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Emerald Waterways Overview
Emerald Waterways, represented by sister company Evergreen Cruises & Tours in Australia, launched in 2014 and is the lower-priced sister company to all-inclusive Scenic. The line offers value-for-money river and limited coastal cruises that still manage to include a lot in the fares. It has a more active vibe onboard than many other river cruises, as well.
Who goes on Emerald Waterways river ships?
Emerald Waterways serves the typical European river cruise passenger -- generally well-traveled cruise veterans in the 55-plus bracket. However, the line's contemporary, boutique-style ships also attract first-time river cruisers, including passengers in their 40s, who enjoy the active shore excursions on offer. Around half of the passengers come from the U.K., with the rest coming from Australia, New Zealand, the U.S and Canada.
Emerald is an LGBT-friendly line and was the first river cruise line to offer exclusive LGBT sailings.
Do I have to dress up on an Emerald Waterways cruise?
Not really. Ships have a relaxed, easygoing vibe. There is no special dress code and there are no formal nights. For dinner, smart-casual attire is recommended. Jeans can be worn in the restaurant in the evening, but shorts and flip-flops are not appropriate.
Many passengers dress up for the captain's welcome dinner and/or farewell dinner, but mostly opting for smarter casual rather than full-on cocktail dresses and suits.
What are Emerald Waterways cruises most popular activities?
Shore excursions are the most popular activities for Emerald's passengers, with the EmeraldPLUS (tours that focus on local customs) and EmeraldACTIVE options particular favorites. Onboard, cruisers love hanging out in the dual-purpose area at the back of the ship that transforms from an indoor, heated pool with retractable roof during the day to a cinema at night.
Is everything free on Emerald Waterways?
Mostly. Cruise fares include most shore excursions, all meals, wine with lunch and dinner, Wi-Fi and gratuities. Extra costs are bar drinks, optional shore excursions, beauty treatments and massages, and retail shop purchases.
Emerald Waterways Fleet
The Emerald Waterways fleet is increasing to eight in 2019, along with several charters. Five are 182-passenger, 443-foot long ships, while two are smaller. Emerald Liberte carries 138 passengers, while Emerald Radiance has 112.
The five 182-passenger vessels are essentially identical to each other and sail seven- to 14-night itineraries on the Rhine, Main, Danube and Mosel rivers. The two smaller ships sail on rivers in France and Portugal and are boutique versions of the larger ships. The main difference, other than size, is that Emerald Radiance has the pool on the roof and it doesn't convert into a cinema at night.
In 2019, Emerald Waterways will debut Emerald Harmony on the Mekong (the company formerly chartered the Mekong Navigator there). Emerald Harmony will be notable for being able to sail up to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon); not all ships are built to go into the city.
2019 also marks Emerald Waterways' ocean cruising debut, with small ship cruising on Croatia's Dalmatian Coast. In its first year, Emerald Waterways will charter Adriatic Princess II. In 2020, the line will have two small ships there: ms Swallow and MS Lastavica. Each of those yachts carry 36 passengers.