour of Passau
  • Walking tour of Bratislava
  • Guided coach tour of Budapest
  • Canal cruise in Amsterdam
  • Guided tour of Cologne's Old Town
  • Visit to Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet Museum
  • Guided tour of Miltenberg
  • Walking tour of Würzburg and a visit to the Bishops Residence
  • Guided tour of Bamberg
  • Guided tour of Nuremberg
  • Guided tour of Regensburg
  • Tour of Melk Abbey
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Travelers are urged to arrange comprehensive travel insurance to cover any unforeseen circumstances that may occur during the tour


When to Go

Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.


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The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
Gale Cantor
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