Hollywood FL (March 2023) – It’s no wonder the ‘Blue Danube’ is one of the most traveled for river cruising: at 1,771 miles it’s the second longest river in Europe, flowing through 10 countries and four capital cities—more than any other river in the world. With so much history, culture and diverse natural beauty to explore here, travelers may have a hard time narrowing down the options. Enter the journey designers at Emerald Cruises, who created five distinct itineraries on this iconic river, ensuring a trip for every kind of traveler.
Classic Danube, But Make it Active
The upper Danube between Regensburg and Budapest is often the first choice for river cruisers with good reason—guests can discover Old Europe as the river traverses four countries (Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary) and calls on three capital cities (Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest) during the approximately 465-mile sailing. On Emerald Cruises’ eight-day Danube Delights, guests can take in the sights on walking tours of the ports or dial up the cardio on one of seven EmeraldACTIVE tours available. Guided biking tours of Regensburg, Passau, the Wachau Valley and Vienna, as well as guided hikes in Durnstein, Bratislava and Budapest offer to keep moving and stay fit in each port. All EmeraldACTIVE tours are included and bookable onboard, meaning guests can decide each day how they wish to explore. Other highlights include musical entertainment onboard from a Bavarian band, an opportunity to visit the home of a Slovakian family for coffee, cake and cultural exchange, and a tour of post-communist Bratislava via a classic Skoda automobile with a driver. Emerald Cruises offers 37 departures between April and October 2023 starting from $3,095 per person, double, or $2,095 with pay-in-full savings offer.
Leisurely Danube for Culinary Enthusiasts
Emerald Cruises’ eight-day Danube Explorer itinerary shines a different light on a similar stretch of the river between Passau and Budapest. A shorter sailing at 362 miles, this cruise takes a leisurely pace, offering more time for guests to explore on their own. A shorter distance doesn’t equate to seeing less—on the contrary, this route adds a country with a day trip from Linz, Austria to the UNESCO World Heritage listed town of Česky Krumlov in the Czech Republic. A strong focus on culinary offerings through this cruise will entice foodies and home cooks with a Bavarian brunch at a farm in Passau, Linzer torte making demonstration and tasting in Linz, Tastes of Vienna food tour and a special culinary tour of Budapest with a visit to the famed Market Hall. Other highlights include an overnight in Vienna for those wishing to explore the vibrant city’s nightlife and renowned restaurants, a tour of Melk Abbey and the opportunity to visit the famed baths in Budapest. Emerald Cruises offers 23 departures between April and October 2023 starting from $2,295 per person, double, or $1,995 with pay-in-full savings offer.
Lower Danube for History Buffs
Five countries accompany the Danube on its journey through Eastern Europe. Emerald Cruises’ nine-day Enchantment of Eastern Europe explores this fascinating region between Budapest and Bucharest, Romania, with ports in Bulgaria, Serbia and Croatia. History buffs will be taken in by the range of significant sites visited, from the rise of humanity at Lepesnki Ver in Serbia, the oldest planned settlement in Europe dating back to 9500 BC, to the fall of the Soviet empire with a visit to Revolution Square in Bucharest. Opportunities for cultural immersion abound, from a choir concert in Arbanasi, Budapest, to a home-hosted lunch in Croatia and visit to the Puszta horse farm in Hungary. The itinerary includes a one-night hotel stay in Bucharest to allow guests to familiarize themselves with “Paris of the East.” Emerald Cruises offers 12 departures between April and October 2023 starting from $4,125 per person, double, or $3,125 with pay-in-full savings offer.
A Yuletide Danube Cruise, Two Ways
A holiday Danube river cruise calling on some of the most enchanting Christmas Markets in Europe is a dream come true for any Christmas enthusiast. Wandering through the gingerbread-inspired stalls, sipping mulled wine and shopping for traditional ornaments and unique gifts is the perfect way to usher in the holiday spirit while satisfying the desire to experience Europe’s timeless holiday season. Emerald Cruises offers two options on the Danube during the holidays: the five-day Christmastime on the Danubesails between Vienna and Budapest, which just happen to host two of the largest markets on the river; and the longer eight-day Christmas Markets on the Danube, sailing between Regensburg and Budapest, and offering a nice mix of smaller markets and a wintertime visit to the Bavarian Forest. Emerald Cruises offers four Danube Christmas Market cruises between November and December 2023 starting from $1,695 per person, double ($1,095 with pay-in-full offer) for the five-day sailing, and $3,245 per person ($2,245 with the pay-in-full offer) for the eight-night.
Danube for the Whole Family
Emerald Cruises recently announced an expansion of their Danube catalogue to include a sailing perfect for the whole family. The new, eight-day Family Danube River Cruise sails between Budapest and Passau, and has been carefully crafted with guests ages 10 to 18 in mind. In Budapest, families can opt to visit the AM 3D gallery, a quirky museum where guests are encouraged to interact and pose with the art; and while in Bratislava, budding chefs will enjoy taking part in a cooking class on an active Slovakian farm. A geocaching outing in Passau and an archery lesson at Schallaburg Castle in Austria ensure kids get an opportunity to get the juices flowing. Onboard, young guests can look forward to dedicated pool activities with the ship’s wellness coach, wheelhouse tours with the Captain, learning about what it takes to navigate the mighty Danube, and locally-inspired dinner menus with options modified for younger guests’ tastes. Emerald Cruises first Family Danube River Cruise will depart July 15, 2023 with fares starting from $3,845 per person, double, for adults ($2,845 with pay-in-full savings offer) and second cabin is 50% off full fare.
Emerald Cruises offers a diverse lineup of river and yacht cruises on three continents. Emerald Azzurra, the line’s first ocean-going vessel which debuted in March 2022, is a 100-guest, luxury yacht sailing the warm waters of the Mediterranean, Adriatic and Red Seas, and new for the 2023/2024 season, the Caribbean and Central America. In November 2022, Emerald Azzurra was named Best New Luxury Ship in Cruise Critic’s 2022 Editors’ Picks Awards. Emerald Sakara, the brand’s second luxury yacht, launches in 2023. On the rivers, Emerald Cruises sails eight branded Star-Ships in Europe and one on the Mekong. The brand offers innovatively-designed ships, outstanding service and a focus on active shore excursions and onboard wellness offerings through their signature EmeraldACTIVE program. Emerald Cruises is part of Scenic Group, which includes Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, Mayflower Cruises & Tours and Evergreen Tours in Australia.
Emerald Cruises can be found on Twitter at @emerald_cruises, on Facebook as EmeraldCruisesGlobal and on Instagram as @EmeraldCruises.global.
Additional information can be found by contacting your local travel advisor; on Emerald Cruises’ website, www.emeraldcruises.com; or by calling the consumer/travel agent reservations line at 844-428-8389. Digital brochure downloads are available on the website.