Emily Bronte, Cruise the Heart of Europe ex Cologne to Budapest

Cruise Line
Riviera Travel
Ship
Emily Bronte
Cruise Departs
07 Sep 2020
Cruise Duration
14 Nights
Embark Ship
Cologne, Germany
Disembark Ship
Budapest, Hungary
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Interior Oceanview Balcony Suite
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Cruise Itinerary

DateActivityArriveDepart
07 Sep 2020
Cologne, Germany
08 Sep 2020
Koblenz, Germany
08 Sep 2020
Boppard, Germany
09 Sep 2020
Rudesheim, Germany
10 Sep 2020
Mainz, Germany
11 Sep 2020
Miltenberg, Germany
11 Sep 2020
Wertheim, Germany
12 Sep 2020
Wurzburg, Germany
13 Sep 2020
Bamberg, Germany
14 Sep 2020
Nuremberg, Germany
15 Sep 2020
Regensburg, Germany
16 Sep 2020
Passau, Germany
17 Sep 2020
Melk , Austria
17 Sep 2020
Vienna, Austria
18 Sep 2020
Vienna, Austria
19 Sep 2020
Bratislava, Slovakia
20 Sep 2020
Budapest, Hungary
21 Sep 2020
Budapest, Hungary

All itineraries and ports of call at the discretion of the cruise line subject to local weather conditions and may change without notice.

14 Night River Cruise sailing from Cologne to Budapest aboard MS Emily Bronte.

DAY 1 – ARRIVAL IN COLOGNE
Moored in Cologne’s picturesque historic centre, the dedicated crew will welcome you aboard your first-class floating hotel, ensuring you settle into your comfortable and extremely well equipped cabin and familiarise yourself with the ship.

DAY 2 – KOBLENZ & BOPPARD
The first morning on a river cruise is always a thrill as you awake to the gentle lapping of the water and the colourful valley sides slipping effortlessly past your cabin window – there really is no other holiday experience quite like it. We call at historic Koblenz, situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers and dominated by the immense Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. This morning we take a guided walk around the Old Town, exploring its twisting streets and charming squares.

During a relaxed lunch we cruise to Boppard, known as the ‘Pearl of the Rhine’. Wonderfully situated on a sweeping meander, it is one of the Rhineland’s most attractive villages. Its stone quayside is lined with boats of all descriptions set against a backdrop of archetypal half-timbered buildings and cobbled streets. There are also some superb Roman walls, reputed to be the finest in Germany.

DAY 3 – RHINE GORGE & RÜDESHEIM
Today you experience one of the real highlights of your cruise – the passage through the Rhine Gorge. Here the river narrows, the current is swifter and the towering valley sides soar 600 feet, while the ruins of castles, which once held sway over passing mariners, crown every tortuous turn. We pass rocky outcrops and cruise around endless twisting bends to the famous Lorelei or ‘murmuring rock’, where according to legend, enchanting maidens lured unsuspecting sailors to watery graves. Next we call at Rüdesheim, a true Rhine wine town surrounded by vineyards whose fruits you can sample in the many wine taverns you’ll find in its cobbled streets.

DAY 4 – MAINZ
This morning we take the short cruise to the town of Mainz, situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Main Rivers. An important Roman city for over 450 years with the largest amphitheatre north of the Alps, Mainz is also home to the magnificent Romanesque Saint Martin’s Cathedral and the fine Saint Stephen’s Church, whose interior is filled with beautiful blue light flooding through stained-glass windows featuring intricate biblical figures – a masterpiece by the great artist Marc Chagall. Mainz’s most famous son is Johannes Gutenberg, father of modern printing, and there’s an excellent museum housing a reconstruction of his workshop and two original 1455 Gutenberg Bibles, among the earliest books ever printed. This afternoon our ship cruises up the Main River.

Please note: when cruising from Mainz to Passau the main part of the Sun Deck is closed because we pass under low bridges.

DAY 5 – MILTENBERG & WERTHEIM
The views this morning are of dense emerald-green forests as we cruise to Miltenberg, one of Germany’s best-preserved medieval villages. It became prosperous during the Middle Ages under the protection of its castle and today its colourful half-timbered houses and market square with its octagonal Renaissance fountain are an atmospheric reminder of times past.

During lunch we cruise around the first of the many meandering bends that characterise the Main River, pausing at Wertheim, one of those towns that’s a joy to stumble across because it’s completely unknown on the mainstream tourist trail. A russet-walled 12th-century castle overlooks the Old Town, with views of the church spires, turrets and patchwork of multicoloured buildings below.

DAY 6 – WÜRZBURG
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast this morning as we glide towards Würzburg, situated at the head of Germany’s Romantic Road, so called because of its spellbinding procession of captivating scenery, medieval towns, lofty castles and grand palaces. Würzburg is best explored on foot and we have a walking tour through neat streets dotted with fine pastel-coloured Baroque and Rococo buildings. Its crowning jewel is the truly magnificent Residenz, the former seat of the prince-bishops and one of Europe’s finest Baroque palaces, constructed to compete with the greatest courts of the day such as Vienna and Versailles.

DAY 7 – BAMBERG
Today we visit Bamberg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s quite simply one of the most outstandingly preserved and beautiful small towns in Europe, easily on a par with Prague. The masterpiece you see today began its artistic journey during the 11th century when Emperor Heinrich II chose Bamberg as the location for a capital city he planned to be as grand as Rome. Although it never became as large as Italy’s capital, Bamberg nevertheless has a wealth of fine buildings including a stupendous cathedral, a town hall built in the middle of the Regnitz River, a network of canals and former fishermen’s houses called ‘Little Venice’ and hundreds of medieval buildings in the tangled lanes of its Old Town.

DAY 8 – NUREMBERG
Today we call at Nuremberg, the Bavarian city which will always be associated with the Nazi period – Hitler’s pre-war rallies and the international war crimes trials that brought down the final curtain on that notorious regime. What is less well known is that Nuremberg is regarded as the unofficial capital of Germany’s First Reich, better known as the Holy Roman Empire, which was founded with the coronation of Charlemagne in 800 AD and lasted for over a thousand years.

This morning we have a fascinating guided tour taking in the city’s great ramparts and many fine historic buildings, including the enormous Kaiserburg castle, Craftsmen’s Court, the Church of Saint Lawrence and the Market Square, with its exquisite fountain that resembles a Gothic church tower.

DAY 9 – REGENSBURG
This morning we cruise along the Main–Danube Canal to Kelheim, where we join the enchanting Danube River. Our next port of call is Regensburg, formerly an important garrison guarding the most northwesterly point of the Roman Empire whose camp gate, the Porta Praetoria, can still be seen.

Regensburg was spared war damage and today its historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s a delight to explore. This afternoon take a stroll along the iconic stone bridge; see the Altes Rathaus – the seat of the Diet, or parliament, of the Holy Roman Empire from 1663 to 1806 – and gaze in wonder at the Gothic cathedral, the most exceptional in Bavaria. Regensburg calls itself ‘Germany’s medieval miracle’, and it’s hard to argue as you wander along the glorious winding streets and elegant squares of the Old Town.

DAY 10 – PASSAU
Another day dawns as our journey brings us to Passau, the last town we stop at in Germany, nestling where the Inn and Ilz Rivers join the Danube. After a leisurely breakfast take the opportunity to explore the ‘Three Rivers City’, overlooked by the Veste Oberhaus, a 13th-century hilltop fortress. The Old Town below is known for its Baroque architecture including Saint Stephen’s Cathedral, where the world’s largest cathedral organ sounds.

Back on board this afternoon, make sure to keep an eye on the superb riverside views slipping silently by as we cross into Austria. It’s a country synonymous with superb scenery, but this beautiful section of the Danube Valley is something of a secret.

DAY 11 ­– ­MELK
On a striking rocky bluff above the town of Melk is the enormous Benedictine Abbey, which we visit this morning. This extraordinary building was originally a castle that was subsequently bequeathed to the Benedictine order during the 11th century and has been a monastery ever since. Reconstructed in full Baroque style during the 18th century, the Abbey has many fine rooms and a stupendous library with 100,000 priceless volumes, including some intricate illuminated manuscripts.

As lunch is served we cruise downstream through the delightfully picturesque Wachau Valley before approaching our next destination: Vienna, the city of Strauss. To celebrate Vienna’s wonderful legacy we have arranged a recital on board by a quartet of talented classical musicians. Listening to this exquisite music while in the city of its creation makes a wonderful finale to the day.

DAY 12 ­– VIENNA
Imagine Vienna and you think of an elegant imperial city that’s one of the gems of Central Europe, and perhaps the world’s most musical city. Its name conjures up an image of culture, ornate architecture, resplendent cafés, aristocratic palaces and imposing cathedrals, with the romantic music of the great composers filling the air. In fact, the reality is little different and there’s an absolute wealth of things to see in this former capital of the Habsburg Empire, which held sway over much of Central and Eastern Europe for centuries until its demise at the end of the First World War. For such a grand city Vienna is quite compact and this morning we enjoy an enlightening guided tour. This most civilised of cities first rose to prominence in the 17th century, and over the next 200 years a magnificent array of galleries, churches and palaces was built. At its heart we have the lovely Saint Stephen’s Cathedral with its dazzling patterned roof of glazed tiles, then the awe-inspiring Hofburg Palace, the former royal court that’s now a collection of museums, home to the Crown Jewels and relics of the Holy Roman Empire as well as the famous Spanish Riding School, and where the Vienna Boys’ Choir performs. The rest of the afternoon is free to enjoy this wonderful city at your leisure.

DAY 13 – BRATISLAVA
This morning we explore Slovakia’s capital, Bratislava, which has shrugged off the greyness of the communist era and rekindled the splendour of its imperial past in its painstakingly restored Baroque Old Town. Wander the winding streets to the main square where you’ll find the former Old Town Hall, now housing a museum dedicated to the history of the city and where you may climb the tower for some lovely views. Equally impressive is the great 9th-century castle that dominates the city, with its expansive views across the Danube. Or head to the neoclassical Primatial Palace with its fabulous Hall of Mirrors and rare collection of 17th-century English tapestries. For something more relaxing, perhaps enjoy a refreshing homemade lemonade – a speciality of the city – in one of the many cafés.

Our cruise reaches another highlight this afternoon as we navigate the dramatic Danube Bend, one of the most spectacular stretches of this mighty river. Winding our way through a narrow twisting valley flanked by high mountains and verdant hillsides, we pass a kaleidoscope of exceptional river views, ancient castle ruins and historic towns. We reach our journey’s end cruising into Budapest and enjoying spectacular views of this breathtaking city on our stately final approach.

DAY 14 – BUDAPEST
You rise refreshed in this breathtakingly beautiful imperial capital that straddles the great Danube River, and we have a whole day to enjoy it. Dominated by its castle, Budapest has been called ‘Little Paris of Middle Europe’ and, with its truly magnificent skyline of soaring spires and grand domes, it’s not hard to see why. It’s renowned for the bewitching blend of monuments reflecting Hungary’s national culture and those of the foreign powers that have dominated most of the city’s history. Today Budapest is a collage of Roman ruins, Turkish baths from the Ottoman Empire, palatial buildings, Baroque churches and sensational Art Nouveau architecture and design – all wrapped up in a wonderful atmosphere enhanced by the unique sound of Hungary’s music and language.

You’ll really get to know this beguiling city on our guided tour of the main sights, such as the iconic Parliament Building, a huge neo-Gothic building that dominates the river bank with its striking central dome and multitude of soaring spires. You have the rest of the day free to explore at your leisure, and culturally you’re spoilt for choice with the city’s array of fine museums and art galleries. Alternatively you might want to wander the ancient streets of the Castle District while you enjoy panoramic views of the city, stroll down elegant Andrassy Avenue or visit the spectacular Central Market Hall, where you can find everything from traditional foods to handicrafts.

The main event this evening is the ‘Captain’s Dinner’, the chef’s delicious selection of specialities from the countries and regions we’ve visited during our cruise. Afterwards, perhaps retire for a digestif in the bar to reflect on all the wonderful sights you’ve seen and the people you’ve met on this unforgettable river cruise through the heart of Europe.

DAY 15 – RETURN HOME
After breakfast it’s time to say goodbye to your crew.

After years of painstaking research to create the most perfect vessels afloat, a new era in river cruising dawns as we introduce our brand new, state of the art, ‘all suite’ ships. Swiss operated and truly world-class,we are absolutely delighted to present the five-star MS Emily Brontë.

It is extremely difficult to convey just how extraordinary this outstanding ship really is and exactly what distinguishes it from similar vessels. It would be very easy to just say ‘luxurious’ but it’s much more than that; we have deliberately avoided the current trend for a minimalist style where you could be anywhere in the world, creating instead a unique yet exquisite blend of understated taste, style and elegance at the highest level. Immediately striking is just how exceptionally spacious this new vessel is as you enter a gleaming, richly coloured marble-floored lobby flooded with natural light from a stunning atrium above. Moving inside, exceptional creativity from Europe’s finest design studio has produced a superbly balanced masterpiece of onboard style, utilising sustainable rich hardwoods, gleaming brass and polished copper, sparkling glass and intricate wrought iron. The ship is beautifully illuminated throughout – including the exterior and imaginatively furnished with harmonious colour schemes, all designed to create the serene atmosphere reflective of the golden age of cruising which time after time you tell us you adore.

The restaurant rivals the finest on shore establishments taking fine dining to another level complemented by delicate European porcelain, gleaming glassware and the intuitive service in which the Swiss excel. This superb vessel carries 44 in-house trained crew members serving just 169 guests (similar size vessels may carry well over 190 passengers) giving the ratio which our experience proves is concurrent with our first class service levels.

Furthermore your suite will easily exceed your expectations for not only will you enjoy the most discerning décor, so too the ship’s dimensions afford the ultimate in space and comfort – a minimum 17 square metres (183 square feet), with upgrades available to ‘Superior’ and ‘Deluxe’ accommodation.

As you are welcomed aboard the five-star pedigree is striking, with a remarkable feeling of spaciousness and harmonious design at every glance. The three fully air-conditioned accommodation decks including notably the lower deck – are all accessed by an attractive glass lift for your convenience or the wide elegant wrought-iron staircase. Above these is the magnificent Sun Deck – uniquely and illustrating yet again our considered depth of design, a second staircase amidships affords convenient Sun Deck access. Head on up to this truly spectacular deck and what could be better than watching life ashore slip by from the comfort of a sun lounger, perhaps under shade if the weather gets too hot! There’s always the refreshing splash pool too or why not try your hand on the putting green. Then take a refreshingly long drink and that book you’ve been meaning to read for ages on to the lovely terrace area at the fore of the ship, located right in front of the wheelhouse where you can view the Captain and his team skilfully navigating the twisting river and enjoy truly ‘driving seat’ views. Take a deep breath and relax into the pace of river cruise life – now you’re really on holiday!

The Diamond Deck is where you will find the very heart of the ship – the superb panoramic observation lounge and bar; a lounge in every sense of the word, complete with plenty of comfortable leather armchairs and sumptuous sofas where you can sink into warmly colourful cushions in beautiful quality fabrics with a freshly made cup of tea. A thick wool carpet feels lovely underfoot and the tasteful contemporary lighting above creates a welcoming and refined ambience, further complemented by the discreet and intuitive service resplendent of the finest five-star hotels. So just sit back with your favourite cocktail and take in the truly mesmerising view. After a superb dinner in the restaurant perhaps it’s time for a digestif accompanied by the soothing tones of the ship’s pianist or unwind with a book from the smartly wood panelled library. To the aft is the peaceful Bistro with its open kitchen and terrace – another perfect spot to appreciate the ever-changing scenery gliding by whilst chatting with new found friends. Here in the evenings the chef presents his personal signature dishes to a small number of diners with menus varying according to the seasons; this intimate dining experience can be reserved on board at no extra charge. When the weather allows the panoramic windows may be fully opened on to the terrace to allow a delightful al fresco dining experience.

The ship’s restaurant is located on the Ruby (middle) Deck and here you will experience not only exceptional first class cuisine, but also the most attentive yet discreet service from the ship’s highly professional crew. So just sit back with a well-deserved glass of wine from the carefully selected wine list and delight in the wonderful elegance of your surroundings; beautifully laid tables of just 4 or 6 guests, crisp linen, deep wool carpets and warm wood panelling abound to offer a delectable dining experience of the highest order.

On the Emerald (lower) Deck is the fitness centre, perfect for working off all those delicious meals or for something less strenuous treat yourself to a relaxing massage. So you will always look your best there is a hairdresser’s too which also offers manicure and pedicure treatments.

Simply put, these world-class ships, elegant and refined in the truest sense, take the idea of river cruising to another level – it really doesn’t get better than this!

Ship Profile & Stats

  • Maiden Voyage: 2017
  • Passenger Capacity (dbl): 169
  • Crew Nationality: Swiss

Ship Amenities

  • Powerful fully glazed shower with a large ‘rainshower’ head
  • Complimentary Crabtree and Evelyn toiletries
  • Seating area with two chairs and a table
  • Flat screen TV
  • Individually controlled air-conditioning
  • Hairdryer
  • Safe
  • Mini bar
  • Telephone
  • Tea & coffee making facilities

Ship Facilities

  • Lounge with bar and panoramic views on the Diamond Deck
  • Bistro Bar & Restaurant on the Diamond Deck serving early bird breakfast, light lunch and dinner (to be reserved on board subject to availability)
  • Main Restaurant – on the Ruby Deck serving buffet breakfast, buffet lunch and dinner
  • Air conditioned public areas & cabins
  • Lift between Emerald, Ruby and Diamond decks
  • 24hr self service station for tea & coffee
  • Sun deck with comfortable outdoor chairs and sun loungers
  • Small splash pool
  • Putting green
  • Small boutique
  • Reception
  • Hairdressing salon
  • Wellness area with Nail Salon
  • Laundry service

There’s so much more to experience on a Riviera Travel River Cruise:

What’s the best way to travel through the heart of Europe and discover its greatest delights? You’ll find it hard to beat a European river cruise along some of our continent’s most timeless, appealing waterways. After all, people have travelled Europe’s mighty rivers for centuries to trade, explore and sometimes conquer. Steeped in history and culture and flowing through stunning scenery, they form natural highways that connect great cities and beautiful towns, each with its own unique and rewarding character.

While you sit back and relax on your river cruise of Europe, the views change constantly as amazing destinations come to you. The pace is slower, with plenty of time to soak up the atmosphere and contemplate the world as it passes serenely by. If you’re feeling energetic, there are new opportunities every day to explore riverside ports with knowledgeable guides or at your own speed. If not – you can just take it easy.

Your European river cruise might take you down the majestic Rhine or Danube, to atmospheric cities like Coblenz and Vienna. You’ll pass astonishing ‘fairytale’ castles and learn their mystical stories. There’s the meandering Moselle with its impossibly steep riverside vineyards, the lesser known River Main twisting through Germany’s rural heart. In France, the Rhone flows majestically almost from the Burgundy vineyards to the heart of sun-kissed Provence, while the iconic Seine will transport you from Paris through the countryside of impressionist painters to medieval Rouen and historic Bayeux. Then there’s the picturesque and largely undiscovered Douro with its dramatic cliffs, lush hillsides, medieval walled villages and terraced vineyards.

You experience all this in the most relaxing manner possible on your river cruise through Europe, on board some of the most spacious ships gracing Europe’s waterways. No sea-sickness or rough water – just comfort and luxury with superb service and dining on an unforgettable journey through time and culture.

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