Extra-special excursions and events designed for you to see the destinations we visit in a different light.

Immerse yourself further with EmeraldPLUS

EmeraldPLUS are extra-special excursions and events designed to help you see the destinations we visit in a different light, giving you memorable experiences that go beyond that of the ordinary traveller.

Seeking out rare sights and hidden gems, these special excursions and events help you experience places and sites you may not have discovered without the guidance of a local expert. We believe it’s these special touches that make a holiday with Emerald Waterways truly unforgettable, offering moments of joy, wonder and discovery that you’ll treasure for a lifetime.

To help inspire a little wanderlust, we’ve handpicked our favourite EmeraldPLUS experiences on each of the waterways we navigate.

Signature excursions on the Danube

Home-hosted coffee and cake with a local Slovakian family

In Bratislava, we invite you to the home of a local family, where you’ll enjoy home-hosted coffee and cake whilst listening to wonderful stories about the traditions and folklore of the region. This intimate encounter is your chance to immerse yourself further and discover more about life in the Slovakian capital, hearing first-hand how the Danube has helped shape the unique culture and way of life on the fringes of Eastern Europe.

Bratislava itself is a wonderful destination for such an encounter, a place where Slovakian traditions meet forward-thinking culture, and local people are keen to highlight exactly what their capital city has to offer.

slovakina family
Emerald Waterways on board Bavarian Band
 A Bavarian band performance

Bringing the culture to you, we invite a traditional Bavarian band on-board to entertain you with their classic oompah sounds. A unique, wonderful experience, the band will perform traditional Bavarian music in authentic dress – something that will live on with you long after the river cruise has ended. Bavarian music is as fun and raucous as it is steeped in tradition, so you can expect a thoroughly Germanic evening of entertainment.

This unique cultural event will take place in the Horizon Bar & Lounge, whose dance floor and entertainment area is purpose-built for this type of event. So, sit back, relax and get in the spirit of things.

Inspiring shore excursions on the Rhine

Visit Keukenhof Gardens

During springtime, the world’s largest floral showcase is yours to discover during an unforgettable experience in the celebrated Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands. Home to a staggering collection of seasonal tulips, beautifully curated over a 32-hectare site, Keukenhof is paradise found for gardening enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Your visit includes a guided introduction to the gardens as well as free time to explore at your leisure. Grab a site map and make your way through the lovingly-landscaped grounds, each providing a kaleidoscope of seasonal blooms. It’s a day which promises to be the most colourful and enchanting of your journey.

Strasbourg, France

A canal boat tour in Strasbourg

Marvel at the ancient wonders of Strasbourg, capital of France’s age-old Alsace region, during a tour of its traditional canal network, whose waterways criss-cross from Petitè France to the Tanners’ Quarter. On-board a purpose-built ‘Batorama’, marvel at highlights including Vauban Dam and the Covered Bridges, as well as the illustrious sights of the Neustadt Imperial Quarter.

Beautifully-preserved timber-framed buildings line the banks of the canals, hinting at the city’s rich medieval heritage, while the lavish civic buildings of the European Parliament are a triumph in French Empire-style architecture. A wonderful introduction to one of northern France’s most beautiful cities.

Memorable experience on the Rhône

A regional cheese and wine tasting on-board

Whilst in Tournus, a regional wine tasting will introduce you to a number of local specialties certain to get your taste-buds tingling. In the heart of Provence, the historic town of Tournus is the perfect backdrop for a culinary sojourn, its surrounding fields and vineyards responsible for some of southern France’s most highly-prized produce and gastronomic exports.

Cheese, wine and other tasty morsels are yours to savour as part of this memorable experience, which promises to be the perfect introduction to the legendary fare of Provence and the Côtes du Rhône. And, if you’re not a great lover of cheese, the collection of red, white and rosé wines on offer guarantees your culinary fulfillment.

Emerald Waterways on board food and drink
dinner in france with a respected chef

A Provençal dinner hosted by renowned local chef, Fabien Morreale

As well as a rich wine-making heritage, Provence is also home to some of the world’s favourite dishes and most respected chefs. Fabien Morreale, Top Chef finalist, will be joining us on-board to host a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience celebrating authentic Provençal cuisine.

Of course, the meal is the true highlight, so bring your appetite and look forward to indulging in fine French fare. Morreale has pieced together a menu of delectable classics to showcase the very best food of the region.

Wonderful experiences on the Douro

Savour a rural Portuguese dinner at Quinta da Pacheta

After a day spent amid the spectacular Coa Valley of northern Portugal, it’s time for a special rural dinner at Quinta da Pacheca, one of the most celebrated ‘wine houses’ of the Douro Valley. The lands of the Douro are dotted with these charming homesteads, where port wine has been traditionally produced by generations of Portuguese farmers and producers.

Your evening begins with a tasting of the Douro’s iconic wines and ports, before a feast of freshly-prepared Portuguese fare offers a colourful and authentic taste of the region and its proud culinary traditions. With the beautiful Douro landscape as your backdrop, feel at peace amid the rural landscape as you savour some of the finest fare of the Iberian Peninsula.

Savour this wonderful culinary and cultural experience on our Secrets of the Douro river cruise.

Savour a Rural Portuguese Dinner at Quinta da Pacheta

Exceptional discovery on the Moselle

Bernkastel, Germany

A wine-tasting in Bernkastel

In Germany’s winegrowing heartland, the pretty village of Bernkastel offers half-timber houses and a rich history. It’s here you can sample the famed Moselle Valley wines amidst the beautiful vine-covered slopes as part of a special wine-tasting experience. The region produces a range of different wines, most famously the Riesling whites, though Pinot Noir blends are becoming more and more popular in this corner of southern Germany.

Look forward to unearthing the fascinating legacy of winemaking on the Moselle, as you taste your way through some of the region’s best-loved vintages. With an expert wine enthusiast on hand to provide tasting notes and flavour highlights, you’ll feel like a German wine buff at the end of this memorable occasion.

Immersive excursions on the Mekong

Cyclo ride through Dai Noi, boat tour to Thien Mu Pagoda and a royal dinner

Immerse yourself in Southeast Asian culture by taking a cyclo ride (bicycle-style rickshaw) from Dai Noi “Old City” to Tinh Tam Lake, considered to be among the most beautiful parts of the region and the inspiration for ancient emperors. 
Later, journey down the Perfume River to Thien Mu Pagoda, the iconic seven-storey historic temple and symbol of the city of Hue, Vietnam. Your evening is crowned with an unforgettable traditional royal dinner where you’ll sample local flavours fit for an emperor.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Traditional Buddhist Monk blessing and ox cart ride

Your day begins with a visit to the Oudong Temples north of Phnom Penh. Once forming part of the old capital of Cambodia, the area is a place of pilgrimage for Cambodians, and you’ll receive the rare privilege of a traditional Buddhist Blessing from the resident Monks.

Buddhism is entrenched in the local culture and traditions of Cambodia, and as you travel across the country’s colourful and exotic landscapes, you’ll see evidence of its ancient ties to the Buddhist faith, with temples, pagodas and shrines contributing to a truly enchanting backdrop.

Special shore excursions on the Volga River, Russia

Hermitage Museum

Once the official residence of the Romanovs, enjoy an exclusive visit to the Hermitage Museum during your included city tour of St Petersburg. Wander alongside historic canals, passing opulent palaces and lavish cathedrals as you explore a land frozen in time.

Kremlin Grounds

Immerse yourself in Moscow’s rich history with a visit to the Kremlin Grounds along your guided tour of Moscow. For many, the Kremlin is the symbol of Moscow and indeed Russia. The Kremlin is the former seat of the Government and a unique historical, architectural and artistic reserve. During a stroll around the grounds, you’ll see the majestic Cathedral Square, the Palace of Congresses, Senate square with the Arsenal and Senate buildings and the residence of the President of the Russian Federation.

Kremlin, Moscow, Russia