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Explore Cologne

Splendours of Europe

Amsterdam to Budapest - Example 15 Day Cruise aboard Emerald Sun
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Embark on a 15-day Splendour of Europe cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest aboard Emerald Sun. Explore Amsterdam's picturesque canals, cafés, and art galleries. Visit the cathedral city of Cologne is one of the oldest cities in Germany and the largest on the Rhine. Admire hilltop castles, including the Lorelai Rock and Pfalzgrafenstein Castle. Explore charming villages like Miltenberg and Würzburg. Sail through the Main Danube Canal to Regensburg and discover Passau, Melk, Vienna, and Bratislava. Conclude your journey in Budapest, divided by the iconic Danube River.
Explore the unique architecture of BambergEnjoy a tranquil stroll in AmsterdamBridge in AmsterdamBridge in Amsterdam, NetherlandsStroll through the romantic streets of AmsterdamCologne's famous cathedral at duskEhrenfels Castle on Rhine River near RudesheimExplore Cologne
Highlights
  • Explore the Dutch Golden Age
  • Pass the infamous Lorelai Rock
  • Visit Würzburg known as the ‘Pearl of the Romantic Road’
  • Discover Ringstrasse and Vienna’s famous sights
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.
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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 comfortable surrounds of your Emerald Cruises Star-Ship. After boarding, you can enjoy some time to explore 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 excellent ways to experience the city in all its authenticity, take 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 takes you through the tranquil Dutch countryside to the Rhine River.

EmeraldACTIVE
Guided bike tour to Waterland

Included Excursion
Canal cruise

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 concludes 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 center where locals meet for shopping trips and to enjoy authentic German beer before returning to your Star-Ship.

Included Excursion
Guided tour of Cologne’s Old Town

Day 4: Rüdesheim

Today’s cruise route meanders through the fairytale-like surrounds of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Rhine Gorge. Hilltop castles and fortresses are yours to admire as you sail leisurely down the Rhine River. You'll 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'll 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.

EmeraldACTIVE
Hike to Niederwalddenkmal

Included Excursion
Visit to Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet Museum

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. You could also 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, you’ll 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.

EmeraldPLUS
Exclusive visit to the Glass Art Museum in Wertheim with presentation

EmeraldACTIVE
Active walk to Mildenburg Castle

Included Excursion
Guided tour of Miltenberg

Day 6: Würzburg

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.

Included Excursion
Walking tour of Würzburg and a visit to the Bishops Residence

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Excursion to Rothenburg (extra expense)

Day 7: Bamberg

This morning, relax on board and witness the beauty of Europe’s waterways from the plush surrounds of your cabin as you 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.

Included Excursion
Guided tour of Bamberg

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.

Included Excursion
Guided tour of Nuremberg

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World War II tour (extra expense)

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 is 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. Later today, enjoy a traditional Bavarian band performance on board.

EmeraldPLUS
Bavarian band performance on board

Included Excursion
Guided tour of Regensburg

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Sausage-making workshop (extra expense)

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 in 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.

Included Excursion
Guided tour of Passau

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Excursion to Salzburg (extra expense)

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Excursion to Ceský Krumlov (extra expense)

Day 11: Melk | Dürnstein

Situated within Austria’s wine-growing region, Melk is home to a 900-year-old Benedictine abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site, which is yours to explore today during an included tour. Your guide takes 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.

EmeraldACTIVE
Guided bike tour along the Danube

EmeraldACTIVE
Guided hike to Dürnstein Castle

Included Excursion
Tour of Melk Abbey

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.

EmeraldACTIVE
Guided bike tour of Vienna

Included Excursion
Guided tour of Vienna

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Viennese evening concert (extra expense)

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Visit to Schönbrunn Palace (extra expense)

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 takes 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 is happy to welcome you into their home for some great conversation over traditional sweet treats and coffee.

EmeraldPLUS
Home-hosted coffee and cake with a Slovakian family

EmeraldACTIVE
Guided hike to Bratislava Castle

Included Excursion
Walking tour of Bratislava

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Skoda tour of post-Communist Bratislava (extra expense)

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Carpathian wine route (extra expense)

Day 14: Budapest

Budapest is Eastern Europe’s liveliest and most cosmopolitan city. Divided by the iconic Danube River, Buda, and Pest on either side can be reached via the Chain Bridge, one of the city’s most symbolic structures.

Enjoy a guided tour of the city with your local guide this morning. Alternatively, embark on a hike to Gellert Hill. This evening, you'll enjoy a Hungarian folklore show before your farewell dinner.

EmeraldPLUS
Traditional Hungarian folklore show on board

EmeraldACTIVE
Hike to Gellert Hill

Included Excursion
Guided coach tour of Budapest

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Excursion to Szentendre (extra expense)

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Jewish heritage tour (extra expense)

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.

Ship/Hotel

Emerald Sun

Pool
Restaurant
Sundeck

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$11,190 2-3 travelers
Emerald Single Stateroom
Select a Date
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
Select a Date
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
Select a Date
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
Select a Date
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
Select a Date
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
Select a Date
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
Select a Date
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.
Included
  • 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
Excluded
  • 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

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
Justin Chappelle
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