Emerald Waterways cruise review:
Continued from page 6
ABOVE: In Würzburg, all passengers were
treated to a guided tour through the Residenz, an 18th Century palace that
houses the world's largest ceiling fresco. (Click
here and maximize your browser window for a larger panoramic image.)
River cruises are as much about touring as they are about
cruising. Increasingly, middle-class and upscale travelers are turning to river
cruises as alternative to bus tours, thanks to the "unpack and repack once"
convenience of staying on a ship instead of checking into a different hotel
Most river-cruising lines include shore excursions in the fare, and Emerald
Waterways is no exception. In each port of call, passengers are offered at least
one tour: typically a walking tour of the city or town center, sometimes with a
bonus activity (such as a visit to a Bamberg brewpub to sample Rauchbier)
at no extra cost.
During our cruise, passengers were also offered a free
escorted hike to a
hillop castle in addition to the morning's scheduled walking tour.
activities for our cruise included:
or 13.7-mile bicycle tour along the Moselle River from Traben-Trarbach to
Bernkastel. (The ship pulled into Traben-Trarbach at 10 a.m. so the bikers could
disembark, and the group later arrived in Bernkastel at about the same time
as Emerald Star.)
wine-tasting at the
historic Staatliche Hofkeller in Würzburg (among the world's oldest wine
cellars), featuring white wines from Franconian vineyards.
most tours, we used small radio receivers with earpieces to hear our guides.
Such "tour radios" have become commonplace, and they have two advantages: The
guide's narration is easier to hear in noisy or crowded places, and you can
wander off to take a photo or escape the pack without missing anything.
Officers and crew