Immerse yourself in new experiences with EmeraldPLUS

Taking you into the heart of local life, our extra-special EmeraldPLUS excursions and experiences provide a fascinating insight into the authentic customs of each destination you visit, whether that be towns and villages along the rivers of Europe or ancient cities along Southeast Asia’s Mekong River. 
Our journey planners have sought out a variety of hidden gems that you may not have discovered without the guidance of an expert. Designed to provide a rare insight into what really makes each wonderful destination tick, these included experiences are certain to be a highlight of your time sailing the world’s rivers with Emerald Cruises.
EmeraldPLUS experiences will take you deeper into 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 special on board performances and workshops.


EmeraldPLUS on the rivers of Europe

Immerse yourself in local European life with our EmeraldPLUS programme. Below, we’ve highlighted a selection of our top Europe river cruising EmeraldPLUS experiences.

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. 

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. 

Guided tour of Freiburg with tasting

Spectacular and historic, Freiburg im Breisgau, (commonly known just as Freiburg), sits on the edge of the mountainous Black Forest in southern Germany. A photogenic old city that was founded in 1120, Freiburg lays claim to having the most sunshine in the whole country. Life in this vibrant university city centres on the Altstadt's cobbled and arcaded Rathausplatz (City Square), lined with Gothic churches and civic buildings interspersed with buzzy cafés and bars. Enjoy a fascinating guided tour of the city and sample some local delicacies during a visit to a local market, such as Black Forest ham. 

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 France 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. 

Savour a rural Portuguese dinner at Quinta da Pacheca

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. 
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.

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 specialities 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.

EmeraldPLUS in Vietnam, Cambodia and on the Mekong River

There is a wealth of culture to uncover throughout Southeast Asia. Below, we’ve selected some of the highlights of our EmeraldPLUS programme throughout our Vietnam, Cambodia and Mekong river cruising itineraries.

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. 

Lion Dance performance on board Emerald Harmony

Thought to bring good luck and fortune, and a symbol joy and happiness, Lion Dance is a form of traditional dance symbol of joy and plays an important role in Southeast Asian culture and mythology. On board Emerald Harmony, enjoy this traditional performance on the Sun Deck. Vibrant bursts of colour light up the evening sky as you raise a glass and toast new-found friends.

Enjoy this colourful performance on board Emerald Harmony on our Grand Tour of Vietnam & Cambodia, Treasures & Temples of Vietnam & Cambodia and Wonders of Vietnam, Cambodia & the Mekong itineraries.


Lunch at KOTO Restaurant

Whilst in Hanoi, you will enjoy lunch at KOTO (Know One Teach One), a unique restaurant set up to train and educate disadvantaged children. KOTO’s aim is to end the cycle of poverty by empowering and helping local young people to forge a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities. 

Delve deeper into the life of locals during this extra-special lunch on our Grand Tour of Vietnam & Cambodia, Treasures & Temples of Vietnam & Cambodia and Wonders of Vietnam, Cambodia & the Mekong itineraries.

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