Five countries, four capitals, countless heritage highlights and the chance to visit some of Europe’s most enchanting Christmas markets. Introducing our extraordinary Christmas Markets of Europe tour, a 15-day river cruise whisking you from Budapest to Amsterdam via the Danube, Main and Rhine rivers. This unforgettable journey marries exceptional sightseeing experiences with the joy of strolling among the stalls of an authentic festive market, for the ultimate seasonal getaway. Hike Buda Hill, linger long in the Christkindlmarkts of Vienna, and look forward to unearthing a rich depth of culture and heritage as you weave through central and northern Europe, from the enchantment of Bavaria to the contemporary cool of the Netherlands. Mainland Europe is famous for its sprawling, light-strewn Christmas markets, and nowhere is this festive magic more tangible than Germany. From Passau in the east to Cologne in the west, stroll among the traditional markets of Regensburg, Wurzburg, Miltenberg and Rudesheim, while enjoying captivating heritage sites such as the Bishops’ Residenz, Miltenberg’s gothic Merchant Hall, and the dramatic spires of the Kölner Dom. Budapest, Bratislava and Vienna aren’t without festive enchantment either, although cultural highlights including the Ringstrasse, Hungarian Parliament Building and Mirbach Palace make it difficult to tear yourself away from sightseeing. Your journey ends amid the canals of Amsterdam, and here you can enjoy an inspiring EmeraldACTIVE guided bike tour before your return flight home.
Welcome to Budapest! You will be met and transferred from the airport to your Emerald Waterways luxury river cruise ship. After boarding, enjoy some time at your leisure to explore Budapest. This evening join your fellow travellers for a night–time cruise along the Danube, passing under the city’s numerous bridges, whilst enjoying a traditional Hungarian welcome dinner complete with folk dancing and music. EmeraldPLUS: Traditional Hungarian Folklore Show & Budapest Evening Cruise
Day 2 - Budapest
Budapest is Eastern Europe’s liveliest and most cosmopolitan city. Enjoy a guided tour of the city sights including the Hungarian Parliament Building, the Buda Castle and the Chain Bridge linking Buda and Pest or an exciting hike to Buda Hill. On your free time, stroll the Christmas market on Budapest’s main square near Váci Utca Street. This afternoon you depart for Bratislava. EmeraldACTIVE: A guided walk to Buda Hill (active fitness level recommended)
Day 3 - Bratislava
This morning we arrive at the city of Bratislava, capital of the Republic of Slovakia. Enjoy a sightseeing tour including the enchanting Old City with its Town Hall, Mirbach Palace and the Gothic Cathedral of St Martin. You can also enjoy Bratislava’s charming Christmas markets throughout the city. EmeraldPLUS: Home Hosted Coffee and Cake with Slovakians
Day 4 - Vienna
Today you have a choice of either exploring Austria’s capital beginning with a drive along the Ringstrasse, where we will see Vienna’s world–famous Opera House, Burgtheatre, Spanish Riding School, Town Hall, St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Hofburg Imperial Palace. Alternatively, join a guided bike tour instead of the drive around and guided walk. After the tour, enjoy your free time to sample the wonderful Christmas markets of Vienna which are set up in 15 different squares in the city. EmeraldACTIVE: Guided bike Tour Discover More: Exclusive Viennese concert with music from Mozart and Strauss (extra expense and / or Schonbrunn Palace tour (extra expense) ***please note that passengers on this tour will not be able to join the included Vienna tour
Day 5 - Dürnstein & Melk
In the morning we arrive in Dürnstein, one of the most enchanting villages of the Wachau wine region. This is the site of the castle where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned after returning from the crusades in the 12th century. Thereafter, drive through the picturesque landscape of this district to the 900–year old Benedictine Abbey of Melk, which features Austria’s finest Italian baroque architecture. EmeraldACTIVE: Guided hike to Durnstein Castle (active fitness level recommended) or EmeraldACTIVE: A guided biking tour along the Danube River from Durnstein to Melk
Day 6 Passau
Cruise along the Danube this morning, in the afternoon we reach Passau. Cobblestone streets and graceful arcades welcome you in this beautiful city. On this afternoon’s walking tour, stroll through the old town’s narrow alleys and see the hilltop Oberhaus Fortress from the town below. Visit St. Stephen’s Cathedral, a wonderful example of Baroque architecture and home to Europe’s largest church organ with more than 17,000 pipes. During you leisure time in Passau, why not visit one of the traditional Christmas markets in town. Discover More: Tour to Salzburg (extra expense) or Tour to Cesky Krumlov (extra expense) *** Please note, you can only choose either the Salzburg or the Ceský as both Discover More tours run at the same time. Also note that passengers on these tours will not be able to participate on the included walking tour of Passau
Day 7 - Regensburg - Kelheim
After breakfast we arrive in magnificent Regensburg. On our guided walking tour you’ll have the chance to see one of the oldest bridges crossing the Danube and see the city’s architectural highlights including the Old Town Hall. EmeraldPLUS: Traditional Bavarian Band on board Discover More: Visit to a brewery (extra expense)
Day 8 - Nuremberg
Today you will have a sightseeing coach tour of the historic city of Nuremberg. Your coach tour will pass by the 900-year-old ramparts and the Justice Palace where the War Crimes Tribunal sat in 1946. You will also get the chance to pass by the Nazi party rally grounds, where rallies were held from 1933 until 1938. Afterwards take a self-guided tour of the WWII Documentation Centre or instead enjoy free time in the city centre. Nuremberg is also known for its Christmas market squares which you can visit in your free time.
Day 9 - Bamberg
This morning we arrive at Bamberg, a UNESCO World Heritage city. Boasting one of Europe’s largest intact medieval town centres, Bamberg is bursting with original character and charm. At the centre of the town is the largest preserved old quarter in Europe.
Day 10 - Wurzburg
Known as the “Pearl of the Romantic Road”, Wurzburg is surrounded by sloping hills covered with vineyards. Join our guide for a walking tour of Wurzburg followed by a visit to the Bishops’ Residenz, one of Germany’s largest and most ornate baroque palaces and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Y our tour highlights the palace’s unique staircase, elaborate 18th century frescoes and the amazing 3–dimensional stuccowork. Discover More: Tour to Rothenburg (extra expense) ***passengers on this tour will not be able to attend the included walking tour of Wurzburg as both tours run at the same time.
Day 11- Wertheim - Miltenberg
Today we start from the stunning medieval glass-blowing town of Wertheim, where you have the opportunity to explore on your own. Then, travel by coach to the picturesque village of Miltenberg on the Main River. The village creates an imitable feeling of Bavarian life in the middle ages and the Old Town is lined with well–preserved half–timbered buildings. The gothic Merchant Hall is an impressive symbol of past affluence created by trade from river traffic. After your guided tour enjoy free time until the ship arrives. EmeraldACTIVE: Guided walk to Wertheim Castle (active fitness level recommended)
Day 12 - Rudesheim- Koblenz
After breakfast arrive in Rüdesheim, one of Germany’s most popular towns. You will either have a choice of visiting the Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum or if you feel active take take a guided hike through vineyards. In your free time, continue exploring and perhaps taste the famous “Rudesheimer Coffee”, made with Germany’s most famous brandy Asbach Uralt.
After lunch, the ship will sail through the spectacular Rhine Gorge. We will pass the infamous Lorelei Rock where sailors are said to have been lured onto treacherous rocks by enchanted temptresses. In the early evening we arrive into the beautiful 2,000 year old town of Koblenz. EmeraldACTIVE: Guided hike through vineyards
Day 13 - Cologne
The ship sails from Koblenz in the early morning, cruising along the Rhine we arrive in Cologne. Founded by the Romans, Cologne is one of Germany’s oldest cities and is famous for its magnificent World–heritage listed Gothic Cathedral and market squares lined with cafes, shops and beer halls. Cologne also has lovely Christmas markets in all the city squares. This evening the captain will be delighted to welcome you to the Captain’s Farewell Gala Dinner. Discover More: Tour to Drachenburg Castle (extra expense) ***passengers on this tour will have the guided tour of Cologne afterwards
Day 14 - Amsterdam
The ship sails along the Amsterdam Rijnkanaal and into Amsterdam. This morning you can decide to either enjoy a glass top canal boat tour through Amsterdam’s canal or a guided bike tour. For those on the canal cruise, afterwards continue with an orientation walk followed by free time, to visit some other famous attractions, such as the Rijks or Van Gogh Museums, or simply enjoy the lively atmosphere and watch the world go by. EmeraldACTIVE: Guided Bike Tour
Day 15 Amsterdam Disembarkation
After breakfast, your tour concludes and you will be transferred to the airport for your ongoing flight.
Emerald Waterways’ fleet of Star-Ships perfectly marry modern design with deluxe comfort for their guests. The fleet has been responsibly designed to match and complement the eternal flow of the rivers. The Emerald Dawn built in 2015 benefits from 72 generously-proportioned suites and 20 staterooms. The five sister vessels (Sun, Sky, Star, Dawn, Destiny), boast a capacity of 182 guests apiece, 47 crew and all contain a selection of excellent amenities and features. The Sun Deck of the ships also boasts a retractable glass roof which provides seasonal protection for the pool, cinema and Riverview Lounge below. Whether you wish to undertake a few lengths before breakfast in the heated pool or enjoy a Hollywood classic in the cinema, the choice is yours. Book one of the Balcony Suites, found on the Vista and Horizon Decks, and you’ll enjoy unparalleled views from the spacious private balconies – a truly invigorating start to another day on Europe’s beautiful waterways.
92 elegantly appointed staterooms and Suites range in size from 162-310 ft². Most accommodations have a open air balcony. Try one of the 4 One-Bedroom Owner’s Suites at 310 sq ft² with their very own bedroom which closes off from the rest of the suite. An outdoor balcony, complete with open-air system, allows you to enjoy the views of your surroundings whatever the weather so you can enjoy the ever-changing scenery however you wish. Suites feature added enhancements such as in suite breakfast and canapes, a larger sitting area with two chairs. All staterooms include amenities such ensuite bathroom with shower, Infotainment, free high-speed Internet access, climate-controlled air conditioning; and an in-room safe, fridge and complimentary bottled water replenished daily.
|Dec 1||Emerald Dawn||Amsterdam||SAVE £800||Cabin Upgrades|
|Cat E||Lower Deck||162 ft², Fixed Windows||Sold|
|Cat D||Lower Deck||162 ft², Fixed Windows||Sold|
|Cat ES (Single)||Lower Deck||117 ft², Fixed Windows||£|
|Cat C||Middle Deck||180 ft², French Balcony||Sold|
|Cat B||Middle Deck||180 ft², French Balcony||£4695||Was £5495|
|Cat A||Upper Deck||180 ft², French Balcony||£4845||Was £5645|
|Grand Balcony||Upper Deck||210 ft², Outside Balcony||£5595||Was £6395|
|Owner's Suite||Upper Deck||315 ft², Outside Balcony||£6545||Was £7345|
|Dec 1||Emerald Destiny||Amsterdam||SAVE £250||Cabin Upgrades|
|Lower Deck||Cat E||162 ft², Fixed Windows||£3645|
|Lower Deck||Cat D||162 ft², Fixed Windows||£3895|
|Lower Deck||Cat ES (Single)||117 ft², Fixed Windows|
|Middle Deck||Cat C||180 ft², French Balcony||£4945|
|Middle Deck||Cat B||180 ft², French Balcony||£5245|
|Upper Deck||Cat A||180 ft², French Balcony||£5395|
|Upper Deck||Grand Balcony Suite||210 ft², Outside Balcony||£6145|
|Upper Deck||Owner's Suite||315 ft², Outside Balcony||£7095|
Enquire now about this cruise & speak to one of our friendly river cruising team on 0800 471 4754.
Emerald Waterways are a new entrant to the river cruise market and sit as Scenic’s premium river cruise sister company. Ships are brand new and very contemporary in style and the river cruising is very relaxed. A very welcome inclusion to the premium, luxury market. A holiday to enjoy.
6 night Rhine cruise from Cologne. Celebrate Christmas in style with a gala Christmas Eve celebration with fellow like-minded guests on the wonderful Amadeus Silver III luxury river cruise ship. Option of Christmas mass in Speyer. Drinks with meals and flights and transfers included.
Enjoy this short trip down the Danube to explore its iconic cities at a wonderful time of year. And fill up on festive treats and gifts.
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