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Emerald Star Review

Emerald Star
Emerald Star - Emerald Star Swimming Pool Emerald Star - Emerald Star Horizon Bar & Lounge Emerald Star - Emerald Star Panorama Balcony Suite Emerald Star - Emerald Star Reflections Restaurant
75% of cruisers loved it
16 reviews | Write a Review
  • Ship offers great, all-inclusive value.
  • Public areas sport modern design and are kept flawlessly clean.
  • The dramatic pool transforms into a cinema.

Emerald Star Overview

By Amanda Castleman, Cruise Critic contributor
Editor Rating
4.0

Emerald Waterways launched in 2014 with Emerald Star and its sibling, Emerald Sky. The line appeals to young Boomers and any travelers looking for moderately priced, all-inclusive journeys. The fares cover tips, shore excursions and beverages -- beer, wine and soft drinks -- at lunch and dinner. The ship's eight- to 15-night routes explore the Rhine, Danube and other European rivers from March through December.

Emerald Star shakes things up with an airy, bright, modern design and a stern swimming pool than turns into a film theater at night (a feature new to river cruising). Its 182 passengers spread among three interior decks, and public spaces include a gym, hair salon and massage room. Floor-to-ceiling windows -- plus a top-level track and three-hole mini golf course -- bring even more fresh air and a sense of spaciousness to this cheery, new take on European slow travel.

The crew blends up to a dozen nationalities seamlessly, drawing strengths from each culture. Everyone who interacts with the passengers speaks English and works tirelessly to not only respond to problems, but to anticipate and resolve them.

Chic and relaxed in equal measures, Emerald Star gives the Viking Longships a run for their money, while setting a new, minimalist design standard for Europe's river cruise scene.

Emerald Star Fellow Passengers

One-third of the passengers hail from New Zealand and Australia (where the line's parent company, the well-regarded Scenic Tours, is based). One-quarter come from Britain, and about 45 percent of passengers fly over from North America.

Except for certain routes -- like the ""”-- Star tends to attract cruisers in their 50s and 60s, especially couples. The ship has no children's facilities or programs.

Emerald Star Dress Code

While the ship has a minimalist elegance, passengers can relax in jeans and other leisure-wear. Even the welcome dinner and farewell gala never rise above "smart casual." Shorts and flip-flops, however, are no-goes at meals.

Emerald Star Gratuity

The onboard currency is the euro. Tips are covered by the cruise fares, but passengers are welcome to reward exceptional service. Simply ask for an envelope at reception.

Next: Emerald Star Cabins
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Emerald Star Member Reviews

05/15
We sailed from Amsterdam to Budapest in May 2015 and were most impressed by the ship, the efficient service and the relaxed generosity of the package. River cruisers are necessarily limited in terms of the facilities available, so cabins are all ... Read more
05/15
When boarding the Emerald Star I was greeted by a professional presented crew offering us champagne. This was appreciated after an eight hour journey by bus from Paris. The cabin was immaculate, comfortable, with a space for table and two ... Read more
11/14
I am not really one to write reviews but after my experience on the Emerald Star I felt compelled to share what I can only describe as "the trip of a lifetime!". I have avoided ocean cruising as my husband gets seasick but after speaking to some ... Read more
1 - 3 of 16 Reviews

Emerald Star Ratings

Editor Rating 4.0 Member Rating
Category
Editor
Member
Dining
4.0
4.3
Public Rooms
4.0
4.4
Cabins
4.0
4.4
Entertainment
4.0
3.9
Spa & Fitness
4.0
4.0
Family & Children
1.0
Shore Excursions
4.0
4.6
Enrichment
3.0
4.6
Service
4.0
4.8
Value-for-Money
5.0
4.0

Explore This Ship

Ship Stats
Crew:
47
Launched:
2014
Decks:
4
Tonnage:
443 feet
Passengers:
182
Registry:
Malta
CDC Score:
Not Yet Inspected

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