Why I want to go on an 8-day Emerald Waterways River Cruise through Europe…
We’ve all heard people say, “I’m not a cruise person.”
I’m pretty sure they aren’t talking about a river cruise.
I haven’t been on a river cruise, but I have to say, the boat alone intrigues me.
I like that the professional photos make the boat look a little squatty and stealthy. It’s almost as though it could sneak up on the cities you visit without yelling, “Tourists Aboard!! Run for your lives!!”
With 182 guests in 72 suites (yes, I wrote, suites), it is barely larger than some of the boutique hotels I enjoy staying in during my land travels.
The Classic Prague and Danube Delights itinerary intrigues me the most.
Starting with 3 days in Prague before you board the ship sounds great. For some strange reason, the idea of visiting an amazing formerly Eastern Bloc city, seems mysterious and fantastic. Maybe I’ve watched too many spy movies? Anyway, the hotel stay means that I would have an opportunity to take a running tour of the city, which has become a traveling ritual no matter where I am in the world. Although it seems I’ll get my exercise since there is a walking tour of Prague included in the price of the cruise.
After those first few days in Prague, the adventure would continue on the river. Exploring the sun deck with 360 degree views would be my first stop to checking out my digs for the next 7 days. I would be sure not to miss the heated swimming pool (with retractable roof) and try to decide between a glass of wine at the bar, or a gelato. Decisions, decisions..and it’s all included! There is nothing that bugs me more than thinking I’ve paid for an entire trip, then to get nickeled and dimed at every turn. Which is not the case here! From the floor to ceiling windows in the Horizon bar, or the cinema room (which was secretly transformed from the pool area), there will be lots of things to do.
Of course, Hubby and I could retire our room to enjoy the Indoor/outdoor balcony. It looks like an indoor balcony with floor to ceiling windows, but with the push of a button, it transforms! The top half drops down (cue the nature music) to create an open air balcony any time we want!
I will tear myself away from the ship when we are treated to a famous dark beer at the Waltenburg Abbey in Bavaria on day 5. When Hubby and I travel without our 3 young boys, we love to try local brews, and I’m sure one from the oldest monastery in Bavaria will not disappoint.
The next few days stopping in Passau, Linz, Melk, and Durnstein, will lend themselves to a few more guided tours that are included. Although, it might be nice to wander in these small towns, that I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t have visited on our own. Sometimes getting a little lost, can create the best experiences on a trip, don’t ya think?
Our family of 5 spent Christmas in Vienna one year, and Hubby got sick and stayed in the hotel room for 2 days. So this time I’d let Hubby drive the itinerary thereon day 8, so that he could see what he missed. Maybe after the included driving tour of the Ringstrasse, he’d have plenty of ideas on where to start.
The mystery and charm of the old Eastern Bloc would come back alive for me as the river cruise made it’s last two stops in Bratislava and Budapest. The EmeraldPLUS activity of a home hosted tea with a local Slovakian family in Bratislava would be a must do activity for us. It’s not often that you get to visit a local person’s home, to really get an insiders view into their culture.
Athough the final stop for the cruise is Budapest, it would be hard to decide what to do. I’m interested in visiting some of the thermal baths, walking across the chain bridge (that joined Buda abad Pest) or caving under the city. With so much to explore it will be hard to decide. But I think no matter what we choose, the ability to come back to our home base on the Danube, will be the biggest comfort of all. That alone will make it easy to explore any of the cities on this amazing itinerary and only pack up again when it’s time to head to the airport.