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Paris to Prague & Christmas Markets of Europe

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River View
* Port charges, taxes and fees included
 Cruise Length
21 Days
 Cruise Starts
 Cruise Finishes
21 Day Paris to Prague & Christmas Markets of Europe Itinerary (Emerald Cruises)
Cruise Code


From Paris to Prague, visit some of Europe's most beautiful Christmas Markets on this 21 day journey including Cologne, Vienna & Prague with guided tours included.


Welcome to Paris, included is a three night stay.

Today, the wide and leafy boulevards of Paris are yours to discover with a local guide, as you witness the sheer majesty of the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Arc de Triomphe. After your walking tour, board a river cruise along the Seine to see the city from a different angle, finishing at the iconic Eiffel Tower.

  • Included Excursion A guided tour of Paris and a Seine river cruise (B)

The storied beauty of Paris is yours to discover independently today, perhaps choosing to visit the mighty Louvre and witness the legendary Mona Lisa, or venturing along the streets decorated for the holiday season, stopping at some charming Christmas markets. You can also choose to have a stroll down the Champs-Elysées illuminated with twinkle lights or be enchanted by the Galleries Lafayette's windows displaying magical animated scenes. Your tour director will be available to help you plan your day of independent exploration.

  • DiscoverMORE Tastes of Paris (extra expense) (B)

After breakfast, you will be transferred from Paris to Amsterdam to board your contemporary Emerald Cruises Star-Ship, where you will be warmly welcomed by your captain and crew. This evening, join your fellow guests for dinner on board as you prepare for a cruise through Europe. (B/D)

Amsterdam is a wonderful destination all year-round, but during the Christmas period, the entire city sparkles with fairy lights and Christmas cheer. Snow blankets the narrow-cobbled streets, and the Dutch indulge in oliebollen and appelbeignets, deep fried sweets that can be purchased from stalls that look like the traditional alpine huts in one of Amsterdam’s many Christmas markets.

Today, you’ll have the opportunity to take to Amsterdam’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed canal system during a glass-top canal boat cruise, passing areas that are covered in white powdered snow and watching people relax with drinking warm cups of traditional hot chocolademelk.

  • Included Excursion A canal cruise (B/L/D)

The wafting aroma of freshly roasted chestnuts and mulled wine welcomes you in Cologne, where the largest Christmas tree in the Rhineland can be found during the holiday season. Today, enjoy a walking tour of Cologne and visit the colourful Christmas market that sits underneath the shadows of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cologne Cathedral, a Gothic masterpiece that effortlessly creates a striking backdrop to the nativity-like scene below. More than a hundred half-timbered stalls are swathed in light, streaming down from the twinkling canopy of bulbs that criss-crosses above.

In Cologne’s many Christmas markets, you’ll find glittering ornaments, artisans creating handcrafted goods and freshly baked produce, including lebkuchen, a beloved round or heart-shaped type of gingerbread that usually includes honey, cardamom, or candied fruit. Enjoy drinking mulled wine from a festive mug as you soak in the views of what is arguably one of the best Christmas markets in Europe.

  • Included Excursion Guided tour of Cologne's Old Town (B/L/D)

Today, take a step into the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historical landscape of the Rhine Gorge, where the beams of Rüdesheim’s half-timbered houses are covered in fairy lights. Rüdesheim hosts the ‘Christmas Market of Nations’, where more than a hundred stalls effortlessly represent more than a dozen nations, each showcasing their own Christmas specialities, customs, and celebrations.

Whilst in Rüdesheim, enjoy an excursion to Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet, and perhaps indulge in some Rüdesheim coffee, a famous drink made with locally distilled Asbach Uralt brandy, served with whipped cream, and sprinkled with vanilla sugar and chocolate flakes. This festive drink is certain to warm you on a frosty winter’s day. Later, return to the plush surrounds of your Star-Ship for a special on-board performance.

  • Included Excursion A visit to Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet Museum (B/L/D)

Welcome to Miltenberg. This postcard-worthy town can be found set against the lush backdrop of the Odenwald forest. Christmastime swathes the area with festive cheer, and decorations and colourful window displays as far as the eye can see are all illuminated at dusk by twinkling fairy lights. Miltenberg is home to one of the oldest pubs in Germany, and its delightful boutique market features stalls full of local arts, crafts, and delightful treats. Perhaps try an apple streusel kuchen during your time here, a type of apple crumb cake that the area is famous for.

  • Included Excursion A guided tour of Miltenberg (B/L/D)

Today, enjoy a guided tour of Würzburg and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Würzburg Residence. Nestled in the heart of the Old Town, you’ll find an enchanting Christmas market. Steeped in 19th-century beginnings, more than 100 wooden stalls showcase seasonal decorations and delectable treats, all coated by the soft glow of Christmas lights. A traditional mug of Glühwein, a hot red wine infused with spices, is the best way to fight off the chill of a cold day.

The Würzburg Residence is a true icon, built by the prince bishops centuries ago, And the opulence that it displays is truly breathtaking. Enjoy a guided tour of what is quite possibly one of the most beautiful Baroque palaces in Europe, as its gardens are blanketed by fresh snow.

  • Included Excursion A walking tour of Würzburg and visit to the Bishops Residence
  • DiscoverMORE Excursion to Rothenburg (extra expense) (B/L/D)

The UNESCO World Heritage-listed town of Bamberg is home to not just one, but four delightful Christmas markets, each acting as sparkling gems set amongst half-timbered surrounds in this quaint little town. Here, you’ll be able to find some of the loveliest Baroque nativity scenes that Germany has to offer.

While you enjoy a guided tour of all of Bamberg’s main highlights, make sure to stop and try a glass of Bamberg’s famous beer. Nine breweries call the town their home, and several of their world-famous products are still made using traditional Franconian brewing methods.

  • Included Excursion A guided tour of Bamberg (B/L/D)

Your included excursion today is a sightseeing tour of the historic city of Nuremberg, touching on the architectural wonders that have inspired famous artists for centuries and exploring the effects that the war years had here. You’ll also have time to explore the wonderful Christmas market located in the city centre.

  • Included Excursion A guided tour of Nuremberg
  • DiscoverMORE Gingerbread cooking demonstration (extra expense) (B/L/D)

This morning, cruise along the final stretch of the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal, admiring the views as you pass over a number of aqueducts. Regensburg’s delightful past is yours to discover today, as your local guide introduces you to the treasures of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town.

After your tour, your EmeraldPLUS experience will take you right into the heart of the Thurn and Taxis Palace Christmas market, one of the loveliest in the country where traditional stalls are illuminated by twinkling lights.

  • EmeraldPLUS A traditional Bavarian band on board
  • EmeraldPLUS A visit to the Christmas market in the Thurn and Taxis Palace grounds
  • Included Excursion A guided tour of Regensburg
  • DiscoverMORE Sausage-making workshop (extra expense) (B/L/D)

Welcome to Passau, a town where three of Europe’s main rivers converge underneath the castle. On this afternoon’s walking tour, stroll down old narrow alleys and look up to see the hilltop Oberhaus Fortress overlooking the town. Your tour will conclude at the green-domed façade of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, where Passau’s annual Christkindlmarkt can be found. Here, perhaps sample some delicious warm Glühwein and freshly baked goods.

  • Included Excursion A guided tour of Passau
  • DiscoverMORE Excursion to Salzburg (extra expense)
  • DiscoverMORE Excursion to Ceský Krumlov (extra expense) (B/L/D)

History is yours to discover and enjoy during a river cruise through Europe, and the quaint village of Melk offers a wonderful introduction of some of the historic architecture that can be found on the continent. Your included excursion today is a tour of the Benedictine Melk Abbey, an ancient Baroque monastery that is known for its monumental beauty and the treasures that are kept inside its historic library.

Later, your Star-Ship will sail through the Rhine Gorge, a landscape steeped in fairy tales where the winter months only add an ethereal layer to your surroundings.

  • Included Excursion A tour of Melk Abbey (B/L/D)

Welcome to the ‘City of Dreams’, Vienna. This ornate cityscape was home to famous musicians, composers and the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud. Today, you can explore the capital with a drive around the magnificent Ringstrasse, where opulent buildings can be seen peppering the area.

After your guided tour, enjoy some time to explore at leisure, perhaps sampling some delicious hot chocolate and baked goods in one of Vienna’s many Christmas markets.

  • Included Excursion A guided tour of Vienna
  • DiscoverMORE Viennese evening concert (extra expense)
  • DiscoverMORE Visit of Schönbrunn Palace (extra expense) (B/L/D)

Gothic architecture and tales of a communist past welcome you to Bratislava, a capital that has seen much in the way of turbulence over the past century. Today, you’ll discover that this turbulence is now nowhere to be seen, as you stroll down peaceful streets and soak in the neo-Renaissance glory of ancient theatres and the sheer opulence of the Episcopal Summer Palace.

The Christmas season adds an extra layer to the city, where a blend of distinctive cultures comes together to showcase their handcrafted ornaments and delicious treats.

  • EmeraldPLUS Home-hosted coffee and cake with a local Slovakian family
  • Included Excursion A walking tour of Bratislava
  • DiscoverMORE Skoda tour of post-Communist Bratislava (extra expense)
  • DiscoverMORE Carpathian wine route (extra expense) (B/L/D)

Budapest is a place of striking contrasts, with Buda on one side housing a generous scattering of the city’s elegant landmarks, and Pest on the other encapsulating its fascinating past. Separated by the mighty Danube, you can explore them both by crossing the Chain Bridge, one of the most symbolic structures in the capital.

Today, you will have the opportunity to discover the city’s history during a guided tour covering some of the highlights of Budapest and learn more about its stunning landscape and architecture. The history of the Hungarian capital shows a unique blend of cultures, cuisine and vibrant lifestyle. There is so much to take in while you pass through the bustling city, which is an attractive destination for visitors from all over the world. Enjoy, some free to continue exploring some of beautiful Christmas Market in Budapest.

This evening, a traditional Hungarian farewell dinner is certain to delight the senses.

  • EmeraldPLUS A traditional Hungarian folklore show
  • Included Excursion A guided coach tour of Budapest
  • DiscoverMORE Excursion to Szentendre (extra expense)
  • DiscoverMORE Jewish heritage tour (extra expense) (B/L/D)

After breakfast, disembark your Star-Ship to be transferred to Prague, home to some of the world’s most pristine collections of architecture from across the ages. Included is a comfortable three-night stay in the city. (B)

Today, you will have the opportunity to explore Prague as it is effortlessly enveloped by the wonder of the seasonal period. Your local guide will take you through the old town square, a cobblestoned area that perfectly captures the city’s architectural heritage.

  • Included Excursion A guided tour of Prague
  • EmeraldPLUS Coffee & Cake at Lobkowicz Palace (B)

Your tour director will be available to help you plan your day of independent exploration today. We would recommend going to one of Prague’s memorable Christmas markets, where colourful stalls owned by local craftsmen are full of handcrafted ornaments and freshly baked Czech Christmas treats.

  • DiscoverMORE Tastes of Czechia (extra expense) (B)

Depart today after breakfast.

This itinerary is a guide only and may be amended for operational reasons such as high and low water. As such, the cruise may operate altered from that stated above. Please refer to our terms and conditions for further information. (B)

Life Onboard Emerald Sun

Emerald Sun
Emerald Sun

Relax and unwind in complete comfort aboard Emerald Sun as you explore Europe's great rivers. Read more

You're Invited & EmeraldPLUS
You're Invited & EmeraldPLUS

Authentic included adventures that take you into the cultural heart of each destination. Read more


Ignite your sense of adventure and explore a little further on foot or by bike. Read more

Five Star Dining On Board
Five Star Dining On Board

Enjoy the finest flavours of Europe prepared by the expert culinary team aboard your river cruise. Read more

Cultural Shows & Entertainment
Cultural Shows & Entertainment

From onboard shows to local performances, there's never a dull moment during an Emerald river cruise. Read more

Sun Deck Life
Sun Deck Life

Deck games, a walking track and a place to relax and take in the views awaits on the sun deck. Read more

AVG. RATING 5.0 / 5
2 Reviews
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Christmas Markets on the Rhine 3 , Christchurch, New Zealand, Dec 2022
We made new friends and took home many wonderful memories. From the hotel on arrival in Amsterdam to the hotel at the end in Basel, the whole trip was supremely organized. The crew onboard were very good at their job and clearly enjoyed what they do. Nothing was a problem and the smaller number on board a river boat meant we could be alone if we wanted ...read more or part of a group when we wanted. The food was outstanding.
The Best Christmas Ever 1 , Christchurch, New Zealand, Dec 2022
We made some wonderful friends, had lots of Christmas cheer and it was so easy every day. Emerald Cruises - your staff are the best. Nothing was a problem and everyone was helpful and happy. I can not believe how much Christmas we packed into 8 days!

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Tour & cruises prices are per person. Prices shown have savings applied, are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Prices and trip information are correct at the time at this point in time, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking and are subject to change by Emerald Cruises. For cruise itineraries, cabin images are sourced from Emerald Cruises. These should be treated as indicative only. Cabin inclusions, upholsteries and room layout may differ to the image(s) shown depending on the ship selected and your sailing dates.

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