Budapest, Hungary’s thriving capital city, is a sought-after destination for many river cruisers—and it’s easy to see why. Evening sailings through the heart of Budapest reveal a breathtaking scene: thousands of lights define the impressive Hungarian Parliament Building and gothic Fisherman’s Bastion, while Buda Castle glows from its hilltop perch and the sparkling Chain Bridge reflects in the water below. To ensure guests can fully immerse themselves in the “Pearl of the Danube,” Emerald Cruises created a fresh Danube River itinerary for 2024 that allows Budapest time to truly shine.
The 10-day Danube Explorer & Highlights of Budapest river cruise offers the best of both worlds—iconic ports across five countries in the heartland of Central Europe and an extended stay in Budapest aboard one of their modern Star-Ships. Immersive, locally-focused experiences include a hearty Bavarian brunch enjoyed on a farm in Passau, a hands-on torte making workshop in Linz, and an exclusive classical concert in Vienna. It’s easy to stay active while touring iconic sites like Bratislava Castle and Veste Oberhaus with six distinct EmeraldACTIVE hiking and bike tours—and a fleet of bikes at the ready for guests to explore at their own pace.
Three days in Budapest—at the beginning or end of the sailing—allows ample time for touring the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city center, exploring the city’s vibrant nightlife, and enjoying a culinary tour at the Grand Market. Emerald Cruises’ Star-Ships dock close to the city center, making it easy for guests to take in the city at their own pace. For those looking for more structure, a retro tour of post-communist Budapest offers a deeper look into more recent history, while a trip to one of the city’s famed Hungarian baths treats guests to the centuries-old practice of soaking in the thermal waters that originate deep beneath the city.