• Help Ukrainian Families in Need: World Central Kitchen Donation Match
  • Newsletter
  • Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips

Emerald Sky Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
179 reviews
Emerald Sky
TA Emerald Sky Restaurant
TA Emerald Sky Room
CC Emerald Sky Bar
See all photos
Editor Rating
Very Good
Jeannine Williamson
Cruise Critic Contributor

Emerald Sky is the first of a fleet of "Star Ships" ships launched by Emerald Waterways, a European river cruise line that made its debut as part of Australian-owned parent company Scenic Tours, which also boasts all-inclusive brand, Scenic Cruises.

It marks an exciting departure from existing vessels, with an exceptionally bright, modern look and a unique new-to-river feature: a swimming pool with a retractable roof that transforms into a cinema at night. The three airy passenger decks pack in plenty of other facilities, including a hair salon, gym, massage room and bikes that passengers can use to explore independently. Some initial issues with the ship -- such as an extremely steep staircase onboard -- were fixed in the months following its launch.

Between March and November, Sky sails on three Rhine-Main-Danube itineraries that range in duration from eight to 15 days.

This fresh-looking line has broken the traditional mold of river cruising and will appeal to people looking for moderately priced cruises, as well as younger cruisers and first-time passengers dipping a toe into this burgeoning sector of the cruise market.


Passengers : 182
Crew : 46
Passenger to Crew : 3.96:1
Launched : 2014
Shore Excursions : 109

Fellow Passengers

More than 50 percent of passengers are from Australia, where the line has its roots and is part of the well-established Scenic Tours brand. Expect the rest of the passengers to hail from the U.K., U.S. and Canada. While Emerald Waterways says it's not deliberately targeting a younger demographic, the line could well find a niche with cruisers in their 40s and 50s, which is below the average river cruise age group.

Emerald Sky Dress Code

The ship has a relaxed, easygoing vibe. There is no special dress code, and there are none of the formal nights you get on ocean cruises. 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 up the sartorial ante for the captain's welcome dinner and/or farewell dinner, albeit this still errs on the side of smart casual, rather than full-on cocktail dresses and suits.

Sign Up for Price Drop Alerts

Get Emerald Sky price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy and Cookies Statement and Terms of Use.

Find an Emerald Sky Cruise

More about Emerald Sky

Where does Emerald Sky sail from?

Emerald Sky departs from Budapest, Prague, Amsterdam, Paris, and Istanbul

How much does it cost to go on Emerald Sky?

Cruises on Emerald Sky start from null per person.
Emerald Sky Cruiser Reviews

Eastern Danube

Chose this cruise to see how the old communist countries have fared.The Emerald Sky is a standard Emerald boat that on close inspection is starting to look slightly tatty.Read More
User Avatar

10+ Cruises

Age 70s

Fab Rhine Cruise

We chose the Rhine cruise because we had holidayed on the Emerald Sky previously, both like Germany and we had very good feedback from friends who had holidayed on the Rhine cruise a few years ago.Read More
User Avatar

2-5 Cruises

Age 60s

So many glitches!

When we got back home, we had received free backpacks from Emerald saying that their booking system was still down and to look for e-mails. Too little too late. Never again Emerald.Read More
User Avatar

6-10 Cruises

Age 60s

First ever cruise

We would highly recommend Emerald Waterways to anyone considering a river cruise and are already planning our return!Read More
User Avatar

First Time Cruiser

Age 60s

Emerald Cruises Fleet
Emerald Star
Show more
Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy and Cookies Statement and Terms of Use.