The Danube River travels nearly 1,800 miles through Eastern and Central Europe, from the Black Forest in Germany to the coast of Romania where it empties into the Black Sea. Along the way, it traverses eight countries and touches four capital cities. For 2019, Emerald Waterways has added two new Danube river itineraries that allow guests to spend more time in favorite ports or visit new destinations along this route.
The eight-day Classic Danube river cruise, which sails between Nuremberg and Vienna, offers a slower-pace than the popular Nuremberg to Budapest route, which translates to more time to explore the larger ports that bookend the itinerary. A full day and overnight in Nuremberg allows guests to learn about military history through a tour of the WWII Documentation Center and rally grounds, as well as to take in the old town with its cobbled streets lined with biergartens and cafes. In Vienna, where guests also have a full day and overnight, a drive along the Ringstrasse showcases the Opera House, Burgtheater, Town Hall, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and the Hofburg Imperial Palace. Guests who want to get active can opt to join the guided bike tour instead. In between, the sailing pays call on the German cities of Regensberg and Passau as well as the Austrian towns of Melk and Dürnstein.
Because of its long reach, many river cruise lines split Danube sailings into “upper Danube” itineraries that include Germany, Austria, and Hungary; and “lower Danube” itineraries to include Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, and Romania. For guests who want to do both, Emerald Waterways’ eight-day Lower Danube Waltz travels from Vienna to Belgrade and calls on three of the four capital cities along the river. In addition to a full day spent in both Vienna and Budapest, this sailing calls on the rural Croatian town of Osijek. Here, guests will enjoy a Croatian lunch in the home of a local family and learn about their way of life, as well as visit with students from a nearby school. From there, the sailing calls on the Serbian town of Novi Sad and tour its old quarter, Stari Grad, site of the Gothic Revival Name of Mary Church and the neo-Renaissance City Hall. In Belgrade, Serbia’s capital, a city tour includes a visit to Tito’s Memorial, the impressive Fortress Kalemegdan and St Sava Church, which is the world’s largest orthodox cathedral.
Guests booking any 2019 European river cruise by August 15, 2018 will receive free or reduced airfare depending on stateroom selection. Guest booking a suite on Horizon Deck will receive free, round trip airfare to Europe; guests on the Vista Deck will receive round trip air for $295; and guests on the Riviera Deck will receive round trip air for $495. In lieu of air, guests may opt to receive a discount on their booking, with $1,000, $700 and $500 off per person, respectively
The Classic Danube and Lower Danube Waltz are in addition to three existing Danube sailings available on Emerald Waterways: Danube Delights, between Budapest and Nuremberg, Danube Explorer, between Passau and Budapest, and Enchantments of Eastern Europe, between Budapest and Bucharest.
An avid traveler and an award-winning journalist, Ralph Grizzle produces articles, video and photos that are inspiring and informative, personal and passionate. A journalism graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ralph has specialized in travel writing for more than two decades. To read more cruise and port reviews by Ralph Grizzle, visit his website at www.avidcruiser.com.