Sailing the Danube aboard Europe’s Newest River Cruise Line

Join us this week as we set sail from Budapest to Nuremberg aboard Emerald Waterways' Emerald Star! Photo courtesy of Emerald Waterways

Join us this week as we set sail from Budapest to Nuremberg aboard Emerald Waterways’ Emerald Star! Photo courtesy of Emerald Waterways

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:

DAY PORT ACTIVITIES
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.
Staterooms aboard Emerald Waterways are crisp and modern. Photo courtesy of Emerald Waterways

Staterooms aboard Emerald Waterways are crisp and modern. Photo courtesy of Emerald Waterways

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.

Emerald Sky and her sister, Emerald Star, feature a swimming pool that converts into a cinema each evening. Photo courtesy of Emerald Waterways

Emerald Sky and her sister, Emerald Star, feature a swimming pool that converts into a cinema each evening. Photo courtesy of Emerald Waterways

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

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