Extra-special excursions and events designed for you to see the destinations we visit in a different light.

Immerse yourself further with EmeraldPLUS

EmeraldPLUS are our collection of extra-special excursions and events designed for you to see the destinations we visit in a different light, giving you memorable experiences that go beyond that of the ordinary traveller. 

EmeraldPLUS is about seeking out rare insights, giving you the chance to uncover hidden gems you may not have discovered without the guidance of a local expert, as well as beloved tourist hotspots that cannot be missed. We believe it’s these special touches that make a holiday with Emerald Waterways truly unforgettable, offering moments of joy, wonder and discovery that you’ll treasure for a lifetime.

To help inspire a little wanderlust, we’ve handpicked our favourite EmeraldPLUS experiences on each of the waterways we navigate.

EmeraldPLUS on the Danube

Home-hosted coffee and cake with a local Slovakian family

In Bratislava, EmeraldPLUS invites you to the home of a local family, where you’ll enjoy home-hosted coffee and cake whilst listening to wonderful stories about the traditions and folklore of the region. This intimate encounter is your chance to immerse yourself further and discover more about life in the Slovakian capital, hearing first-hand how the Danube has helped shape the unique culture and way of life on the fringes of Eastern Europe.

Experience this memorable EmeraldPLUS event on our Splendours of Europe, Danube Delights and Danube Delights with Prague itineraries.

slovakina family
Emerald Waterways on board Bavarian Band
 A Bavarian band performance
Bringing the culture to you, we invite a traditional Bavarian Band on board to entertain you with their classic oompah sounds. A unique, wonderful experience, the band will perform traditional Bavarian music in authentic dress – something that will live on with you long after the river cruise has ended.

Enjoy the sounds of a traditional Bavarian band on the Splendours of Europe, Danube Delights and Danube Delights with Prague river cruises.

EmeraldPLUS on the Rhine

Visit Keukenhof Gardens

During springtime, the world’s largest floral showcase is yours to discover during an unforgettable EmeraldPLUS experience in the celebrated Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands. Home to a staggering collection of seasonal tulips, beautifully curated over a 32-hectare site, Keukenhof is paradise found for gardening enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Your visit includes a guided introduction to the gardens as well as free-time to explore at your leisure. A day which promises to be the most colourful and enchanting of your journey.

Experience a tapestry of colour at Keukenhof Gardens on the Tulips & the Rhine and Holland & Belgium in Bloom itineraries.

Strasbourg, France

A canal boat tour in Strasbourg

Marvel at the ancient wonders of Strasbourg, capital of France’s age-old Alsace region, during a tour of its traditional canal network, whose waterways criss-cross from Petitè France to the Tanners’ Quarter. On board a purpose-built ‘Batorama’, marvel at highlights including Vauban Dam and the Covered Bridges, as well as the illustrious sights of the Neustadt Imperial Quarter. Beautifully preserved timber-framed buildings line the banks of the canals, hinting at the city’s rich medieval heritage, while the lavish civic buildings of the European Parliament are a triumph in French Empire-style architecture. A wonderful introduction to one of northern France’s most beautiful cities.

Enjoy this EmeraldPLUS excursion on the Majestic Rhine river cruise.

EmeraldPLUS on the Rhône

A regional cheese tasting on board

Whilst in Tournus, a regional wine-tasting will introduce you to a number of local specialities certain to get your taste-buds tingling.

Taste your way through France’s favourite cheeses on our Flavours of Burgundy & Provence river cruise.
Emerald Waterways on board food and drink
dinner in france with a respected chef
A Provençal dinner hosted by renowned local chef, Fabien Morreale

As well as a rich winemaking heritage, Provence is also home to some of the world’s favourite dishes and most respected chefs. Fabien Morreale, Top Chef finalist will be joining us on board to host a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience celebrating authentic Provençal cuisine.

Enjoy this extra-special evening on our Sensations of Lyon & Provence

EmeraldPLUS on the Douro

Savour a rural Portuguese dinner at Quinta da Pacheta

After a day spent amid the spectacular Coa Valley of northern Portugal, it’s time for a special rural dinner at Quinta da Pacheca, one of the most celebrated ‘wine houses’ of the Douro Valley. The lands of the Douro are scattered with these charming homesteads, where port wine has been traditionally produced by generations of Portuguese farmers and producers. Your evening begins with a tasting of the Douro’s iconic wines and ports, before a feast of freshly-prepared Portuguese fare offers a colourful and authentic taste of the region and its proud culinary traditions.

Savour this EmeraldPLUS experience on our Secrets of the Douro river cruise.
Savour a Rural Portuguese Dinner at Quinta da Pacheta

EmeraldPLUS on the Moselle

Bernkastel, Germany
A wine-tasting in Bernkastel

In Germany’s winegrowing heartland, the pretty village of Bernkastel offers half-timber houses and a rich history. It’s here you can sample the famed Moselle Valley wines amidst the beautiful vine-covered slopes as part of an EmeraldPLUS experience. The region produces a range of different wines, most famously the Riesling whites.

Sample the wine heritage of Bernkastel on our Legendary Rhine & Moselle river cruise.

EmeraldPLUS on the Mekong

Cyclo ride through Dai Noi, boat tour to Thien Mu Pagoda and a royal dinner

Immerse yourself in Southeast Asian culture by taking a cyclo ride (bicycle-style rickshaw) from Dai Noi “Old City” to Tinh Tam Lake, considered to be among the most beautiful parts of the region and the inspiration for ancient emperors. 

Later, journey down the Perfume River to Thien Mu Pagoda, the iconic seven-storey historic temple and symbol of the city of Hue, Vietnam. Your evening is crowned with an unforgettable traditional royal dinner where you’ll sample local flavours fit for an emperor.

Enjoy this fascinating Vietnamese excursion on the 23-Day Grand Tour of Vietnam & Cambodia itinerary.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Traditional Buddhist Monk blessing and ox cart ride

Your day begins with an ox cart ride before visiting the Oudong Temples north of Phnom Penh. Once the capital of Cambodia, the area is a place of pilgrimage for Cambodians, and you’ll receive the rare privilege of a traditional Buddhist Blessing from the resident Monks.

Take part in this EmeraldPLUS activity on all three of our insightful Southeast Asia itineraries.

EmeraldPLUS on the Nile

Cruise on the Sea of Galilee

Start your day in Galilee, Israel with a cruise on the Sea of Galilee, the lowest freshwater lake in the world. Enjoy the rural magnificence and farmland along the route. 

Cruise the Sea of Galilee on the 16-Day Israel & Ancient Egypt river cruise
Sea of Galilee
Ruins of Jerash, Amman, Jordan
Home-hosted dinner with a local family

In the Jordanian capital Amman, you will be welcomed into the home of a local family for a home-hosted dinner. Learn all about their daily life as you enjoy some conversation accompanied by a traditional dinner.

Immerse yourself further in local Jordanian life on the 15-Day Cairo to Amman Tour & Ancient Egypt river cruise

EmeraldPLUS on the Volga

A visit to the State Armoury

Visit the State Armoury a treasury house inside of the Kremlin that is known around the world for its historical and cultural value. Precious artefacts  are yours to discover, including the Golden Gospel, one of Ivan the Terrible’s personal favourites.

Moscow’s history is yours to uncover on the 12-Day Imperial Charms of Russia itinerary

Moscow, Russia
museum floor
Visit the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics

Soviet space exploration is yours to discover at the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics. Enjoy exploring exhibits that touch on the history of flights, space exploration and how space technology as evolved over the last century. 

Enjoy this excursion on the 12-Day Imperial Charms of Russia itinerary

EmeraldPLUS along the Dalmatian coast

A guided tour of Ston with wine tasting

Ston is a small, relaxed fishing town that is known as the gatekeeper of the Pelješac peninsula’s wine empire. Here is where you will enjoy a guided tour of its medieval town centre with its pretty olive groves with a backdrop of stunning coastline. Following this you will enjoy a local wine-tasting session. 

Discover Croatia’s local wine on the 8-Day Islands of Dalmatia itinerary. 

Trogir, Croatia
Korcula, Croatia
An authentic Rapska cake tasting

On the island of Rab you will find lush green pine forests and beautiful sandy beaches, and it’s here you will have the opportunity to attend a traditional Rapska cake tasting. Baked to a 800-year-old recipe, this shortbread-like cake is made using almonds and maraschino liqueur. 

Enjoy this experience on the 8-Day Pearls of North Dalmatia itinerary.