This was to be our second River Cruise first one being in Portugal and this time on the Danube.
When the tickets arrived we were very surprised to also receive two very good quality back packs, it stated in the pack that these could be used for our hand luggage, and yes they were very useful.
Also in the pack was a fabric zipped wallet with all the instructions and airline tickets etc, much better than a lot of cruise lines with their paper folders.
We had been scheduled a flight from Manchester airport with Lufthansa and we were met in Munich and then transported by luxury coach to Nuremberg to join the ship, (Barge or boat) not sure what to call a River Vessel.
On arrival we were shown to the Lounge as the cabins were not yet available, we could purchase drinks and food as the offer on our cruise started with our evening meal.
When we went down to our cabin we were quite surprised to find it to be very spacious, bathroom was a little on the small side but adequate.
This tour included all excursions each day, one on the morning and the other in the afternoon, all coffee and teas, which were excellent, also wine, soft drinks or beer, with both lunch and dinner.
The ship was almost new this being the third cruise since it was built, and it showed, everything was very clean and with lots and lots of glass and mirrors. The dining room and the lounge had very large floor to ceiling windows, which let in lots of light and was excellent when you were sailing to view the countryside etc. There was also an indoor swimming pool which turned into a cinema in the evenings.
Each day after dinner there was various entertainment provided, either music from a man playing am organ or entertainers brought onto the ship.
Food was buffet service for breakfast and lunch, and waiter service for dinner. Overall the food was good, my only comment was that sometimes the food was only warm, but this was soon remedied if you asked the Chef for it to be warmed, or for a hot plate for the buffet. Wine flowed there was never any hesitation to refill glasses etc.
I have to say that the organisation of the whole cruise could not be faulted, in our opinion, from the excursions each day to the run of the ship. The staff were exceptional from the Captain down.
Each night we were informed of the next days schedule, both a talk by the cruise director and a paper on the bed after turn down service. All excursions were included in the price, you had a receiver in your cabin and this was used via an ear phone with the tour guide. You could choose which coach you went on and the coaches each had their own guide.
DAY 1. Arrive Nuremberg
DAY 2, Weltenburg - Regensburg. Included excursions Weltenburg Abbey and Regensburg
DAY 3. Passau - Linz Included excursions Walking tour of Passau
DAY 4 Melk – Durnstein Included excursions Melk Abbey and guided tour of Durnstein
DAY 5. Vienna. Included excursions drive along Ringstrasse and walking tour of Vienna.
DAY 6 Bratislava. Included excursions Home hosted afternoon teas with local Slovakian
Family sightseeing tour of Bratislava.
Day 7. Budapest. Included excursions visit to the Fisherman’s Bastion and evening cruise along the Danube, evening show of Hungarian folk dancing and music.
DAY 8. Leave for home.
I would thoroughly recommend Emerald Waterways and next year they will be having two new ships to add to their fleet.