Sailing the Danube aboard Europe’s Newest River Cruise Line
Of all the river cruises I’ve taken, one of my absolute favorite destinations is the Danube River.Filled with culture, history and natural beauty, a sailing along the Danube is a veritable wonderland of enjoyment. It’s a good thing I love this part of Europe so much: tomorrow, I’ll board a Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt and connect on to the historic Hungarian capital of Budapest. Once there, on Saturday I’ll embark Emerald Waterways brand-new Emerald Star for a weeklong Live Voyage Report on the line’s Danube Delightsitinerary!
The full itinerary, both here and onboard:
|Saturday, July 12, 2014||Budapest, Hungary||Embark Emerald Waterways’ Emerald Star in Budapest; Welcome Aboard Dinner|
|Sunday, July 13||Budapest, Hungary||Guided tour of Budapest including Fisherman’s Bastion and Castle Hill|
|Monday, July 14||Bratislava, Slovakia||Old Town walking tour; EmeraldPlus excursion for tea with a local Slovakian family|
|Tuesday, July 15||Vienna, Austria||Panoramic “Ringstrasse” tour of Vienna; free time and optional Schonbrunn Palace Tour and Viennese concert.|
|Wednesday, July 16||Vienna / Durnstein / Melk, Austria||Guided tour of Melk Abbey; guided tour of Durnstein|
|Thursday, July 17||Linz, Austria / Passau, Germany||Walking tours & free time in Linz and Passau; Optional full-day tour to Salzburg, Austria|
|Friday, July 18||Regensburg / Weltenburg, Germany||Guided tours of Regensburg & Weltenburg Abbey; optional traditional Bavarian entertainment excursion|
|Saturday, July 19||Nuremberg, Germany||Disembark & onward journey home.|
As wonderful as these ports of call are, it’s Emerald Waterways that truly fascinates me. The company, an offshoot of Australia-based Scenic Tours, only began operations this past spring with two brand-new, custom-made river cruise ships: Emerald Skyand Emerald Star. Both ships are 443 feet (135 metres) in length, and carry a total of 182 guests in 92 staterooms and suites. They’re also trendsetting, sporting a solarium-style indoor swimming pool that can convert to a cinema at night, a Gelateria, and modern, contemporary styling.
Of course, as river cruising grows in popularity among passengers, so does competition between river cruise lines. Parent company Scenic Tours is designed as a premium, six-star experience, so Emerald Waterways has been created as a lower-cost alternative – but by no means does that mean ‘cheap’. Cruise fares on Emerald Waterways include all transfers from the