Emerald Waterways fleet
Review of Emerald Waterways
Emerald Waterways is an affordable river cruise line company established in 2014 as a division of the Australian cruise and tour operator Scenic Tours. The parent company Scenic Tours offers everything from 5-star luxury riverboat cruises to land tours and coach travel excursions in Australia. The Scenic's river cruise brand is known on the Australian market as "Evergreen Waterways".
The Emerald cruise line debuted with 2 innovative top-luxury river ships - Sky and Star. In 2015, a second pair of sister-ships joined the fleet - Dawn and Sun. A 5th boat was scheduled for launch in 2016 (Emerald Belle), but a construction yard fire accident postponed the launch for 2017. The boat's name was also changed to "Destiny", joining the 2017 inaugurated Liberte and Radiance.
Overall, Emerald Waterways has raised the bar within the budget river cruising market. The company is positioned somewhere between the 3- and 4-star lines. It competes with established brands like Avalon Waterways and Viking Cruises by boasting less expensive fares and innovative design touches. As is the case with most European river travel companies, Emerald includes boat transfers and shore excursions/tours within the cost to the overall fare. However, unusual and in-depth shore excursions are offered optionally, and for a fee. Water, tea and coffee, as well as beer and house wine with dinner are ticket price-included. The line also arranges flights on case-by-case basis.
The Emerald cruise line serves typical European river travel afficionados. These are usually well-educated, 55+ river cruising veterans. The line also aims at younger demographic with its onboard amenity upgrades, like the indoor swimming pool that transforms into an outdoor cinema. Noticeable is that throughout your time on board, each member of the staff/crew maintains a perfect balance between friendly and professional. The following YouTube video provides information regarding the Emerald river cruise ships' accommodations (types, furniture, amenities, floorplan features.
One of the new river cruise companies, Emerald Waterways targets the European inland waterways cruising market exclusively. The line operates the following Scenic Tours company-owned riverboats:
- Emerald Belle (2016) was damaged by fire during construction, and replaced by Emerald Destiny (2017)
- Emerald Liberte (2017) - cruises in France (on Saone and Rhone rivers)
- Emerald Radiance (2017) - cruises on Douro River in Portugal
- Emerald Sky (2014)
- Emerald Star (2014)
- Emerald Sun (2015)
Emerald Waterways ships have some of the best crew to guest ratios on the European riverboats. One of the best innovations for the fleet is the dual-purpose area - the line's signature "pool cinema" complex) located Deck 3 aft on the "star ships". The area transforms from a heated indoor pool (with retractable roof) at day time into a cinema at night - an unique river cruise ship feature. The second impressive feature is the Emerald's balcony stateroom that transforms into a conservatory with a button-touch.
The rest of the innovations are fairly standard on newbuilds in the modern era of European river cruising. Among those are the private balconies for the majority of cabins, good-sized suites and open-air alternative dining spots. The alfresco dining area at bow of the ships provides informal alternative dining options for breakfast and lunch, but most meals are served in the Reflections Restaurant - the riverboat's main dining room.
Next YouTube video is about the line's river cruising experience. It provides information on onboard activities and amenities, along with the boats' best deckplan features.
Note: You can see the CruiseMapper's list of all river cruise ships and riverboats in the "itinerary" section of our River Cruises hub. All river passenger shipping line companies and their fleets are listed there.