EmeraldPLUS

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

The EmeraldPLUS experience takes you to the heart of local culture, helping you enjoy authentic customs and traditions while learning what day-to-day life is like for local people. These enriching events seek to avoid typical tourist hotspots, so you can be sure that your experience goes beyond that of the ordinary traveler. 

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

Dissecting an array of amazing capital cities, there’s a delightful selection of cultural experiences to be enjoyed on the Danube.
Visit a local Slovakian family
slovakina family

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.

Experience this memorable cultural event on our Splendours of Europe, Danube Delights and Classic Prague & Danube Delights itineraries.

 A Bavarian band performance
Emerald Waterways on board Bavarian Band

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 dancefloor and entertainment area is purpose-built for this type of event. So, sit back, relax and get in the spirit of things.

Enjoy the sounds of a traditional Bavarian band on the Splendours of Europe, Danube Delights and Classic Prague & Danube Delights river cruises.

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Exceptional discovery on the Moselle

The Moselle offers a unique opportunity to delve into the enigmatic heritage of the continent.

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.

Sample the wine heritage of Bernkastel on our Legendary Rhine & Moselle river cruise.

Bernkastel, Germany
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 an EmeraldPLUS experience. The region produces a range of different wines, most famously the Riesling whites.

This EmeraldPLUS experience is available on our Legends of the Moselle, Rhine and Main river cruise.

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Inspiring shore excursions on the Rhine

Explore the floral legacy of the Netherlands or the grand traditions of Germany 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.

Experience a tapestry of colour at Keukenhof Gardens on the Tulips & the Rhine and Holland & Belgium in Bloom itineraries.

The world’s largest floral showcase is yours to discover during an unforgettable EmeraldPLUS experience in the celebrated Keukenhof Gardens of 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 the beds at your leisure – for a day which promises to be the most colourful and enchanting of your journey.

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.

Enjoy this wonderful excursion on the Majestic Rhine river cruise.

Strasbourg, France
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.

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Memorable experience on the Rhône

From the culinary capital of Europe, Lyon, to the balmy climes of the Mediterranean Coast, the Rhône explores a truly beautiful stretch of France

A regional cheese and wine tasting on-board

Whilst in Tournus, a regional wine tasting will introduce you to a number of local specialities 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 fulfilment.

Taste your way through France’s favourite cheeses on our Flavours of Burgundy & Provence river cruise.

Emerald Waterways on board food and drink
The South of France has winemaking pedigree that is hard to match, anywhere in the world. As your Star-Ship journeys through Tournon, you’ll be given chance to sample some of the region’s best-loved and most celebrated wines. Hosted on-board the ship, with the stunning backdrop of southern France passing you by, you’re free to try these delightful vintages.

A Provençal dinner hosted by renowned local chef, Fabien Morreale

As well as a rich winemaking 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.

Enjoy this extra-special evening on our Sensations of Lyon & Provence river cruise.

dinner in france with a respected chef

As well as a rich winemaking heritage, Provence is also home to some of the world’s favourite dishes and most respected chefs. During our river cruises through this amazing part of the world – a popular local chef will join you on-board and host an amazing dinner filled with delicacies and Provencal favourites.

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Wonderful experiences on the Douro

EmeraldPLUS gives you the chance to sample the slow-paced lifestyle of Portugal on the waters and banks of the Douro Valley

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
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 scattered 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.

Savour this EmeraldPLUS experience on our Secrets of the Douro river cruise.

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