Emerald Radiance on the Douro River at sunset

(12:45 p.m. EDT) -- Emerald Waterways has introduced its own customer loyalty program that will allow passengers to accrue status with the river cruise line.

Designed to reward cruisers through a simple point system, the Emerald Explorer program has four distinct tiers, each offering their own set of perks. All members, regardless of tier level, will receive special savings and offers on select sailings; a $100 discount on referrals; advance notice of brochure releases; a subscription to the new Emerald Explorer magazine; a complimentary piece of luggage and invitations to exclusive events.

All Emerald Waterways passengers are automatically enrolled in the program upon completion of their first cruise and will earn points based on itinerary and stateroom grade. Emerald points out that passenger sailing on any European river cruise would earn 140 points per day for a standard stateroom, or up to 190 points per day for a Grand Balcony or Owner's One Bedroom Suite.

Points can be accrued on all Emerald Waterways sailings in Europe, Southeast Asia, Russia, as well as the company's new yacht cruises on the Dalmatian Coast. Emerald Waterways tells us that passengers who have previously sailed with the line will automatically be credited for any completed past voyages and will advance to the appropriate Emerald Explorer tier. 

Cruisers will start at the Silver membership level and will move through loyalty tiers as they accrue more sailings and points. Four different tiers are available:

  • Emerald Explorer Silver (1-4,999 points): A $200 per person "welcome home" voucher toward any future sailing and a Silver Emerald Waterways backpack.
  • Emerald Explorer Gold (5,000-9,999 points):  A $200 per person "welcome home" voucher and a Gold Emerald Waterways backpack or satchel.
  • Emerald Explorer Diamond (10,000-24,999 points): A $250 per person "welcome home" voucher and a Diamond Emerald Waterways backpack, satchel or sports bag.
  • EmeraldEXPLORER Platinum (25,000+ points):  A $300 per person "welcome home" voucher and a Platinum Emerald Waterways backpack, satchel, sports bag or cabin case.

---By Aaron Saunders, Cruise Critic contributor