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

Immerse yourself further with EmeraldPLUS

Seeking out rare sights and hidden gems you may not have discovered without the guidance of a local expert, these extra-special excursions will take you to the heart of local culture, providing a fascinating insight into authentic customs and traditions during exclusive social events with residents and tours of significant landmarks, as well as on board performances and workshops. We believe it’s these special touches that make a holiday with Emerald Cruises 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 across our European river cruises, our Southeast Asia collection and luxury yacht cruising itineraries. 


Signature excursions on the Danube

Home-hosted coffee and cake with a local Slovakian family

In Bratislava, we invite 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. 

You can enjoy this immersive encounter on our Danube Delights with Prague, Danube Delights and Splendours of Europe river cruise itineraries.

 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. Bavarian music is as fun as it is steeped in tradition, so you can expect a thoroughly Germanic evening of entertainment. This exclusive event will take place in the Horizon Bar & Lounge, whose dancefloor and entertainment area are purpose-built for this type of event. So, sit back, relax, and get in the spirit of things. 

Enjoy this extra-special performance on our Danube Delights with Prague, Danube Delights and Splendours of Europe river cruises.

Inspiring shore excursions on the Rhine

Visit Keukenhof Gardens

During springtime, the world’s largest floral showcase is yours to discover during an unforgettable 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 a paradise 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. Grab a site map and make your way through the lovingly-landscaped grounds, each providing a kaleidoscope of seasonal blooms. It’s a day which promises to be the most colourful and enchanting of your journey.

You can visit Keukenhof Gardens on the following itineraries: Tulips & the Rhine and Holland & Belgium in Bloom.

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 wonderful excursion on the Majestic Rhine river cruise.

Memorable experience on the Rhône

A regional cheese and wine tasting on board

Whilst on board in Tournon, a regional wine-tasting will introduce you to a number of local specialties certain to get your taste-buds tingling.  Local wines are yours to savour as part of this memorable experience, which promises to be the perfect introduction to the legendary fare of the south of France.

Enjoy the wonderful experience on board Emerald Liberté on our Sensations of Lyon & Provence river cruise.

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. Of course, the meal is the true highlight, so bring your appetite and look forward to indulging in fine French fare. Morreale has pieced together a menu of delectable classics to showcase the very best food of the region. 

Indulge in this exclusive dinner on our Sensations of Lyon & Provence river cruise along the Rhône.

Wonderful experiences 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 dotted 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. With the beautiful Douro landscape as your backdrop, feel at peace amid the rural landscape as you savour some of the finest fare of the Iberian Peninsula.

Savour this wonderful culinary and cultural experience on our Secrets of the Douro river cruise.

Exceptional discovery on the Moselle

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 a special wine-tasting experience. The region produces a range of different wines, most famously the Riesling whites, though Pinot Noir blends are becoming more and more popular in this corner of southern Germany.

Look forward to unearthing the fascinating legacy of winemaking on the Moselle, as you taste your way through some of the region’s best-loved vintages. With an expert wine enthusiast on hand to provide tasting notes and flavour highlights, you’ll feel like a German wine buff at the end of this memorable occasion.

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

Immersive excursions 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.

Traditional Buddhist Monk blessing

Located north of Phnom Penh, Oudong was the former royal capital of Cambodia up until it moved to Phnom Penh in 1866. Important remnants on the temple site include the burial sites of Khmer kings as well as religious artefacts dating back more than a hundred years. It’s here, in the main temple of the Oudong Monastery, where you’ll receive the rare privilege of a traditional Buddhist blessing from the temple’s resident monks. 

Immerse yourself in local culture during this exclusive experience on our Grand Tour of Vietnam & Cambodia, Treasures & Temples of Vietnam & Cambodia and Wonders of Vietnam, Cambodia & the Mekong itineraries. 

Special shore excursions on the Volga River, Russia

A visit to the State Armoury

Visit the State Armoury, a treasury house inside 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. The Armoury houses precious artefacts from every century beginning with the 4th, providing a remarkable timeline of Russia’s imposing history.

The State Armoury is also one of several architectural wonders hidden inside the Kremlin, giving you a glimpse of Russia’s imperial might. Constructed in 1851 by renowned architect Konstantin Ton, it’s one of several buildings within the enigmatic Kremlin which continues to impress.

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