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We booked on this cruise because the previous year our Rhine cruise had been so good. The food, service and accommodation on the ship were excellent for this year as well as in the previous year. The staff who work on the ship are excellent in every department, sadly let down by their headquarters. However this year there were problems with water levels between Passau and Regensburg. The company handled the situation very badly form beginning to end. The quality of a company can be judged by how they handle the problems. In this respect Emerald are in a class of their own and it is the bottom class. Because on the previous cruise the company had ordered the boat to travel upstream from Passau against the Captain’s wishes, it could not get back to Passau because of low water levels. So the boat stayed in Regensburg next to a building site (with pneumatic drills operating 2 metres from our cabin). On day 3 we were told that we could go home or take the tour by coach. So we packed our cases and waited and waited for flights back to UK. Eventually we were told that the ship could travel an option we took, because the alternative we were offered was a flight to the wrong airport with a 12 hour wait in Munich Airport (no contest). Because of this late departure from Regensburg, two shore excursions were missed (Melk and Vienna). If all had gone well, this would have been an excellent holiday. However what we got was poor value for money because there was only a token compensation. Unlike many retail transactions, the customer takes the risk not the service provider with Emerald River Cruises. I recommend avoiding cruises that include the Regensburg to Passau stretch of the Danube (there are now many that start at Passau and go downstream). There are plenty of river cruises, so I will not be using Emerald again. Although river levels are not their fault, how they handled the situation during the cruise and afterwards is their fault. A shame because I would have given the previous year's trip on the Rhine an excellent across the board.

Up the River Danube without a Paddle

Emerald Star Cruise Review by RiverTraveller

38 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We booked on this cruise because the previous year our Rhine cruise had been so good.

The food, service and accommodation on the ship were excellent for this year as well as in the previous year. The staff who work on the ship are excellent in every department, sadly let down by their headquarters.

However this year there were problems with water levels between Passau and Regensburg. The company handled the situation very badly form beginning to end. The quality of a company can be judged by how they handle the problems. In this respect Emerald are in a class of their own and it is the bottom class.

Because on the previous cruise the company had ordered the boat to travel upstream from Passau against the Captain’s wishes, it could not get back to Passau because of low water levels. So the boat stayed in Regensburg next to a building site (with pneumatic drills operating 2 metres from our cabin). On day 3 we were told that we could go home or take the tour by coach. So we packed our cases and waited and waited for flights back to UK. Eventually we were told that the ship could travel an option we took, because the alternative we were offered was a flight to the wrong airport with a 12 hour wait in Munich Airport (no contest). Because of this late departure from Regensburg, two shore excursions were missed (Melk and Vienna).

If all had gone well, this would have been an excellent holiday. However what we got was poor value for money because there was only a token compensation. Unlike many retail transactions, the customer takes the risk not the service provider with Emerald River Cruises. I recommend avoiding cruises that include the Regensburg to Passau stretch of the Danube (there are now many that start at Passau and go downstream).

There are plenty of river cruises, so I will not be using Emerald again. Although river levels are not their fault, how they handled the situation during the cruise and afterwards is their fault. A shame because I would have given the previous year's trip on the Rhine an excellent across the board.
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Cabin Review

Cabin p321
Excellent. The cabins are spacious and well designed. Clean and well maintained.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews