Emerald Waterways - EUROPE

Built: 2014
Emerald Sky (182 passengers)
Emerald Star (182 passengers)

Emerald Waterways, sister to Scenic Tours (but with a lower price point to compete with Viking Cruises), is new in 2014 and is the first new company to sail Europe's rivers in six years.

The line's twin ships, the Emerald Sky and Emerald Star are new builds, each carrying 182 passengers, with accommodations ranging from solo cabins to balcony suites and owners' suites. The Emerald Panorama Balcony suite features floor-to-ceiling windows, which, at the touch of a button, drop down, to create an actual open-air deck area. Cabins have picture windows, spacious closets, high-end coffee machines, complimentary mini-bars, iPad/iPod docking stations with speakers. Passengers have use of a complimentary iPad during the cruise.

Cabins: Spacious cabins offering more space and greater value for money. At the other end of the scale, the Owner's One-bedroom Suites with a separate bedroom, spacious lounge and walk-in closet. Plus, this category includes a complimentary mini-bar restocked daily with beer, wine and soft drinks - and the option to have a continental breakfast served to your suite for you to enjoy on your spacious balcony, or in the lounge for a more intimate setting.

Activities: Each ship has a heated indoor swimming pool with a retractable roof, which, in the evening becomes a movie theater. Side tours included at each port, which expected with all river cruises. In addition to a massage room and a gym, both ships have a hair salon.

Dining: the main restaurant, Reflections offers alfresco dining at breakfast and lunch. There are two bars, the Horizon Bar and Lounge, which has floor-to-ceiling windows and the Sky Bar on the top deck.

Cruising: The ships travel 8 to 15-day itineraries along Europe's Rhine, Main, Danube and Mosel rivers. Positioned to compete with Viking, Emerald expects that the shorter itineraries will appeal to a younger demographic than the usual 55+ river cruise client.

Emerald Waterways is best for:

The 50+ crowd and younger adults. The typical clientele for European river cruises. The cruise line offers brand new ships, up close and personal experiences at a great value. Remember, you get what you pay for when it comes to Emerald Waterways.

Fares: Start at $2,225 per person. Ticket price includes all meals, shore excursions, transfers, tipping. Typical experiences might include entertainment by a Bavarian oompah band or an evening at a local tavern. As the line will be marketed heavily in the U.K. ticket price might include flights from London and other U.K. airports and is enjoyable for US passengers to enjoy those from another country.

European River Cruise Rating

******   Crystal River Cruise
Luftner (Amadeus)
*****   Tauck River Cruises (All-Inclusive)
Uniworld River Cruise (All-Inclusive)
Scenic Tours (All-inclusive)
****   AMA Waterways (All-inclusive)
***   Avalon Waterways (All-inclusive)
**   Emerald Waterways (All-inclusive)
Viking Cruises (All-inclusive)
Imperial River Cruises (All-inclusive)
A Rosa River Cruises (All Inclusive)

Rating is the sole opinion of Denver Travel's staff.

Contact: pamela@smallcruiseships.net or (303) 504-0400 - USA & Canada (888) 321-0103. International Calls Welcome.