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Emerald Luna Activities

Editor Rating
Jorge Oliver

Entertainment & Activities

Shore Excursions on Emerald Luna

Emerald Cruises provides ample variety of shore excursions on Emerald Luna, and most of the available excursions are included in the base fare. The only exception are the premium tours, which the line calls DiscoverMORE tours, and have a cost of 50-90 Euros, depending on the sailing and the content of the excursion.

For the included shore excursions, Emerald typically offers two choices: the main tour and the EmeraldACTIVE tour. The former category usually consists of a walking tour or a bus tour, while the latter category is available to more active cruisers who prefer physically demanding excursions like bike tours or nature hikes.

Our itinerary's included excursions mostly consisted of attractions that required transportation by bus. Examples included a visit to the Zaanse Schans windmills north of Amsterdam, Keukenhof garden or a city tour of Rotterdam. In other cases, the included excursions went the extra mile, like a visit to The Hague from Rotterdam that featured a visit to the city's Mauritshuis Museum (and exclusive admission an hour before the museum opened to the general public) or a tour of the royal palace Het Loo from Arnhem (which at the time was closed to the public for partial repairs but Emerald arranged an exception for our sailing).

On the other hand, only one walking tour was offered during our itinerary: a one-hour city tour in Antwerp. Given that our itinerary took place in early April, this was probably deliberate in case we had inclement weather or temperatures dropped below comfortable levels. For this tour, passengers were divided into three groups, with one of the groups set aside exclusively for slower walkers.

Our sailing offered EmeraldACTIVE tours on most ports and they exclusively consisted of guided bike tours using the ship's fleet of electric bikes. These tours were usually scheduled at the same time as the main included tour, making it impossible to attend both (the one exception was our visit to Willemstad, where we could choose between the guided bike tour or free time to explore the tiny 2,500-resident town).

The availability of free time was inconsistent during our itinerary. In some ports, like Amsterdam -- where we had a total of three overnights --, or Antwerp -- where the only available excursion was a one-hour walking tour -- we had ample time to explore the destination on our own. Less so in other ports like Rotterdam and Arnhem, where there were multiple tours per day.

Our sailing also featured two DiscoverMORE tours at an extra cost. The first one, in Amsterdam, consisted of a visit to the Aalsmeer Flower Auction, where 43 million flowers are traded daily in a 5,580,000-square-foot building that's considered the fourth largest by footprint in the world. The second premium tour took us to Delft from Rotterdam, where we visited the famous Delft blue pottery factory as well as a short walking tour of the medieval city.

Lectures and Enrichment on Emerald Luna

Our itinerary was scarce in terms of pure lectures or enrichment activities. On our weeklong sailing, we only had two: a tulip talk the day before our visit to Keukenhof garden, and a wood clog painting class. Beyond these two events, we had daily port talks every evening that went into detail about the highlights of the next day's port of call as well as the calendar activities for the day.

Although not strictly enrichment lectures, the port talks were nonetheless essential as they were the only way to find out about our daily schedule. In order to curtail the use of paper, the day's itinerary was never printed and left in our cabins (unless specifically requested at the front desk). Instead, after each port talk, it was displayed on large screens in the lobby area and accessible via the in-cabin televisions.

Nightlife on Emerald Luna

As with most river ships, nightlife isn't Emerald Luna's strongest suit. The ship does nonetheless offer an adequate nightly program for passengers not quite ready to retreat to their cabins after dinner.

On Emerald Luna, most of the nightlife activities take place at the Horizons Bar and Lounge. The entertainment typically consisted of events like live music, trivia and other audience-participation activities. Additionally, the indoor pool on Deck 3 converts into a cinema on select nights, and our sailing feature three movie showings, complete with popcorn and cocktails.

On the nights when the cinema wasn't available, passengers who favored a quieter apres-dinner drink had the option to lounge in the pool area.

Emerald Waterways includes mealtime beer, wine and soft drinks with your fare, but drink packages are available. Passengers can choose between a non-alcoholic package with unlimited soft drinks, bottled juices, and mocktails; the Extended Package, which includes a daily selection of wines by the glass, draft beer, and soft drinks; or the Platinum Package, which includes draft/bottled beer, cocktails, long drinks, wine and Prosecco by the glass

Starting in 2024, the packages will be consolidated into two versions: the Premium Package will cover soft drinks, juices, mocktails, non-alcoholic bottled beers, draft beers by the glass, and red and white house wines by the glass; and the Platinum Package, which pretty well includes everything else.

For Kids

Is Emerald Luna Family Friendly?

While some of its amenities -- like the indoor pool, the golf putting green on the Sun Deck or the fleet of electric bikes -- might appeal to younger cruisers, Emerald Waterways caters to an adult audience. Moreover, the minimum age to sail on Emerald Cruises is 10.

Having said that, the cruise line introduced a couple of annual family-friendly itineraries, one of which -- the 8-day Family Rhine River Cruise-- is scheduled to take place on Emerald Luna in 2023. The cruise line also offers Christmas market sailings, which may also appeal to multigeneration families sailing with children older than 10.

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