1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Emerald Waterways
  4. Emerald Waterways Cruise Reviews

33 Emerald Waterways Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

We saw it advertised on tv. The river cruise was our first, but not our last it was everything and more then we expected. Starting with the unexpected free hand luggage and going on to be one of the best journeys of our life. Trips and the ... Read More
We saw it advertised on tv. The river cruise was our first, but not our last it was everything and more then we expected. Starting with the unexpected free hand luggage and going on to be one of the best journeys of our life. Trips and the Concert were all outstanding, we visited the wonderful city of Budapest with its great culture. Then Vienna a lively and lovely city, where we watched an excellent concert. After we visited Durnstein and sampled the taste of the local Brandy and Wine. Next was Melk and a trip to the 900 year old Abby which was awesome. Following this was Linz where we visited the castle with it’s amazing views. The cruise down the Danube with the views and wonderful scenery were often watched while dining making it even more special. But what made the whole experience special was the outstanding staff. The facilities and food were all brilliant. Thank you. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
It was part of our ski trip summer trips. This is a fantastic cruise for people who love scenery,wine vineyards especially port wines, olives and churches. It also is an area that tells you about cork and cork trees. The entertainment was ... Read More
It was part of our ski trip summer trips. This is a fantastic cruise for people who love scenery,wine vineyards especially port wines, olives and churches. It also is an area that tells you about cork and cork trees. The entertainment was okay...it is a small ship maximum 113 guests and is very fun. The ship is 2 years old and Emerald has made this small ship seem larger with mirrors everywhere. It is bright and gleaming and the rooms are adequate for cruising. We were on the lowest deck of 3 floors and it even has a large window at the water level. Service was superb and so was the food. Great variety and very tasty and colorful. The breakfast and lunch menu was full of variety and choices. Dinner menu was elegant and 3 to 4 courses with just enough to satisfy the palate. Wine and drinks with every meal was included.The shore excursions led by the Emerald tour leaders and they were very knowledgeable. We saw churches, wine tastings ,food market, city tours , historical bridges and got free time to shop and try out the local foods. Overall, this was one of the best river tours we have done. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose this cruise because I love France. Arles, Avignon and Lyon were really interesting ports of call. Ship was spotless. Food was very good. Service in the dining area was excellent. All staff and crew were friendly, helpful and ... Read More
Chose this cruise because I love France. Arles, Avignon and Lyon were really interesting ports of call. Ship was spotless. Food was very good. Service in the dining area was excellent. All staff and crew were friendly, helpful and efficient. We were disappointed that the ship often sailed during the night. When it did sail during the day, there was no access to the top deck due to the many, many lochs and bridges. (There was free access when in port). On day 6, the french authorities boarded the ship for an audit. The ship was prevented from completing its journey. The next day : * we travelled by coach to a vineyard - over 2 hours each way * a scheduled cheese/wine event did not take place * we made our own arrangements for lunch * returning from the coach trip, we were told to pack as we would be staying overnight at the Radisson hotel and we had to find somewhere for our evening meal * we were able to claim for 2 basic meals - but the allowance was far short of the standard and number of courses we had become accustomed to plus, unlimited wine with our meals * passengers were very low in spirit at the end of the holiday and we have never had an explanation as to why the ship's paperwork was not in order. * Liberte was unable to make its return journey to Arles, meaning many more disappointed people. I have written to Emerald Waterways suggesting compensation should be a seventh of the cruise price. I have not had a reply - just a standard letter and a cheque for £110. I don’t think this is adequate when you consider the disruption and inconvenience we experienced. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
As travel agent, we wanted to try out the Emerald service, and we are convinced, that the service is fabulous and excellent. We sailed from Nuremberg to Amsterdam, in July 2019. After arriving from the airport we got on board in minutes. ... Read More
As travel agent, we wanted to try out the Emerald service, and we are convinced, that the service is fabulous and excellent. We sailed from Nuremberg to Amsterdam, in July 2019. After arriving from the airport we got on board in minutes. The staff is extremely polite, and nice at the reception, in the restaurant, in the bar etc.. The pool has a relaxing atmosphere. The city tours have been well organized with professional guides, comfortable couches. We had great opportunity to visit the most important places, monuments, castles and churches. During our free time we have been good advised to explore the cities in an independent way. Every evening we had various entertaining programs with a lot of fun and laughing moments. The whole crew made our trip enjoyable, comfortable and memorable. We enjoyed our breakfast buffet every morning and 4 courses dinner each evening as well as our lunch combining buffet and menu. Additionally we had joyful teatime and late night snack. All food was fresh and well prepared. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We had been wanting to try a riverboat cruise for awhile now. It just so happened that an Irish musician by the name of Seamus Kennedy, whom we enjoyed seeing at many an Irish Pub in the DC area during the 1980's was, along with his ... Read More
We had been wanting to try a riverboat cruise for awhile now. It just so happened that an Irish musician by the name of Seamus Kennedy, whom we enjoyed seeing at many an Irish Pub in the DC area during the 1980's was, along with his wife, the host of this cruise. We had not seen him perform live in 35 years and he was still amazing! The company sponsoring the cruise was Mayflower Tours and they did an excellent job. We received all our boarding documents before leaving home, including a nice backpack for the excursions. We received free airfare from Montana to Prague and then Budapest back to Montana. We upgraded our seats to Comfort Plus (about one thousand dollars each and worth every penny), just behind the first class section of the aircraft. We also added three days extra in Prague and Budapest to check out the cities on our own. We stayed at the Hotel Grandium in Prague, about a block from Wenceslas Square and within walking distance of almost everything. Outstanding hotel, with a breakfast to die for! In Budapest, we stayed at the InterContinental, right on the river by the Chain Bridge. I had stayed there 40 years ago, still a beautiful hotel. Our room was on the ninth floor, facing the river and the views were amazing, especially at night. Now to the ship. The Emerald Sun was beautifully maintained, spotless everywhere you went. The entire crew was exceptional and made you feel right at home. Initially, we booked a room on deck 1 (room 117) just below waterline and were more than happy with it. Just for the heck of it my wife inquired about an upgrade to deck 2 or 3 and for an extra $400.00 we moved up to deck 2 (room 214). The room was excellent. We loved having the window that lowered electrically half way open, turning the room into a big balcony. The bed was comfy, plenty of room for all our stuff and the bathroom plenty big enough. Our cabin attendant kept the room spotless. I can't say enough about the quality of the dining. Up to this point, nobody could compare to Celebrity, but these guys could and DID! All the meals were spectacular, we hated to get of that ship. The entertainment was beyond wonderful. To start with there were about 17 of us that signed up just because of Seamus Kennedy. He held trivial pursuit nights in the lounge and spur of the moment 1 or 2 hour mini-concerts at the pool for us. Not mention sing-a-longs during our bus rides. An absolute joy to travel with. The ship had various entertainers come aboard depending on what city we docked at, not to mention an amazing on-board piano player in the lounge almost every night. At every city we had ship sponsored walking tours with guides, very well organized. Also, there were many special excursions folks signed up for at an additional cost. We had lived just south of Munich for three years in the late 80's, so we skipped the extra excursions to Salzburg and Vienna. We absolutely loved Prague and Budapest and would recommend those two cities for a visit. Of note, we did most of our Danube River cruising at night while we slept. I do remember going thru many, many locks and that was interesting. We would definitely do a river cruise again. Oh BTW, we loved the Infinity Pool and used it almost daily, usually all to ourselves! My wife loved the exercise room and I loved watching her use it! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We loved the 7 day Christmas Markets cruise from Budapest to Nurenberg! The Emerald Waterways cruise line was a wonderful choice. The food was excellent! Wine, Beer and Soft Drinks are included at each lunch and dinner. Balocz our ... Read More
We loved the 7 day Christmas Markets cruise from Budapest to Nurenberg! The Emerald Waterways cruise line was a wonderful choice. The food was excellent! Wine, Beer and Soft Drinks are included at each lunch and dinner. Balocz our cruise director, was organized, enthusiastic, engaging and well spoken. The tour guides on the local excursions were excellent as well! We loved touring the Christmas Markets and Balocz would share interesting information each night about the next day's city. The rooms on the Emerald Sun were very clean and well appointed. As it was December and the sun set at 4:30 p.m., we didn't spend very much time on the top deck but it looked like a great place to enjoy the sun in the spring, summer or fall. We started our trip in Budapest and enjoyed two days there before our cruise. We wished we had had a couple extra days as there were so many sights to visit. The cruise stopped in Bratislava, Milk, Durnstein, Vienna, Passau, Regensberg and finally, Nurenberg. We took the day excursion to Salzburg on the day we arrived in Passau. The trip to Salzburg was magical as it had snowed the night before. We will definitely book another cruise through Emerald Waterways. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The Douro River was a cruise we had not yet taken. We have experienced a number of other River Cruises and Cruise lines. The Emerald Radiance is the best we have experienced. We particularly appreciated their all inclusive policy. ... Read More
The Douro River was a cruise we had not yet taken. We have experienced a number of other River Cruises and Cruise lines. The Emerald Radiance is the best we have experienced. We particularly appreciated their all inclusive policy. We were traveling with a group of 14 all were pleased with the great service provided by a welcoming and knowledgeable staff. The meals were varied and delicious. I particularly want to thank HOTEL Manager Manuel for his excellent service .Emerald will be at the top of my cruising list. This is a fairly new boat on the river, equipped with Wi-Fi in every room. Instead of a balcony or a patio door there. Is a window the width of your room the top half of which folds down into the bottom half at their touch of a button to give you an open air view. The visits to wine Estates are extremely well done with experienced guides. Try it you'll like it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise because my husband hadn't ever been to France and I hadn't been anywhere in France except Paris. From start to finish it was superb. The cruise director Darren made sure that everyone had all the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because my husband hadn't ever been to France and I hadn't been anywhere in France except Paris. From start to finish it was superb. The cruise director Darren made sure that everyone had all the information they needed to make the most of the trip, besides being unfailingly funny and truly solicitous of his guests' welfare and experience. The hotel manager Isztvan and his entire staff (sorry for misspellings) were also endlessly swift, efficient, smiling, and tireless. Our cabin steward, Gabriela, made sure that our cabin was always spotless, and we really appreciated her sense of humor when she put my husband's sunglasses on the towel dog she made for us one night. The chef Teo and his staff did a remarkable job of producing really wonderful food every two hours (Darren's phrase, not mine) with superb service at mealtimes and in the bar upstairs. I've crewed a sailboat with 14 people aboard as cook, deckhand, and general bottle washer and I know how hard it is to maintain the kind of standards we saw aboard the Liberte. Bravo. The sailing staff also was quick, efficient, and also endlessly pleasant when we saw them. We enjoyed the captains mightily, in particular Remi's (again, sorry for misspellings) technical talk toward the end of the cruise. Each of the guides the ship provided for our included tours and those hired was knowledgeable, competent, and funny. We enjoyed them all. This was our first cruise of any kind. It made believers of both of us - in this type of vacation and in Emerald and the Liberte in particular. We'll be back. Bon voyage - J Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The destiny is a beautiful river boat with modern layout and appeal. From the beginning the “all in” travel from Budapest to Passau, Will filled with planned guided tours that gave you history and character from a variety of towns and ... Read More
The destiny is a beautiful river boat with modern layout and appeal. From the beginning the “all in” travel from Budapest to Passau, Will filled with planned guided tours that gave you history and character from a variety of towns and cities, including Melk, Durnstien, Linz, Vienna, Passau, with picturesque coats of the Danube and classical Bavarian, Austrian, and Hungarian towns. We were entrained by the Vienna imperial orchestra, the concert was outstanding. The food and wine was good and regional, amazing for serving over 150 passengers. Most of all from the crew to the cabin management and the hospitality staff were top extremely friendly and the organist was top rate (he was a professional opera singer). Can not say enough positive things about our trip. Budapest at night cruise was breath taking. Vienna (my first time) has great buildings and museums, Melk Abbey was so over the top, but still strikingly beautiful. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We were on the Splendours of Europe trip from Amsterdam to Budapest from April 28th until May 12th with a group of eighteen people from Canada. Many of our group were celebrating special birthdays and anniversaries and for many it was our ... Read More
We were on the Splendours of Europe trip from Amsterdam to Budapest from April 28th until May 12th with a group of eighteen people from Canada. Many of our group were celebrating special birthdays and anniversaries and for many it was our first trip to central Europe. We all agreed that the cruise part of our trip was the highlight. The ship was nicely appointed, the food was good, the entertainment was enjoyable, the tours were well balanced with interesting historical information at a good pace but the crew were the BEST! I had inadvertently left my iPad in the Frankfurt airport prior to the cruise and would not have been able to arrange to get it back with the help of Michael, the cruise director. He went far above and beyond what would be expected to help me and in the nicest way. Thank you again Michael. I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention that the rest of the crew could not have been more pleasant and helpful. They all seemed very happy at their jobs and with each other. We would definitely choose Emerld Waterways for another river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Our group of 20 were totally happy with our cruise experience. From the moment we stepped foot on the boat, all the staff were all friendly and most helpful in handling our requests. Embarkation/disembarkation was by far the fastest ... Read More
Our group of 20 were totally happy with our cruise experience. From the moment we stepped foot on the boat, all the staff were all friendly and most helpful in handling our requests. Embarkation/disembarkation was by far the fastest I've experienced in over 40 years of cruising. The staterooms were adequate with plenty of storage. The bathroom was a bit small, and there was only one waste basket for the entire stateroom. Walking sticks and a huge umbrella were in the closet and available for guests to use. Weather and "rafting off" other boats prevented us from enjoying the in room balcony on most days. Nothing could be done about either situation. TVs in the rooms were of very high quality with a wide variety of commercial stations and in room movies. Dining was excellent at all three meals. As a very choosy eater, I was always able to find more than enough to eat. The breakfast and lunch buffets were well maintained and quite varied in options. The "Egg Man" at breakfast was never seen without a smile and a happy greeting. It would have been helpful at lunch to have menus for the main dish available before going to the buffet. On most days, the buffet was quite sufficient for me. Wine was poured freely at lunch and dinner. The coffee in the dining room, however, left a lot to be desired. Not to worry, there was an outstanding coffee machine in the lounge that made the beverage of your choice quickly. In fact, this machine may be one of the things I miss most! As with most river cruises, entertainment is mostly a DIY event. The local band and French chanteuse that were brought on board were excellent. The piano player in the lounge provided background music that was never so loud that you had to raise your voice to be heard. The included excursions were well timed, and the optional Discover More tours did not conflict with them. Embarkation in Lyon was the only snafu. We had only a street address, and not specific instructions as to how to get to the dock. We will most definitely consider Emerald Waterways for another cruise, as a group or individually. I'm looking forward to the opportunity. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We chose this ship/cruise because we had sailed with Emerald 2 years ago from Bucharest to Budapest. I like the lines of the Emerald ships. They are sleek and clean-looking. The staff are welcoming, courteous and accommodating. ... Read More
We chose this ship/cruise because we had sailed with Emerald 2 years ago from Bucharest to Budapest. I like the lines of the Emerald ships. They are sleek and clean-looking. The staff are welcoming, courteous and accommodating. Housekeeping is generally good with clean cabins and bathrooms. The trips were very well organised and interesting. If I could change anything about the itinerary I would have dropped the Volendam/Edam trip and replaced it with a full day in Amsterdam. We had only one half day in Amsterdam which is not really an adequate time for exploring and visiting the Rijksmuseum, for instance. Also the trip to the cheese factory, the day before, was a wasted morning. Most British passengers are not interested in watching cheese being made. We do make our own cheeses in Britain. Compared with our previous Eastern European cruise the food on this trip was not truthfully as good. The portions were tiny, not that I want huge portions. The fish for the main courses was pre-frozen and then cooked for dinner, and should really have been returned to the kitchen. The final dinner, the Chateau-Briand, was however, excellent as were the lunch time salads - superb. Timings and organisation to and from the airport were excellent. The Tour Director was informative and competent. The spoken English of a couple of the guides was difficult to understand. It was a nice touch when the Captain came to each bus on departure to say "Good bye" and to shake hands with all of us. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I would suggest to replace excursion to Botanic Gardens with something else - tour of the Amsterdam for instance or Canal cruise. Botanic Gardens was our least favorite. Coffee with apple pie was lovely BUT not right before the lunch,,, ... Read More
I would suggest to replace excursion to Botanic Gardens with something else - tour of the Amsterdam for instance or Canal cruise. Botanic Gardens was our least favorite. Coffee with apple pie was lovely BUT not right before the lunch,,, Food on ship was mediocre. Wines were great, they do a nice job offering a different types of wine every night. Was a little strange that touring thru Netherlands and Belgium the only beer offered was German? Not that German beer was not good, it was great but I would like to have more Dutch food and drinks . I found more Indian or Chinese food on a ship than Dutch. And (not only my opinion) the piano music could be a little bit more softer while people staying for a chat after dinner. It seemed that the later it got the music was louder and louder so people could not hear one another. Big + that all gratuities were included! You don't have to worry to have some change always on hand for tipping. Bikes availability - BIG +. Pool on ship - excellent, although converting it to a movie theater is a good idea but seats have to be considered as well, whatever is there now is not comfortable for a long movie. It would be more enjoyable if boat was docked to a peer by it's own and not often squeezed between other ships - first of all you don't have a view and have to keep your windows closed if you want a privacy and second you don't have to walk up and down the stairs from one boat to another before you get on a ground. With so many people on board who were well over 60 I felt bad for them to do so much unnecessary steps. Transportation to and from the ship was great! Tours organization is great! In overall it was very nice and relaxing Holiday. I would go on another Emerald tours if the price is right and the itinerary is interesting. Thank you Emerald Sky staff for great times during our vacation!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I will begin this by saying, this trip was booked for the sole purpose of visiting the Christmas Markets. My mother had been to Germany several times, and I was anxious to see the wonderful sights she had seen while visiting the Christmas ... Read More
I will begin this by saying, this trip was booked for the sole purpose of visiting the Christmas Markets. My mother had been to Germany several times, and I was anxious to see the wonderful sights she had seen while visiting the Christmas Markets previously. We have traveled on several cruises together through the years, but always pn ocean liners. We researched the trip. We researched the destinations. We definitely did our homework. That being said, I will refer to a particular evening when our Cruise Director was going over the following day's itinerary. I heard a passenger lament that we were going to "Another Christmas Market" with a groan and eyeroll as she said it. I turned to my mother and said, "How could she be upset about that? This was advertised as a Christmas Market Cruise!" I heard many of these rumblings throughout the trip. I was somewhat offended, because I will cherish the trip, the memories and the people we met for the rest of my life. I had an awesome trip, so I found it a little hard to stomach the ones that were saying such rude things. I found the ship and crew warm and welcoming. The staff bent over backward to make us feel at home. Many of the crew members filled multiple roles. They did so with efficiency and kindness. As I said previously, we had been on several cruises. They were ocean cruises. This was the first river cruise I'd been on. I knew that the grandeur of a ocean cruise ship would not be found on a river cruise. I knew there would be no casino, no nightclub, no nightly shows. I knew there would be no midnight buffets with ice sculptures. I don't care about those things. We booked this trip to add to a lifetime of memories that my mom and I have been making together. We were not disappointed. I found the ship to provide for every necessity we had, and provide well. The ship was well kept, it was lovely and when I compared it to other ships we saw cruising the Rhine I was pleasantly pleased that our ship was amongst the nicest. Dining. I heard quite a few people complaining about the fare. I heard some rather needless and unkind things being said. So here is my assessment of the food and dining experience. I found the food to be good, plentiful and very tailored to the passenger pool. If we were to take a walking trip around the meal bar you would find: fresh cheeses, sliced meats, salad options, fruits, bread, desserts, hot and cold cereals, soups, rice, fish, sandwiches, hot veggies, meat choices, usually a pasta choice, omelettes to order at breakfast and the list goes on. If you want a lighter fare you can visit the lounge and enjoy a pancake, french toast, soup, pasta or sandwich at breakfast or lunch. At dinner the menu also plentiful. Typically there were 2 choices of appetizer, a soup, a featured item as main course and a dessert. If you did not care of the featured main course there was a choice of chicken, steak, fish or Ceasar Salad every night, as well. No, you will not find the vast array of food you'd find on an ocean cruise. That being said, if you find fault in the food on this cruise then I would say you should have booked a Cuisine Cruise instead. I found the food to be delicious, and I thought the Chef was wonderful. Entertainment and Activities were not a huge priority to us. We did not book this cruise to be entertained and party. We were on this trip to enjoy time spent with each other and any new friends we would meet, and we did meet some wonderful people. We thoroughly enjoyed the glassblower, the cookie making, the musical entertainment, the movie nights, disco night and trivia. They were wonderfully presented and fun to attend. Service. The ENTIRE staff bent over backwards to help us. If I were going to say anything on the downside, it would be that my mother and I are not alcohol drinkers. I found it a bit difficult at first to get a soft drink. The wait staff have to go to a different location to get a soft drink so it throws off their service rhythm. Which I totally understand. Dining on a smaller scale ship is like a well thought out ballet. Everything has it's place because of limited space. They are super organized and efficient. I felt I was inconveniencing them to ask for a soft drink. They are pronto with the alcohol, but soft drinks not so much. I worked it out by mid cruise, I began ordering my soft drinks two at a time so that I wouldn't have to ask for a refill later in the meal. Ironically, the majority of the ladies we sat with began doing the same so we became known as the soda drinkers. We also made sure to sit in the areas of the dining room that we knew the waiters were a bit more flexible. From the Captain on down to the room stewards, everyone was wonderful. Ports, docking and excursions. Ports were wonderful. Transportation from the ship to our destinations was quick and efficient. I enjoyed the all the places we visited. I absolutely LOVED Rothenberg, which in our package was an excursion. It was my absolute favorite. If we had thought it through more, we would have gotten an earlier flight to Nuremberg and visited the Market there before boarding the ship. We enjoyed a diverse choice of stops with the commonality of the Christmas Markets, which we loved. If I was going to find a downside, I would have to say the arrival times to the Market locations. I had anticipated this experience for so long. After researching the destinations and seeing pictures of the marketplaces at each, I had a very clear vision in my head. I was mildly disappointed that the majority of the markets we visited weren't even open when we arrived, because we arrived in the mornings. I was excited to experience the markets in the evening when they were lit up to get the full effect of Christmas time festivities. I was grateful to get to see them, but would have loved to see them all at night. I understand we were at the mercy of our port time and sail schedule, but that would be the only thing I would say was disappointing. Overall, this was the trip of a lifetime and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I would do it again and again, and I would sail with Emerald again to do it. It was a great way to "sample" some locations to possibly revisit so that I can spend more time in the places that truly stood out to me. In an nutshell: I loved the entire trip. What I didn't love was the bashing being done by some of the other passengers. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
The embarkation was speedy and we had our cases within 10 minutes of reaching our cabin.The ship is brand new and everything was excellent.The cabins are a good size with ample room to move about. T he bathroom was very good with an ... Read More
The embarkation was speedy and we had our cases within 10 minutes of reaching our cabin.The ship is brand new and everything was excellent.The cabins are a good size with ample room to move about. T he bathroom was very good with an excellent shower. The beds are very comfortable with top quality bedding.The facilities on the ship are excellent including a swimming pool with small bar at the rear of the ship. The lounge bar area is large and has very comfortable seating the bar staff are very good and friendly and quickly get to know passengers preference in drinks. There is entertainment most evenings and the cruise director Darren is very good quickly gets to know passengers deals efficiently with any problems that arise.The restaurant is spacious and the food service is very good breakfast and lunch is buffet service while evening meal is waiter served.Lunch and dinner are served with complimentary drinks. Each day there is guide led tour of each port of call which is free which gives a good insight into each town the tour last about 3 hrs and after lunch you are free to wander around each town. Everything was well organised and disembarkation was very good with transfer to airport / rail station or hotel. I have only one criticism of the ship it is fitted with lovely upper deck with chairs,tables loungers and shade but the nature of the river and bridges means that the upper deck was closed for 90% of the trip whilst travelling due to low bridges. But having said that we would go on this trip again and would most certainly travel with Emerald waterways again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
LIBERTÉ REVIEW My family (5 couples) have been taking annual river cruises for about 7 years now. This is the first time we have tried Emerald and we did not know what to expect. We had tried Vikings and Avalon in the past. The ... Read More
LIBERTÉ REVIEW My family (5 couples) have been taking annual river cruises for about 7 years now. This is the first time we have tried Emerald and we did not know what to expect. We had tried Vikings and Avalon in the past. The rivership is very new and has a sleek modern design. A delightful addition is the swimming pool at the back of the vessel that is thought fully stocked with cookies, tea and chocolate drinks. At night, the pool is transformed and doubles as a movie theater. The rooms have relatively adequate storage (as compared to other river ships) but the storage space under the bed is too low and large luggage cannot be stored under. Sheets were crisp, mattresses and pillows were very comfortable. Special thanks to Andreaa, Tibor, Ivstan, Martina, Mearead and Daniel who gave excellent service. The food in this cruise is distinctively better than any of the cruises we have had and if the other Emerald riverships would have the same gastronomic quality, this would be a huge draw for us to return. Kudos to Chef Teo! Breakfast is a buffet of everything you would expect from a Continental setting. Regarding the sightseeing tours. There is so much to see in Burgundy and Provence. Arles, Avignon and Lyon are particularly lovely. Standout tour guides were young Alexia in Arles and raconteur/fab opera singer Emmanuel in Avignon. The wine lecture by somalier Guillaume in Tournon was especially informative and made for a very nice afternoon. Mâcon was the least interesting of the tours, in my opinion. The tour guide did his best to give us information about the place but there was not too much to see and remember. Perhaps Emerald could think of a way to make Mâcon worth visiting aprart from the usually sight seeing. Our experience in Emerald has inspired us to plan another cruise with the company. Good work! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Was recommended by a friend, that when on different ship and told us the experience on River Cruises is more family gather, so we did it and I am so happy how well everything when and the experience of meting so many wonderful people. ... Read More
Was recommended by a friend, that when on different ship and told us the experience on River Cruises is more family gather, so we did it and I am so happy how well everything when and the experience of meting so many wonderful people. Also the staff was very friendly and social with all the passages. Can't wait to go on another one....keep the great job. The only thing I will recommend is to have more social at night.....but overall was great. These was are first River Cruise, can tell you how delightful it was....I have recommended to some of my patients your company I hope they book with you guys. All the sites view was wonderful, and very educational. All the tours was very refreshing, I love the Wine Site and the Chocolate Factory, in general I wish was more time for me to stay longer in France, but my work needed me back. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Availability of Suzy Atkins and Rick Stein attracted us in the first place and we did not really know what to expect never having cruised before. We enjoyed the Eurostar trip to the south of france, the transfer was well organised and ... Read More
Availability of Suzy Atkins and Rick Stein attracted us in the first place and we did not really know what to expect never having cruised before. We enjoyed the Eurostar trip to the south of france, the transfer was well organised and embarkation was smooth. All was clearly explained to us. We thought the walking tours were excellent aided b y the innovative commentary machines. All the guides were friendly and knowlegable .Food and drink were excellent, as were the seating arrangements at dinner. We did not g0o to breakfast or lunch at all, as the light varieties were quite enough. The company was good, and all the staff went out of their way to be as helpful as possible. The cruise director was very hard working and efficient and made sure we all knew where we were supposed to be and when without being overbearing. Overall an excellent first cruise- not our last! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
When we were embarking we were greeted by the Staff with warmth and wonderful smiles.My 73 year old Mother and my self (52) were guided and felt completely secure with the staff on this vessel.The ship had 3levels the top was a sundeck ... Read More
When we were embarking we were greeted by the Staff with warmth and wonderful smiles.My 73 year old Mother and my self (52) were guided and felt completely secure with the staff on this vessel.The ship had 3levels the top was a sundeck with a walking track , putting green and plenty of loungers.There was even a smoking area for those that smoked. The mid section of the vessel was the accomidations which were clean and fresh looking. the rooms were quaint and up today, a safe in each room , but a no time did I feel the need to use it. The Dinning room was on the third floor and to no fault of the staff the buffet breakfasts and lunches were a little chaotic at times as the other passengers would t follow a cue line. The y were budding in and some times out and out rude.The food was awesome and plenty of it. The dinners were a service and our waiters were fantastic. Wine was flowing and they were quick to clean up the service. Our waiter Ivan was from Macedonia and he was professional but funny as well. The entertainment was mostly geared to seniors and so I wasn't so excited about that but you can't please every one all the time. The pool at the rear of the boat was lovely and most days / night we had it to our selves.The shore excursions were well put together especially when they split up into slow med and fast walking groups. My only disappointment was an extra excursion that I paid for $59. Eu that was for a wine tasting and that I would pass on if offered again.I would go again as the staff MADE the trip .THe Accommodations Manager and the Dinning room manager were TOP notch. I absolutly loved this river cruise I was so glad I went. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I wanted to tour the Rhone River and visit the wine region and do some tasting and that was the focus of this cruise. A very nice feature was either red or white wine was served at lunch and dinner at no additional cost. We had lots of ... Read More
I wanted to tour the Rhone River and visit the wine region and do some tasting and that was the focus of this cruise. A very nice feature was either red or white wine was served at lunch and dinner at no additional cost. We had lots of opportunities to buy fine wines on our outings which we could then consume with our meals. There was a wine maker on board who gave a talk and a tasting. He explained the characteristic of the grapes in the regions we visited which was fun for even those not into wine, Some of the outings were included in the price of the cruise such as walking tours of the town with local guides.There was plenty to do each day, or you could just relax in the beautiful lounge. The boat is new and very luxuriant. It had only been in service for less than six months. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Being my very first river cruise, I wasn't sure what to expect. The ship was absolutely gorgeous: everything new, modern, sleek, etc. The staff was amazing - they went above and beyond to help with anything and everything. They got ... Read More
Being my very first river cruise, I wasn't sure what to expect. The ship was absolutely gorgeous: everything new, modern, sleek, etc. The staff was amazing - they went above and beyond to help with anything and everything. They got to know what you liked, so you really didn't even have to order. If you didn't like something - they'd offer to bring you something else. They were extremely polite and personable - which made it easy to have fun with them and enjoy their company. I can't say enough about the staff, you are extremely lucky to have people that are so dedicated and hardworking. They really are the only reason (other than the ship itself) that this rating is getting a 3/5. The food on the ship was below what I expected. Everything was plated beautifully, however, the taste wasn't on point. Twice the meat was tough and chewy and overall, the sides were plain and flavorless. Seeing as though we were in the South of France, my expectations on food were extremely high and were not met. Breakfast was lack luster - each morning the same thing... lunch was so poor that we'd eat off the ship each day. Entertainment was OK. It was nice to have mellow, quiet music for some of the time - but, that was the extent of the entertainment. I was the youngest passenger on board, so definitely I have different music preferences... but, everyone on the ship wanted more from the entertainment in the evenings. Something lively, upbeat, with the times... there needed to be something else. The itinerary was good - however, I felt we we stayed in a couple places a bit too long. Upon getting on the ship, we stayed in the same place for 2 days before the ship left. Then the last part of the trip, we were also there for 2 days. It would have been nicer to get moving more quickly. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose this ship as part of a wine group, 99 of us in total. This made it fun and gave us a bit more than the typical traveler. This ship is beautiful and practically brand new with fairly large cabins and lovely outdoor spaces. Ray ... Read More
We chose this ship as part of a wine group, 99 of us in total. This made it fun and gave us a bit more than the typical traveler. This ship is beautiful and practically brand new with fairly large cabins and lovely outdoor spaces. Ray and Simona were excellent and always made sure we enjoyed our day and had everything we needed to have the best possible experience!! We absolutely loved the "French Cheese" talk by Simona, we learned so much! We toured every city and it was a breeze to get on and off the ship, they seemed to be very organized from the start. Our wait staff of Samuel and Daniel took charge of every little detail to ensure we always had what we needed. Each day our cabin was cleaned to perfection by Bernadette and we appreciated all the care she took with each detail. Our only concerns were the food and the bartender. A few dinners were lovely, but for the most part they were just "basic" and we decided to eat off the boat at least once per day so we could experience the local cuisine and really enjoy the amazing food of the region. We bought the unlimited drink package on day one, but always felt as if we were annoying the bartender when we asked for a drink:( Not much as far as activities on board, but we did use the ships bikes three or four times to explore a bit more of the countryside and that was fun. Zoltan, our on board pianist was fabulous and kept us dancing past midnight most nights. Not sure if we'll be back, overall we did enjoy ourselves, but then again we usually do :-) Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose this cruise due to our local winery Aver Family Vineyards in Northern California. This happened to be our first River Cruise and boy did we get the best of the best. We enjoyed roughly 90 people from California and more from ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to our local winery Aver Family Vineyards in Northern California. This happened to be our first River Cruise and boy did we get the best of the best. We enjoyed roughly 90 people from California and more from other cities. The Emerald Liberte is simply beautiful. The Captain(s) first and Second were amazing and great fun during the trip. The Cruise director (Simone) and the Hotel Manager (Stephen) and their teams were just simply wonderful. Whatever we requested was done without question and done very quickly and professionally. The crew worked together doing whatever it took to make sure all was served. From Excursions (bike, wine) etc. etc. Who does bicycling next to the ship for 23 miles down the Rhone river? The food and wines were simply amazing. The service staff for the cabins, bar, restaurants were simply far better than usual and we travel on ships on average 3.5 times per year. This is certainly a wake up call for us to begin planning more of these types of river trips as we got the opportunity to do more in less days or time. All of the experiences on the ship were dynamic, engaging and well done. All of the service staff on the ship were absolutely amazing. Our only recommendation is to make the Gym 4 times larger if possible. We had many favorite people on the ship and let's start with the Captain Remi, Siemona, Istavan(server), Mirade (server), Michaela (server) Bar, Zoltan! The Entertainment, Roxaanne, Robert (Bar Tender), Gabriella (our cabin maid), Felippe, Samuel., Daniel. We could go on and on as we enjoyed the staff members which made our experiences rich. Bottom line, we've couldn't have had better service and better cities to visit in France. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We heard about the cruise from Aver Vineyards who chose the ship and itinerary. The Liberte' was an excellent ship with a great crew. Both captains were enjoyable. We had the pleasure of being at the Captain's Table for the ... Read More
We heard about the cruise from Aver Vineyards who chose the ship and itinerary. The Liberte' was an excellent ship with a great crew. Both captains were enjoyable. We had the pleasure of being at the Captain's Table for the farewell dinner. Both morning and afternoon buffets were very good and the dinner was always enjoyable. The piano volume in the lounge was too high for the size of the room. A microphone was not needed. There were a couple of accidents when the glass doors between the lobby area and lounge were closed in the evening. Passengers were used to them being open during the day and there were some injuries. Suggest having them either closed or open all of the time. Our room steward Gabriella was terrific and very accommodating. Waiters and bar staff were attentive. Really enjoyed Samuel. Our cruise director Simona was wonderful. The excursions were very enjoyable in all of our stops. Both embarkation and disembarkation were flawless, Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Embarkation at Budapest with little time to see city other than during night cruise. Ship was clean/modern though crowded at main meals and during briefings and entertainment. Cabin was average and well serviced. Staff generally ... Read More
Embarkation at Budapest with little time to see city other than during night cruise. Ship was clean/modern though crowded at main meals and during briefings and entertainment. Cabin was average and well serviced. Staff generally friendly and efficient. Two days of wasted cruising viewing trees at start of trip and long day at end of trip before overlong time in Bucharest Full ship and VERY noisy during single sitting evening meal, Food quality reasonable but quantity small -very much 'form over substance' - and had cause to send food back with complaint on 2 of 7 nights on ship with very unsatisfactory responses..Breakfast was good buffet and light lunch option was good/welcome Off ship trips chaotic organisation with passengers choosing coach on quay and consequently all four coaches held until all filled ( not as APT where customers preselect or are allocated coach and given coloured token which allows each coach to leave when known number present). Some trips gave impression of 'needing to provide alternative' (e.g one was 2 hour trip each way for distant view of castle and local shopping opportunity). Best excursion was to 'hosted lunch' in Croatia to meet local family and learn about their way of life, including during hostilities. Excellent. Quality of guest entertainment on board for 2 nights was excellent if you could see them in thegloom of unlit performance area ( in front of bar area with only normal downlighters). No response from Emerald to written comments on return. Would not recommend this trip or Emerald if this is typical. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click