We took the cruise on Jun 2017, downstream the Main Canal from Nuremburg, Germany to Budapest, Hungary. We fly into Munich and was transferred to the boat using Emerald's transfer service, which was included in the cruise price. Their agent staff meet as at the arrival hall, help us with our luggage and took as to the transfer vehicle, which is spacious, clean and very comfortable. Our chauffeur did not speak English, but he understand the language well, or perhaps I should say we didn't understand German.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by the boat's cruise Director, and we were service a nice cool drink to refresh ourselves. Staff took care of our luggage, and when we went on to our stateroom, our luggage were there waiting for us. Since we arrive a bit early, we were encourage to take a shuttle bus (included) to the town and look around. We walk around, do a bit of sight seeing, using the map Emerald cruise provided, and then get back on the shuttle bus and back to the boat again. The departure time was about 5pm, as a few other passengers arrived after us.
First evening, we were invited to a meeting, introducing us to all the facilities on board, as well as whereabout the life jackets were, then follow by the port talk. Afterwards, we went to dinner.
Every evening there was the port talk before dinner or after dinner, and we ate at the main dinning room. Other choices are in their lounge. They offer 3 courses, appetizer,entrée, desert, coffee & tea. Food was not great, mostly Australian cooking. However, we found that the kitchen staff didn't cook the steak the way it was ordered, mostly it was overcooked and dry. The Chef seemed to be from India, and liked to use curry.
Emerald Sun, the cruise boat, built in 2015, looked great (almost brand new to my eyes) has a great design on its balcony, with the windows open it is a balcony and close it is a floor to ceiling window (we have the panorama balcony suite). Viewing the river scene from the stateroom was excellent, nothing to block your view. We love to open the window for the morning fresh air, sit in the deck area to enjoy the scene. If weather is cold, with a touch of botton, we closed the windows. The room design was great, as you don't feel that the room is less than 200 sq ft. Plenty of closet space, spacious bathroom, and amenities included bathrobes, hiking sticks, bottle water, guide book etc.
Every day, we can get to a port, and local guided tour was included. Some days, we can go hiking with the help of the hiking sticks (I wish they put two pairs in each stateroom). Some active bikers can borrow the bike from the boat and do biking tours. However, the bikes are not electric-assisted ones like Emerald's parent company Scenic, Uniworld etc. Another one is the bathroom usuage fee in Europe. I have heard that some other ultra luxury cruise company, like Taulk tour, has that included. Didn't know how it work, but they did.
We disembark in Budapest, and we can only book Courtyard Marriot via Emerald Cruise as post cruise staying hotel. That was further in town, not close to the river, like Marriot Hotel or Four Seasons. However, one advantage of Courtyard Marriot is Emerald cruise included all transfer to and from boat and from Courtyard Marriott to airport. Another advantage is that the Courtyard Marriott is close to the New York Café, the most elegant and beautiful cafe in the world , located inside the Boscolo Hotel, was just 5 minutes walk around the street.
Nice, comfortable, clean and stylist. Great layout, and my favourite is the balcony, and window can open and close with a touch of the botton. Lots of space for storage.
Sleepy town, but the third largest in Austria. Arrive at the evening, ventured into this town after dinner and found some interesting coffee/bar close to the Danube. Shopping area was not too far from the dock, found some nice clothes to buy. Best food, and will like to stay longer in this quiet town