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15 Emerald Waterways Passau Cruise Reviews

We have been on a number of sea cruises previously and this was our 3rd river cruise that we chose for the destinations. We had not been on Emerald before so this was a new experience for us. We were met at the airport and transferred ... Read More
We have been on a number of sea cruises previously and this was our 3rd river cruise that we chose for the destinations. We had not been on Emerald before so this was a new experience for us. We were met at the airport and transferred to the ship without any problem and greeted by the crew who were very helpful. Our luggage arrived at the cabin safely that we found that the cabin facilities were clean and well prepared as was the rest of the ship. Our first lunch was a little disappointing as there was not a great deal of choice but this improved at dinner where there were more choices available - the main criticisms that we had at dinner was that it did take a long while to be served and we found that the noise level in the dining room was so loud that it was difficult to hold conversations and this was evident at all dinners except where there was a split dinner. We were not alone in these criticisms as other guests made the same comments. The other main criticism was the noise in our cabin from the vacuum toilet system and again other guests made the same comments in adjacent cabins. The excursions were very well organised and some of the guides were very good. The disembarkation went well although we were left at the airport with no support from Emerald and had to queue for over 30 minutes at check in. Some passengers were unsure about where to check in and as there was no representative available felt a little disappointed. Apart from the noise issue it was a good cruise but this would put me off using Emerald again as this was not a problem on previous cruises. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We would thoroughly recommend this cruise.The staff we friendly helpful and attentive.They were very helpful with my dietry requirements (I am gluten intolerant) There was a good balance between sightseeing and relaxing and there were ... Read More
We would thoroughly recommend this cruise.The staff we friendly helpful and attentive.They were very helpful with my dietry requirements (I am gluten intolerant) There was a good balance between sightseeing and relaxing and there were superb views from the ship as we sailed up the Danube.The daily walking tours with local guides orientated you to each new place allowing you to return after lunch to explore further if you wished.The on board infinity pool is small but pleasant.We will definitely choose Emerald river cruises for another holiday.The cruise director,Darren, is truly wonderful -I am sure you are extremely lucky to have him as he could have a very fruitful career on the stage- but his attention to detail - and everybody 's attention to detail, from cabin assistant, waiting staff and chef- has been truly exemplary and unsurpassed by any other holiday company that we have ever been on and everyone's pleasant demeanour is a joy to behold. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
It went where we wanted to go and offered good value. From booking experience direct with Emerald and attention to detail the delivery of the .whole package exceeded our expectations. Flight check-in, boarding cards, increased luggage ... Read More
It went where we wanted to go and offered good value. From booking experience direct with Emerald and attention to detail the delivery of the .whole package exceeded our expectations. Flight check-in, boarding cards, increased luggage allowance and seat allocation were all taken care of by Emerald. We were met at each stage of our journey by very efficient reps who managed each part of our travel to the ship. We did not handle our luggage after meeting the reps until we returned to our departure airport. We were ushered aboard the ship and offered a buffet lunch while the crew put our luggage in our cabins. Cabins were well appointed and spotlessly clean with large and very comfortable beds. Food throughout the cruise was excellent with many options available. The tour manager was extremely knowledgeable and all staff could not be faulted. It was an extremely happy and efficient crew. All tours were lead by very experienced guides and the sound system supplied to each passenger worked very well. Entertainment provided on the ship was of a very high standard. Food included on the tours, Budapest and Prague was very good and even catered for vegetarians. Our tour manager and the Prague tour manager were superb. The hotel in Prague was also very good and ideally located. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 40th Wedding Anniversary and because we wanted to explore Central Europe and in particular, to spend a couple of days in Vienna. The whole organisation of the cruise was impeccable from start to finish ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 40th Wedding Anniversary and because we wanted to explore Central Europe and in particular, to spend a couple of days in Vienna. The whole organisation of the cruise was impeccable from start to finish and we were very impressed with the standard of the accommodation and the dining facilities. Any comments regarding improvements would be so minor as to hardly warrant mentioning eg. water for the tea machine was never hot enough - but where can you get a decent cup of tea outside the UK anyway? The onboard entertainment was restrained and understated which was fine for us but may not have suited those looking for something more lively. Seating for meals was not predetermined so you could sit wherever you wanted, alone or with friends as you wished. There were choices as to the difficulty of walks and excursions so those who wanted to stride out could do so and those with mobility issues were also catered for. Our Cruise Director was exceptional and always ready to help at any time of day. Given that complimentary drinks were available at lunch and dinner, we found that everything was included other than the gifts we bought whilst ashore. A cabin allowance of 250 euros meant that we could take up at least one of the additional excursions without any extra expenditure. We booked two further days stay in Budapest after the cruise had finished and it was not until we had left the ship that we actually began to spend any money! Altogether we thought it represented excellent value and it would be hard to imagine how it could be bettered. Well done Emerald! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Chose this cruise for 2 reasons: a) My birthday b) Mary Berry on board as my wife is a fan! The crew were excellent; all seemed to get on really well and were very efficient & cheerful Excursions were also v.good with free time ... Read More
Chose this cruise for 2 reasons: a) My birthday b) Mary Berry on board as my wife is a fan! The crew were excellent; all seemed to get on really well and were very efficient & cheerful Excursions were also v.good with free time to explore. Local guides spoke good English & were easily understood. The cabins have a poor layout & poor sound insulation. The wall which has your headboard has the neighbouring cabin's TV on the other side. It would be better if dividing walls had BOTH TVs on it. Also the bathroom door is a sliding one which is only 18inches from the bed. Every time our neighbours used the bathroom we could hear the door opening and closing. The bed is comfortable but it is 2 single beds pushed together & more floor space could've been made by having a standard double bed. Not shown how to convert the room into a balcony; certainly wasn't obvious. Didn't like sailing at night as we missed many scenic views along the way. Minimal daytime sailing which was a great shame. Also going through locks at 3am wakes you up! Please Emerald STOP SAILING AT NIGHT!! The food on board was excellent; except the one time buffet which was lukewarm and with a good choice. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This is our third cruise with Emerald and they have all been fabulous. Everyone on board is very helpful, making sure your cruise is amazing. There were problems on the Danube with low water levels so we had to start at Passau not ... Read More
This is our third cruise with Emerald and they have all been fabulous. Everyone on board is very helpful, making sure your cruise is amazing. There were problems on the Danube with low water levels so we had to start at Passau not Neuremberg but we missed none of the tours, being bussed to Regensburg. We were upgraded to a better grade cabin and were very happy with the facilities in the cabin. The food was always of a high standard and there was plenty on offer at all meals. The cruise director Simona was enthusiastic and arranged our tours etc brilliantly. The tours were always interesting and the ports of call were varied. Melk Abbey and Bratislava were highlights. A visit to a Slovakian family was a lovely addition to the experience. We have another cruise booked for next year and we are looking forward to another amazing holiday. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Excellent service throughout. Personal service on a smaller ship and more relaxing. Food could not be faulted. Such variety to suit all tastes. All the dining staff were great and was no trouble for special requests and the wine ... Read More
Excellent service throughout. Personal service on a smaller ship and more relaxing. Food could not be faulted. Such variety to suit all tastes. All the dining staff were great and was no trouble for special requests and the wine flowed well! Cruise Director very helpful and always smiling and knowledgeable who put a great package together with lots of added touches to make the days very special Tours were given by brilliant knowledgeable local guides catering for all abilities. Cabins are a bit small but loved the balcony view. Cabin service was excellent, Jolene was very efficient and pleasant Embarkation great, greeted well and cabins ready when we arrived Disembarkation was smooth and very organised and buses arrived on time and put our cases on the bus. We had a wonderful time and would certainly book again. it wasn't the cheapest cruise but you mainly get what you pay for! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
First time cruise with my wife to get a real break from the office. Saw an Ad in our Norfolk Magazine - Dancing on the Danube - to include a visit to Vienna, how could one resist? No advertisement can describe the excellence of this ... Read More
First time cruise with my wife to get a real break from the office. Saw an Ad in our Norfolk Magazine - Dancing on the Danube - to include a visit to Vienna, how could one resist? No advertisement can describe the excellence of this amazingly beautiful river boat, the program of visits along the Danube, its incredible staff and their professionalism. Value for money? without any doubt - a golden thread of goodwill linked each day. Bravo, Emerald Waterways! We'll be booking again! If there were any issues these were related to arrival at Munich airport where the instructions and information as well as the Tour operator were poorly represented. Likewise at departure from Budapest airport there were long delays due to another baggage handling breakdown and complete lack of customer information. Highlight of the cruise was in fact the Farewell Party with the Captain when he and all the crew and staff were represented. All passengers gave them a standing ovation and it was an extraordinary but full deserved recognition of the success of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise because of its itinerary and, in particular, the opportunity for an extra day visiting a particular city, Vienna. The only very minor disappointment of the cruise was that, until we got there, we were not aware that ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its itinerary and, in particular, the opportunity for an extra day visiting a particular city, Vienna. The only very minor disappointment of the cruise was that, until we got there, we were not aware that Vienna would be closed on our free day there, I.e. Sunday. However, this was more than compensated by the alternative excursion to Bratislava. Following our experience on a previous cruise, We also chose to book the cruise via a travel agent, rather than directly with the cruise operator. This turned out to be very wise. The travel agent dealt with all the flight issues, and everything went according to plan. The cruise company's representatives to and from the airports were really obliging. On board, all the staff were first class and really engaged with the guests without being fawning or overbearing. We particularly liked the option of a lighter lunch and breakfast, together with a light tea, a service not offered by our previous cruise operator, and this reduced the tendency to over indulge. In addition, the layout of the dining room accommodated those couples who wanted to be on their own, those who wished to dine with newly made friends, and those who had gone in a party and wished to dine as a party. We were also able to observe the readiness with which the chef was able to accommodate those guests who had specific dietary requirements. There was a varied range of excursions and for these, there were really nice touches such as umbrellas and walking poles in the cabins. The evening entertainment was not really relevant to ourselves but that which was offered seemed to be in keeping with the demographic attracted to river cruising as opposed to ocean cruising. Just about everything about the cruise more than met our expectations, and we have no hesitation in recommending Emerald to prospective river cruisers. Indeed, we are already looking to book our next river cruise with Emerald. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We wanted a holiday travelling to an area we hadn't been to before although our friends we travelled with had experienced cruising before. It was a special double birthday and wedding anniversary holiday so we chose Emerald Cruises ... Read More
We wanted a holiday travelling to an area we hadn't been to before although our friends we travelled with had experienced cruising before. It was a special double birthday and wedding anniversary holiday so we chose Emerald Cruises because of their high standard. Our friends had travelled with Scenic Waterways 5 years ago and they stated that this holiday was of the same standard. The crew were very friendly as were the staff who cleaned our rooms. I must also mention the Reception staff were very helpful. I had a missing suitcase from the airline and the Cruise director Patricia was extremely helpful and went out of her way to try to track the case down. The guided tours were excellent and we thoroughly enjoyed the Bratislava tour with Monica. The evening cruise along the Danube on our last evening aboard was also excellent and enjoyed by all. The is one not to be missed. To sum up we would certainly holiday with Emerald again and would recommend it to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
After research on river cruises on Cruise Critic we chose the Emerald line because of great reviews and the added bonus of not worrying about tipping and additional costs. Since this was our first river cruise it appealed to us that we ... Read More
After research on river cruises on Cruise Critic we chose the Emerald line because of great reviews and the added bonus of not worrying about tipping and additional costs. Since this was our first river cruise it appealed to us that we would know our total costs up front and not have to worry about surprises. We enjoyed an included guided tour at each stop along the way between Passau and Budapest with local experienced guides. The common areas on the ship like the lounge, dining room, pool and sun deck were comfortable and well maintained - many a luxurious hour was spent watching the exquisite countryside glide past. At one point as we were all on the sun deck enjoying a description of the vineyards we were passing the serving crew appeared carrying trays of the wine being described - very classy. We had been told that the approach to Budapest was especially impressive and given the approximate arrival time early the next morning - sitting on the deck, sipping a cappuccino while classical music played and the river sights appeared ahead of us is something we'll never forget...also the night cruise under the lighted bridges of Budapest was unforgettable too and the crew once again offering trays of 'Blue Danube cocktails' added a lovely touch. We enjoyed all the generous meals offered with local dishes thrown in to highlight our ports of call. While there were daily specials offered there was also a menu you could order from if you preferred. The wine offerings always reflected the area we were passing through. Especially outstanding was the accommodation of food allergies - no fuss about the fact that I hadn't mentioned my preference for gluten free prior to the trip, it was easily accommodated. We were delighted with our cabin - tight quarters given the ship's size but perfectly fitted and the panoramic windows were a big hit with us. The service was second to none with everyone from the cabin crew to the servers to the reception staff always cheerful, accommodating and professional - they were always available and enthusiastic. The fact that the cruise director, manager and captain were always easily accessible impressed us a great deal - any inquiry, concern or question was always taken seriously and responded to promptly. Our fellow passengers were all of a similar age and temperament - some rare younger couples stood out but seemed perfectly at home. If there were any partiers aboard then we weren't aware of it as we retired fairly early. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Wanted to try and see the difference in this line as compared to others. Cabin size is small and I think it is because of the lay out of the cabin. Could have been better but overall ok. Food and service was very good. The staff works ... Read More
Wanted to try and see the difference in this line as compared to others. Cabin size is small and I think it is because of the lay out of the cabin. Could have been better but overall ok. Food and service was very good. The staff works very hard every day. Cruise Director, Patricia, was outstanding. Pool on back of deck 3 was very nice touch. All in all would do it again. The meet at the airport needs to be improved. No one there when arrived and had to wait quiet awhile for transport which took another 1.5 hours. Disembarking went well. To see the christening of the ship was really a nice treat. Entertainment on board was good as well in fact better than most. The crew entertainment was also quite good. The guest brought on board did an a very good job. Definitely would recommend good value for money. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
From start to finish it was well organised, all transfers were well executed. .Apart from the actual airport, all luggage was handled by staff and put straight to cabin. Disembarking was good with time zones arranged and all luggage taken ... Read More
From start to finish it was well organised, all transfers were well executed. .Apart from the actual airport, all luggage was handled by staff and put straight to cabin. Disembarking was good with time zones arranged and all luggage taken to the coach by staff. The cabin was good with two single beds together, storage under bed for cases meant you weren't bumping in to them, storage was more than adequate. Also a coffee table and two armchairs. The shower was powerful and good although the ensuite wasn't massive it was more than adequate. The cleaning was good with chocolate on pillow and bottled water replenished when required. All the staff were really friendly and helpful with no shirkers, nothing was too much trouble and more than attentive in the dinning room, refilling glasses as required, and serving the the Horizon lounge. The food was brilliant with a wide range of choice but if you couldn't find anything you liked, there was always steak, salmon or chicken available by request. The cruise director Jana was so friendly and enthusiastic as were all the various officers. It just felt like a family and a really nice one at that. There were lots of little "extras " which added to the value. On the final night at Budapest ,there was an evening sailing which was spectacular. Walking and bus tours were included in the cost and all were very imformative and interesting with plenty of freetime left to do what you wanted. I will definitely cruise with this Line again they have only been going since 2014 but they are great we have done sea cruising many times but this was our first river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Wow ! - Having done several ocean cruises including the Panama Canal - this gave us the idea of a river cruise, Bavaria, Austria & Hungary were places on our list to visit, so this cruise ticked all the boxes! The ship is fairly ... Read More
Wow ! - Having done several ocean cruises including the Panama Canal - this gave us the idea of a river cruise, Bavaria, Austria & Hungary were places on our list to visit, so this cruise ticked all the boxes! The ship is fairly new (2015) and our crew had only been together a few weeks, but Captain Boris, Cruise Director Jana, Hotel Director Robert - and all the crew were exceptional - helpful friendly and efficient- nothing was too much trouble - many thanks to all ! The UK flight and transfer from Munich to the ship was well organised and effortless, like wise the return flight from Budapest to Munich and transfer to UK flight although a very short transfer window went like clockwork - and all luggage arrived back with us in the UK - well done Lufthansa! Note though - only one suitcase per person and must meet Emeralds dimension guidelines (length,width & depth these are added together and must not exceed a set limit) weight 20 kgs - less than the airline 23kg limits - we had to buy new cases as existing ones were too large! Before the Cruise Emerald had sent us a rucksack each as the only allowable hand luggage - worked well and useful for all the day trips. All the stops/ tours were exceptional - Passau, Melk, Linz, Dürnstein Wien & Budapest the organised mixed walking/ coach guided tours were well organised and informative (rechargeable radios with headsets are available in all cabins for these trips) and used local guides with local knowledge and very good English! - also there was always one group available for those who's walking was slower and less challenging. A private evening concert in Vienna was a definite highlight. Captain Boris organised an evening Budapest river Cruise - although a bit chilly was fantastic and we were well fortified by glasses of ''Blue Danube Cocktail'' . Freetime during the organised tours was also available and in the main achieved a good balance Most of the distance cruising was done at night so you awake to a new town or city, though some short & scenic parts of the river (Wachau Valley etc) were by day and included a commentary which was most informative - with some spectacular scenery ! Bicycles were on the ship and available though advanced booking advised. Crew present to make adjustments to suit - cycle tracks along the river were good and flat! Having read horror story's of rivers with no water or floods we chose late April as a reasonable chance of having neither ! - our weather was generally good only one bad day of rain, layers and umbrellas (available on board) recommended though ! Food and Wine (both local where appropriate) were excellent - we did not have a menu that failed to inspire us (there were always other options available - steak, fish etc) and the lunchtime buffet had plenty of variation hot cold etc. Tea and several types off Coffee freely available from a machine in the lounge, mini bar in cabin but we did not need to use it - bottled water still and carbonated in the cabin and replaced as required foc. The included wine was often ''local'' and not to every ones taste (mostly on the swsweet or dry) - on request a different wine was served - no problems ! As far as I could tell the lift only travelled on the internal floors and not up to the sundeck, this could be a problem to any one with challenged mobility ..... but I am sure the crew will have a solution ! Entertainment - do not expect ocean cruise stage type performances, there is neither space or facility's, excellent Pianist in the lounge - small dance floor, an excellent Hungarian country band & dancers one evening in Budapest , port talks most evenings and other general interest talks local at times. Also probably one of the best/ funniest crew shows we have ever seen ! - well done all. The ''infinity'' pool was excellent and became a cinema in the evening with up to date movies or musical shows running in the evening. Highlights :- Swimming in the infinity pool with views of the river whilst cruising, the evening cruise in Budapest, the private concert in Vienna - the staff and attention to detail ! Also I would just add that all the places visited were clean, tidy, things worked, the roads/footpaths were excellent and people friendly (English spoken by most local people) generally plenty of public convenience's - but 50c coin needed. This sort of cruise will not suit anyone who is after '' big ship entertainment and facilities'' but for luxury /cultural travel with 5 star food and accommodation with like minded guests it will take some beating - well done Emerald ! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
I embarked at Nuremburg.  I have been on several river cruises prior to booking with Emerald, with a few different cruise companies and have never had a problem. I thought it was time to try a new company as i had heard they had brand new ... Read More
I embarked at Nuremburg.  I have been on several river cruises prior to booking with Emerald, with a few different cruise companies and have never had a problem. I thought it was time to try a new company as i had heard they had brand new ships. The pictures looked fantastic, so i decided to give it a go. When i arrived the reception area was spotless, i was greeted by a member of the crew, who showed me to my cabin & he also carried mine and my wifes case. I had booked a category E stateroom, which within 2-3 seconds, had exceeded expectations. Everything was so sleek. We decided to take a walk to the lounge, which was equally as impressive, we knew from then on that this could be extra special. We cannot fault anything, the excursions (which are all included in the price) were faultless, the Tour Director's port talks the evening before were exceptional. I need to mention the tour guides, for their professionalism during the tours, with the endless information they were feeding us. The food was delicious. All of the crew were on the same page, and could not do any more for you, constantly replenishing our glasses of wine if we wished. The breakfast and lunch was always buffet-style but was never a sense of panic or rush when the restaurant reached peak time, the Reflection's restaurant is very spacious. To summarise, it was the most fantastic river cruise me and my wife have ever been on start to finish, and we are already planning a River Rhine cruise with Emerald Waterways next year.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
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