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Paris & Christmas Markets of Europe River Cruise 2018

18 days with Emerald Waterways  Rating: Deluxe

Book this River Cruise Now and Save!


  • Fly for free from select gateways or save $2,000 per couple off select 2018 cruises. Plus, receive an extended drink package that includes unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks. Expires November 30. Click here for eligible departures.

Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some discounts are not combinable.

River Cruise Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival Paris
Welcome to Paris, the city of light. This exuberant city is also known as the city of love, for its romantic atmosphere. Stroll through the boulevards, passing by the bridges to the Eiffel Tower as it lights up at night. Later this evening, join your Tour Director and fellow travelers for a welcome drink and reception. Included is a three night stay in Paris.

Day 2 Paris
Enjoy a full day of sightseeing in Europe’s crowing city on a guided tour that passes by landmarks such as Notre Dame Cathedral and the Arc de Triomphe. Continue exploring on a Seine River cruise that ends at the iconic Eiffel Tower. (Breakfast)

Day 3 Paris
Visit the Louvre to witness the legendary Mona Lisa smile in-person, or perhaps venture below ground to explore Paris’ vast labyrinth of catacombs. Paris is at your fingertips, waiting to be seized, and the possibilities are limitless.  This evening enjoy a scrumptious Parisian dinner. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Discover More: Tastes of Paris (extra expense)

Day 4 Paris – Amsterdam Embarkation
After breakfast transfer from Paris to Amsterdam and join your Emerald Waterways award-winning river cruise ship and be welcomed by your Captain and crew. This evening enjoy your first dinner on board with your fellow travelers. Your Cruise Director will also conduct a port talk to review the activities and itinerary for the days ahead. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 5 Amsterdam Cruising
This morning you can decide to either enjoy a glass top canal boat tour through Amsterdam’s canal or a guided bike tour. Return to the ship for your first day sailing through the Dutch countryside passing windmills and sailing through locks towards the Rhine River. Tonight the Captain will be delighted to host a gala dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

EmeraldACTIVE: Guided Bike Tour

Day 6 Cologne
Founded by the Romans, and one of Germany’s oldest cities, Cologne is famous for its magnificent World–Heritage listed Gothic Cathedral. Join your guide and explore the city including the Old Town. During your free time shop for handicrafts or visit a local market before returning to your ship. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Discover More: Drachenburg Castle (extra expense, passengers on this tour will have the guided tour of Cologne afterwards)

Day 7 Rudesheim
Today’s cruising will be a highlight of your trip, as we cruise through the spectacular Rhine Gorge. Keep your camera at the ready as around every bend there are stunning vistas of castles perched above steep vine–covered slopes. We will also pass the infamous Lorelei Rock where sailors are said to have been lured onto treacherous rocks by enchanted temptresses. We also pass the impressive Pfalzgrafenstein Castle which was formerly a toll gate perched on an island in the middle of the river. In the afternoon we 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 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

EmeraldACTIVE: Guided hike through vineyards

Day 8 Miltenberg - Wertheim
Welcome to Miltenberg, a picturesque village on the Main River, which creates an imitable feeling of Bavarian life in medieval times due to the Old Town being 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 included tour of Miltenberg and free time, you will be transferred by coach to the stunning medieval glass-blowing town of Wertheim to enjoy free time until the ship arrives. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

EmeraldACTIVE: Guided hike to Wertheim Castle (active fitness level recommended)

Meals included:

Day 9 Würzburg
Known as the “Pearl of the Romantic Road”, Wurzburg is surrounded by sloping hills covered with vineyards. After breakfast, visit the Bishops’ Residenz, one of Germany’s largest and most ornate baroque palaces and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your tour highlights the palace’s unique staircase, elaborate 18th century frescoes and the amazing 3–dimensional stuccowork. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

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 10 Bamberg
Relax on board this morning as we cruise to Bamberg. Feel the magic of the past as you explore this UNESCO World Heritage city with your guide. Boasting one of Europe’s largest intact medieval town centres, Bamberg is bursting with character and charm. At the town centre is the largest preserved old quarter in Europe. Around 2,400 listed buildings and the centuries–old garden quarter form a special cultural heritage. Admire hundreds of building façades richly decorated in fascinating detail with spectacular ornamentation. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 11 Nuremberg
Today you will have a sightseeing coach tour of the historic city of Nuremberg. Your coach tour would 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Discover More: Gingerbread Cooking Class (extra expense)

Day 12 Kelheim - Regensburg
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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

EmeraldPLUS: Tonight, enjoy a Bavarian Band on board

Discover More: Visit to a brewery (extra expense)

Day 13 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Discover More: Full Day Trips to Salzburg or 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 14 Melk – Dürnstein
Situated within Austria’s wine–growing region, Melk is home to an imposing 900–year old Benedictine Abbey which features Austria’s finest Italian baroque architecture, with its ornate gold leaf walls, 640ft Imperial Corridor and fresco ceilings. Later the ship sails through the spectacular Wachau Valley and on to 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

EmeraldACTIVE: Guided bike tour along the Danube from Dürnstein to Melk or guided hike to Dürnstein Castle (active fitness level recommended).

Day 15 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 the 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

EmeraldACTIVE: Guided bike Tour

Discover More: Exclusive Viennese concert with music from Mozart and Strauss (extra expense) and/or Schönbrunn Palace tour (extra expense, please note that passengers on this tour will not be able to join the included Vienna tour)

Day 16 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. Bratislava also charming Christmas markets throughout the city, which you can enjoy. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

EmeraldPLUS: Home Hosted Coffee and Cake with Slovakians

Day 17 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 on the Buda Hill. On your free time, stroll the Christmas market on Budapest’s main square near Váci Utca Street. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

EmeraldACTIVE: A guided hike to Buda Hill (active fitness level recommended)

Day 18 Budapest disembarkation
After breakfast, your tour concludes and you will be transferred to the airport for your ongoing flight. (Breakfast)

Tour Map
All This Included
YOUR CRUISE INCLUDES
  • 14 nights on board an Emerald Waterways Star-Ship
  • Airport transfers to and from the ship
  • The services of an Emerald Waterways Cruise Director
  • Port taxes and charges
  • All tipping and gratuities
INCLUDED EXCURSIONS
  • Guided Tour of Paris & Seine Cruise
  • Glass Top Canal Boat Tour in Amsterdam
  • Tour of Cologne’s Old Town
  • Visit to Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum
  • Walking tour of the medieval Bavarian town of Miltenberg
  • Visit to Bishop’s Residenz in Wurzburg
  • Guided Tour of Bamberg
  • Guided Tour Nuremberg
  • Guided Tour of Regensburg
  • Guided Tour of Passau
  • Melk Abbey Tour
  • Guided Tour of Vienna
  • Guided Tour of Bratislava
  • Guided Tour of Budapest
EmeraldPLUS
  • Traditional Bavarian Band on board
  • Home Hosted Coffee and Cake with Slovakians
  • Traditional Hungarian Folklore Show
  • Budapest Evening Cruise
EmeraldACTIVE
  • Guided bike tour in Amsterdam
  • Guided hike to local winery in Rudesheim
  • Guided hike to Wertheim Castle
  • Guided bike tour from Melk to Durnstein
  • Guided hike to Durnstein Castle
  • Guided bike tour in Vienna
  • Guided hike to Buda Hill
DINING HIGHLIGHTS
  • 45 superb meals including 17 Breakfasts (B), 13 Lunches (L), 15 Dinners (D)
  • Captain’s Welcome & Farewell Gala Dinner
  • Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner on board
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Cabin onboard Emerald Dawn
Notes
  • Itineraries are subject to change.
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.



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