1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Emerald Sun
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 !

Danube Passau to Budapest Emerald Sun April 2016; One of the Best!

Emerald Sun Cruise Review by henrytf

13 people found this helpful
Trip Details
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 !
henrytf’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Emerald Sun price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Cabin 238
Cabin well furnished and whilst ''compact'' had plenty of storage space - under the bed for instance - which made great use of waste space, the bathroom had an excellent shower and a proper (glass) door - not the plastic sheet on many other vessels, the remainder of the bathroom well laid out - but compact.
Large TV with English Channels also built in safe (in cupboard), small but adequate wardrobe with plenty of hanger, two large single beds put together as double - very comfortable and very good bedside reading lamps
We had a Panoramic cabin with electric opening window internal balcony rather than a conventional balcony - this is great but at times when moored up against other vessels or walls not used, the cabin heating / aircon was fine.
Our cabin was aft on the middle level and was fine - other than on one occasion when moored alongside another vessel - we could hear the engines running (generators I guess) as our cabin was level with the other vessels exhausts, on occasions this is bound to happen, so cabins midship's and forward on the upper deck are the ones to go for if you think this would be a problem.
The cabin (and the rest of the ship) was spotless clean tidy and in excellent condition, the cabin staff were superb! and maintained this standard throughout.