Adventure awaits with EmeraldPLUS

EmeraldPLUS offers experiences that take you to the heart of the regions you visit.

We want you to go beyond the usual tourist activities during your time with us. We like to take the path less travelled, the authentic experiences that put you right at the heart of every destination. If you’re looking for something different, then EmeraldPLUS provides experiences unlike anything else.
Traditional Hungarian folklore show, Budapest
Like all European nations, Hungary has its own unique customs and traditions, and these are reflected in its folklore, music and art. As you sail through the magnificent cityscape of Budapest, you’ll enjoy an inspiring performance of traditional Hungarian dance and song – the perfect way to celebrate the beauty of the country. Expect local music, colourful costumes and an impressive dance performance, all inspired by centuries of rich Hungarian tradition and storied folklore.
Folklore show man
Strasbourg Canal boat tour
Strasbourg canal
With its network of pretty canals, the Alsatian capital of Strasbourg in north-east France is best explored by water. Sitting close to the German border, the city’s architecture takes influence from both countries, with elegant French civic buildings standing beside half-timbered medieval houses that exude Germanic charm. Owing to its stunning heritage architecture, much of the city centre is a designated World Heritage Site, and you’ll savour the city’s finest buildings on a floating tour – from Petite France and the tanners’ quarter to the Covered Bridges.
Home-hosted coffee and cake with a Slovakian family, Bratislava
EmeraldPLUS is about introducing new and immersive experiences not readily available to the ordinary traveller, helping you get closer to the distinct traditions and cultures of the continent. In Bratislava, you’ll enjoy an intimate encounter with a Slovakian family, as you enter their home to share coffee and cake and hear stories of life in Eastern Europe. This wonderful experience has been carefully curated by our Cruise Experts, giving you the opportunity to immerse more fully in local life.
Bratislava Old Town
Visit to the Puszta horse farm, Kalocsa
puszta horse farm
The Puszta, or Great Hungarian Plain, is synonymous with Magyar horseman – a proud tribal people who first settled in Europe in the 9th century. Magyar cowboys are considered some of the finest horsemen of the continent, and in Kalocsa, southern Hungary, you’ll have the opportunity to experience their equestrian skill first-hand with a visit to the traditional Puszta horse farm. Tour the grounds and learn more about the proud legacy of the Magyar people, before enjoying an exhilarating display of horsemanship.
Keukenhof Gardens visit, Amsterdam
Home to the largest display of seasonal blooms in the world, the Keukenhof Gardens of Amsterdam are a highlight for many guests during a luxury cruise in the Netherlands and Belgium. Renowned as the ‘Garden of Europe’, Keukenhof boasts a vibrant display of over seven million bulbs, including over 800 varieties of tulips. Tour the distinct zones of the garden, breathing in the fragrant floral aroma, before enjoying the Tulipmania exhibition in the Juliana Pavilion, where you can discover the origins of Holland’s fondness for the famous tulip.
Moselle Valley wine tasting experience, Bernkastel
Celebrating with wine
Serene beauty isn’t the only attribute which makes Germany’s Moselle Valley a captivating destination. It’s also the perfect place to sample German viticulture, with its fertile lands providing the ideal conditions for cold climate winemaking. After touring the historic streets of Bernkastel on the Moselle River, enjoy a tasting session with a local wine expert, and sample the delicious Rieslings for which the Valley has found international renown.
Visit to the Kinderdijk Windmills
Standing as one of the great icons of the Netherlands, the Kinderdijk Windmills are an essential photo opportunity, and promise to be one of the highlights of your visit to southern Holland. Built in the 18th century to pump water from the polders of Alblasserdam, these traditional mills are now listed as national monuments, and have been protected by UNESCO since 1997. Explore the windmills and learn more about their heritage from an experienced local guide, before finding a prime spot to capture their beauty from afar.
Provencal on-board dinner, Avignon
​Marrying the decadence of fine French dining with a tangible Mediterranean influence, Provence affords the most iconic cuisine in southern France – from traditional Daube to the perfection of Provencal olive tapenade and freshly-baked bread. As you cruise the Rhône through the timeless lavender fields of Provence, you’ll enjoy a wonderful Provencal dining experience prepared by a local chef – helping you indulge in the colourful flavours of this beloved region.

Red wine and cheese
Traditional Tuna music, Salamanca
Sun shining in Spain
Colourful, vibrant and brimming with history, the exquisite Spanish city of Salamanca is a feast of culture and heritage close to the Portuguese border. After a day of immersive sightseeing, you’ll feel the rhythm of this ancient city during a performance of Tuna, a type of Spanish music traditionally performed by university students dressed in ‘grillo’ costume. Tuna is rhythmic and joyful, featuring a guitar, lute, bandurria and strong vocal harmonies, and provides a charming soundtrack to an afternoon in this beautiful city.

Authentic Czech dining experience, Prague
 Wander the cobblestones of Prague’s Old Quarter, taking in the wonderful architectural display, before settling in a quaint local restaurant for a memorable dining experience of traditional Czech cuisine. The Czech Republic has a proud culinary heritage which has inspired many of the cuisines of central and eastern Europe. This is your chance to sample the very best in fine Czech fare, with the momentous cityscape of Prague as your backdrop.
Sunrise in Prague
Black Forest cake demonstration, Breisach
Black Forest
From cuckoo clocks to the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, the beautiful Black Forest has inspired countless stories, traditions and customs – not least the iconic Black Forest gateau. This classic dessert originated in the Black Forest in the 19th century, and takes its name from Schwarzwälder Kirsch, a cherry liqueur. During a visit to this enigmatic region, enjoy a demonstration of how traditional Black Forest cake is made, and learn more about fascinating heritage of one of Europe’s most famous sweet treats.
Traditional Bavarian music performance, Regensburg
Of all the regions of Germany, Bavaria has the most well-defined cultural identity, complemented by a wealth of rich customs and traditions. During your stop in the medieval city of Regensburg, you’ll experience the joy of traditional Bavarian music in all its oompah grandness – think oversized brass instruments, rhythmic melodies and classic Germanic lederhosen. After a day of enriching sightseeing, this is the perfect way to celebrate the colourful traditions of southern Germany.
Brass instruments in band
Choir concert, Arbanasi
Arbanasi
Cruising the passage of the Danube through the heart of Eastern Europe, you’ll savour an exclusive performance from a Bulgarian choir in the charming heritage town of Arbanasi. The town is known for its 18th-century churches, many of which are built in the Bulgarian National Revival Style, and it’s here, in one of these spectacular stone monuments, that you’ll sink into the blissful and nostalgic song of a traditional Bulgarian choir – an intimate and unforgettable experience.
 
On-board cheese and olive tasting, Viviers
The fertile lands of Beaujolais stretch before you on the languid flow of the Saône River in southern France. After an inspirational guided walking tour in the quaint town of Viviers, you’ll savour a special tasting of local produce, hand-selected from a regional market by our expert chefs. You’ll be treated to the finest in-season produce – giving you a true taste of southern France.
Meat board with olives
Rural dinner at a traditional wine estate
Rustic dinner party
The ancient lands of northern Portugal and the great Douro Valley are dotted with dusty quintas – rustic farmsteads responsible for producing some of the country’s most beloved culinary exports. It’s at one of these special sites, where you’ll savour a rural dinner of traditional Portuguese cuisine, paired, of course, with some of the Douro’s famous wine. Ideal after a day of sightseeing under the Portuguese sun, this promises to be one of life’s most memorable dining experiences.
The first timer's guide to river cruises
River cruises vs. ocean cruises
Why is a river cruise great value?
How to choose a river cruise
What to pack for a river cruise
Meet your Emerald Waterways team
Adventure awaits with EmeraldPLUS
Guest testimonials
Further reading