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The Emerald Waterways Difference 

Written By: Lisa Norton, Vice President, Brand Management, Emerald Waterways 



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Launched in 2014, Emerald Waterways has quickly been recognized by the media and by guests from around the world for a superb guest experience and exceptional value. In fact, the discerning editors at Cruise Critic named Emerald Waterways ‘Best Value for Money’ for the third year in a row. 


With itineraries ranging in length from eight to fifteen days, the line’s cruises along the Rhine, Main, Danube, Douro and Rhône offer an insight into the history of each magnificent waterway. What were once integral trade routes are now gateways to cultural enlightenment to be navigated in style.  


Exceptional Emerald Value 

Unlike many other river cruise lines, onboard and onshore gratuities, roundtrip the transfers between the airport and the ship, while a selection of drinking and dining options treat the senses to a diverse adventure. Every day, enjoy a breakfast and lunch buffet with an array of appetizers, main courses, as well as a dessert table with a collection of fine sweets. In the evenings, chefs prepare a four-course dinner serving delicious international and regional specialties. 


Other valuable inclusions are beer, wine and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, a shore excursion in every port, bicycles on board, WiFi and specialty teas and coffees available 24 hours a day. 


Award-winning Star-Ships 

Emerald Waterways’ sleek and modern Star-Ships are not like other river cruise ships.  As one of Europe’s newest fleets, every detail and contemporary feature has been designed to enhance the experience of our guests.  With their striking minimalistic design and statement centerpieces, an Emerald Waterways Star-Ship is comparable to a boutique hotel, only this hotel travels with you as you explore the rivers of Europe and enjoy a different view every day. 


The two most innovative aspects of our ships are the dual-purpose area at the aft of the ship that transforms from an indoor heated swimming pool with retractable roof during the day, to a cinema at night (not available on the Emerald Radiance on the Douro River), and our revolutionary open-air system found in all staterooms on the Horizon and Vista Decks.  With the touch of a button, the upper part of the cabin’s floor-to-ceiling window drops down to create a balcony within your suite. 


Building a brand new fleet allowed us to tailor the design of our staterooms and suites.  They offer a great value to our guests since they are larger than most others on Europe’s rivers.  All accommodations include complimentary bathrobes and slippers, bottled water restocked daily, electronic safes, flat-screen TV with infotainment systems, a mini-fridge, trekking poles, umbrellas and a hair dryer. 


Take a Dip in the Pool 

Unlike any others on Europe’s rivers, our deluxe ships have a heated swimming pool complete with retractable roof and bar – the perfect place for you to relax whatever the weather. On select evenings, the pool area inventively transforms into a cinema showing a collection of films.  This is also a fantastic area for small groups to enjoy a private reception or to host a meeting. 


Expect Delicious Cuisine 

Emerald Waterways offers the very best in fine dining.  Reflections is the main restaurant, offering a casual setting for you to enjoy our delightful cuisine.  To accompany lunch and dinner, we’ve carefully chosen a selection of European red and white wine, local beers and soft drinks for you to enjoy. When the weather’s fine you can enjoy a light breakfast and cafe style lunch alfresco on The Terrace. From our welcome dinner to farewell dinner, you will have the opportunity to meet with other guests and share memories that will last a lifetime.   


Contemporary Cabins Built for Comfort 

What makes our cabins really stand out is that they’re an incredible value for your money. On average, they are larger than most other cruise lines, but we don’t charge you for the extra space. In all categories, you’ll enjoy your own en-suite bathroom, comfortable hotel-style bed draped in luxe linens, flat screen TV and infotainment system, deluxe toiletries and hair dryer, individual climate control, personal fridge with bottled water restocked daily and ample storage space. 


The Fleet 

Emerald Waterways’ fleet has grown to seven Star-Ships. In 2017, the company inaugurated the Emerald Destiny, Emerald Liberte on the Rhone, and Emerald Radiance on the Douro  



It’s Amazing What’s Included 

  • Innovative onboard features like a heated pool with retractable roof and cinema† 
  • Boutique hotel-style accommodation with spacious cabins and our refreshing open-air balcony system in all our suites 
  • All on board meals and a collection of highlight dinners at Reflections Restaurant 
  • Hand-selected wine, beer and soft drinks to accompany lunch and dinner 
  • The option to enjoy a light breakfast or lunch al-fresco on The Terrace 
  • Specialty coffees & teas available at all times 
  • Bottled water restocked daily in your cabin 
  • Included excursions at almost every port 
  • Extra special excursions included courtesy of EmeraldPLUS 
  • Guided biking, hiking or canoeing tours with our EmeraldACTIVE programs 
  • Visits to many UNESCO World Heritage Sites 
  • Emerald’s Concierge Service* – continental breakfast, pre-dinner canapés 


and after dinner treats served right to your suite 

  • Excellent service from an English-speaking crew 
  • Knowledgeable local guides at each destination 
  • Complimentary bicycles on board for daily use† 
  • Complimentary WiFi on board 
  • All airport transfers to and from your ship 
  • Port charges included in pricing 
  • All gratuities  


† Emerald Radiance: Pool is located on the Sun Deck with no cinema. Complimentary bicycles not available onboard this ship. 

*Owner’s One-bedroom, Riverview and Grand Balcony Suites only. 


What’s New for 2018-2019 

We’ve announced three new itineraries for 2018: The Classic Rhine from Amsterdam to Frankfurt; The Majestic Rhine from Frankfurt to Basel; and The Charms of Holland & Belfium that operates roundtrip from Amsterdam. For 2019, look for new 8-day cruises including Nuremberg to Vienna and Vienna to Belgrade along the Lower Danube. 


Also available are pre-sale packages to the Oberammergau Passion Play in 2020 including tickets, transfers, hotel stay, meals and more. The passion play package is only available with one of three river cruise itineraries along the Danube. 


Emerald Specialist Program 

We’re pleased to announce a newly designed travel agent specialist course at EmeraldSpecialist.com.  With this course you will learn about our Star-Ships, their unique features and our itineraries. Upon completion you will receive preferred notifications of specials, have opportunities for Emerald Waterways educational trips and guide your clients to a truly outstanding river cruise experience.