Emerald Star Ship pool on a river cruise

(7:50 a.m. AEST) -- Evergreen Tours, also known as Emerald Waterways, has revealed another new ship to be launched in Europe next year.

Emerald Destiny will replace Emerald Belle, which was destroyed by a fire in February, a few weeks before it was due to debut. Rather than repairing the “significantly damaged” vessel, the Australian company decided to start fresh with a new one.

“We’re actually building a brand new ship,” marketing manager Judith Hainke told Cruise Critic.

“Emerald Destiny will cruise the Rhine, Main and Danube and is identical to the current four Emerald ‘Star Ships’ with the pool, cinema and all the other popular features.”

The fifth vessel in the Star Ship class is expected to be ready for the 2017 season in April.

The line previously announced it will add France and Portugal to its river cruising portfolio to be operated by two other new ships, Emerald Liberté and Emerald Radiance.

Hainke said these two custom-built ships, also launching in 2017, would be “boutique versions” of the original, larger Star Ship design.

“The main difference is that Emerald Radiance will have the pool on the roof so it won’t convert into a cinema at night,” she said.

“The other special thing about our new France and Portugal cruises is that the two eight-day cruises link up so they can be done back to back as a 15-day cruise. I believe this combination is still exclusive to Evergreen/Emerald Waterways.”

--By Louise Goldsbury, Australia Editor