Danube Delights aboard Emerald Cruises’ New Emerald Star
The Danube is arguably my favorite of all Europe’s rivers, and on July 12, I’ll be arriving on a Lufthansa flight into one of my favorite cities – Budapest – to embark a very new ship operating for a brand-new river cruise line: Emerald Cruises’ Emerald Star.
For those who haven’t heard of river cruising’s newest company, Emerald Cruises began operations just this spring with two brand-new, purpose-built river cruise ships: Emerald Sky and Emerald Star.
An offshoot of popular Australian company Scenic Tours, Emerald is taking an entirely new approach to river cruising: with a lower price point, they’re targeting younger, more price-conscious consumers. Both ships feature some uncommon amenities, like a solarium-style swimming pool that becomes a cinema at night, and while Emerald doesn’t include quite as many bells-and-whistles as the ships of parent company Scenic, they still thrown an awful lot in. All airport transfers are provided complimentary, and beer, wine and soft drinks are provided gratis during lunch and dinner. Tips are also included – a rarity for river cruises starting at this price point, and a huge bonus feature.
Their interior décor is as unique as the product, with a hip, trendy interior design that would feel right at home at a swank W Hotel. I caught a tantalising glimpse of Emerald Sky in port in Amsterdam earlier this year, and I can’t wait to see what Emerald Cruises is all about, and how they stack up in the competitive river cruise market.
This July, I’ll be sailing aboard the new Emerald Star from Budapest, Hungary to Nuremberg, Germany on one of my absolute favorite runs. Their 8-day Danube Delights itinerary calls on some truly fabulous places, including Bratislava, Melk, Durnstein, Vienna, Passau, and Regensburg.
The full itinerary, both here and onboard:
Emerald Cruises, Budapest to Nuremberg
|Saturday, July 12, 2014||Budapest, Hungary||Embark Emerald Cruises' 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.|
Coverage from onboard Emerald Star will run from July 12 – 19, 2014.https://rivercruiseadvisor.com