Emerald Star sails along some of Europe’s most spectacular rivers including the Rhine, Main and Danube. With a capacity of 182 guests, the ship's luxury facilities, staterooms and suites are spread across four decks. The friendly crew are on hand to look after your every need so that you make the most of your river cruise experience. The main hub of the ship, the Horizon Bar and Lounge, is joined by a restaurant and outdoor BBQ area, sun deck and indoor pool, and wellness and fitness areas. Days in port reveal an eclectic mix of included excursions or you can climb aboard one of the complimentary bikes to cycle along the river banks and explore at your own pace
Reflections Restaurant serves a menu of gourmet cuisine to your table; expertly prepared for you by the chefs from the finest ingredients. A selection of highlight dinners also adds to your culinary experience. Dine under the stars at the Sun Deck's Sky Barbecue and treat yourself to a gastronomic feast from the grill.
Riverview Lounge on the Sun Deck has an extensive drinks menu; soak up the picturesque views and read a book by day and sip cocktails here after dark. Horizon Bar & Lounge also has a well-stocked bar and a help-yourself coffee machine and speciality teas to quench your thirst. It is also the perfect place to retreat to after dinner to unwind on the plush chairs and share stories with friends over your favourite tipple.
Day or night there is plenty to entertain you on Emerald Star. Put your skills to the test on the golf putting green, take a stroll around the walking track, or work out in the fitness area. Take a dip in the indoor heated pool by day, and by night this area transforms into a cinema space showing a selection of movies and concerts on screen. Head to Horizon Bar & Lounge before dinner to listen to an informal talk from the Cruise Director on your upcoming ports of call; return later for live music, local performances, quizzes and the popular weekly crew show.
Day 1: UK – Budapest, Hungary
Fly from your selected UK airport to Budapest and be transferred to the port where you will embark on board Emerald Star
Day 2: Budapest, Hungary
One of eastern Europe's liveliest and most cosmopolitan cities — Budapest — offers plenty to see and do. The 19th-century Chain Bridge spans Danube River and connects the hilly Buda district with the flat Pest area. Ride the tram up Castle Hill to Buda's old town where you can step back to Roman times at Budapest History Museum and discover the World Heritage-listed Royal Palace. Admire Hungarian crown jewels at Parliament House or indulge in a hot thermal bath at Szechenyi Bath. Enjoy a photo opportunity at Heroes’ Square, before visiting Vajdahunyad Castle in nearby City Park. Savour a bird's eye view of the city from the Budapest Eye Ferris wheel and the famous Fisherman's Bastion.
Day 3: Bratislava, Slovakia
Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, is set along the Danube River by the border of Austria and Hungary. It is surrounded by vineyards and the Little Carpathian Mountains threaded with biking and hiking trails. Venture to heart of Bratislava and walk along the picturesque streets of the old town or become lost in the beauty of St Michael's street and gaze in awe at the fairy tale-like St Michael’s tower. Visit the peaceful Slavin to pay your respects to fallen soldiers and admire the breath-taking views of the city. Be amazed by the verdant fields and meandering rivers as you venture to the historical Devin Castle or lose yourself in the modern art at Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum.
Day 4: Vienna, Austria
A highlight of any cruise is a day in Austria's capital city — Vienna. Steeped in history, Vienna is packed to the brim with wonderful sights — from the world-famous Opera House and Spanish Riding School to the Burgtheatre, Town Hall, St Stephen's Cathedral, Schonbrunn Palace, and Hofburg Imperial Palace. Visit Vienna's Leopold Museum, Kunsthalle Wien and Museum of Modern Art, or get up close to exotic wildlife at Tiergarten. Make sure to admire city-wide views from the Riesenrad giant Ferris wheel and Danube Tower.
Day 5: Dürnstein, Austria > Melk, Austria
Step ashore this morning in the Austrian town of Durnstein. Visit the historic Durnstein Castle, famous for the imprisonment of King Richard, the lion heart. Travel into the heart of the town to sample locally-produced schnapps, chocolate, and more. Stop by the Domane Wachau winery for a true taste of Austria and pose for pictures against the backdrop of hills and vineyards. Step back onboard as the cruise continues to Melk. This Baroque-style town is dominated by the 900-year old Melk Abbey with its gold leaf walls, 640-foot Imperial Corridor, and fresco ceilings. Stroll through Old Town Melk and discover the Lebzelterhaus, Rathaus, and the Coronation of Our Lady statue. Climb up to the pilgrimage church of Maria Taferi for stunning views of the Danube Valley below.
Day 6: Passau, Germany
The German city of Passau — which lies at the confluence of the Danube, Ilz and Inn rivers — is your next port of call. Also known as the 'Three Rivers City', Passau is dominated by the 13th-century hilltop Veste Oberhaus fortress with its city museum and observation tower. Meander through the cobbled streets of the Baroque-style old town district, exploring City Hall, New Bishop's Residence, and the mix of handicraft shops and galleries en-route. No visit here would be complete without calling at St Stephen's Cathedral to admire the 17,774-piped organ and distinctive onion-domed towers.
Day 7: Regensburg, Germany
Step ashore at the beautifully-preserved Bavarian city of Regensburg on the shores of the Danube River in southeast Germany. The old town area of this 2,000-year-old city boasts UNESCO World Heritage site status. Visit Porta Praetoria at Castra Regina Fortress, Dome St Peter, and Schottenkirche St Jakob. Take a walk along the 310-metre, 12th-century Stone Bridge for the best views of Regensburg and visit the artefacts at Bridge Tower Museum. You can also escape to the tranquil setting of Herzogspark with its botanical garden, medieval Prebrunnturm tower, and moat.
Day 8: Nuremberg, Germany > Munich, Germany
Disembark in Nuremberg and be transferred to Munch airport for your flight back to the UK.