New River Cruise Line Emerald Waterways Launches in 2014 With European Cruises

Emerald Waterways is the first new European river cruise company to set sail in more than six years. The line is offering eight- to 15-day itineraries beginning April 15, 2014 at fares starting at $2,230 per person, double. What sets Emerald Waterways apart from other major lines on the rivers are its ship amenities and fare inclusions.

In talking to the new line, a spokesman noted that Emerald Waterways is aimed at competing for the Viking River Cruises or AmaWaterways-level passenger. It's a totally new line that will operate as a separate brand of Scenic.

Both ships are new builds, built from the ground up, not retrofits of any existing vessel.

The new ships – Emerald Star and Emerald Sky – each carry 182 guests in 20 staterooms (two staterooms are built for solo passengers) and 72 suites. Unique items include an onboard heated swimming pool with a retractable roof, which in the evening, transforms into a movie theater; two restaurants – Reflections, the main dining room, and The Terrace for breakfast and lunch; and a new type of cabin design that replaces the run-of-the-mill French Balcony, common to most ships, with an indoor balcony complete with decked area and an ingenious open-air system. The system allows guests to push a button and the upper half of the floor to ceiling panoramic window drops down to allow an open-air opportunity; top suites separate the balcony from the cabin with sliding doors. As well as an onboard hairdresser, massage therapy room and fitness area.

On average, Emerald Waterway are from 162 to 210 square feet. The Owner’s One-bedroom Suites (315 square feet) come with a separate bedroom and lounge; walk-in wardrobe; complimentary mini-bar re-stocked daily with wine, beer and soft drinks; Nespresso machine; and an iPad. Plus, Grand Balcony and Owner Suite guests can order a continental breakfast, pre-dinner canapés and after-dinner sweet treats to enjoy in their suite, all of which is included in the price of the holiday.

Emerald Waterways is also offering a number of EmeraldPLUS excursions.  Examples include glass-blowing demonstrations, a glass-top canal cruise in Amsterdam, the Winzerexpress mini-train and a night of dancing and entertainment at a local Czech tavern – to name just a few, and are also included in the fares. Itineraries are designed to allow for a greater amount of flexibility – giving guests enough free time to explore Europe their way – with a cruise director and crew who are more than happy to offer expert advice and help plan the independent time. 

Four itineraries are being offered by Emerald Waterways in 2014:

  • “Danube Delights” is an eight-day adventure between Nuremberg to Budapest, priced from $2,230 to $4,330 per person, double.
  • “Classic Prague & Danube Delights” is an 11-day itinerary that adds three days in Prague to the eight-day Nuremberg to Budapest sailing. Fares are yet to be priced.
  • The 12-day “Magical Rhine & Moselle” travels between Switzerland’s Basel and the canal city of Amsterdam. Prices are $3,483 to $6,548.
  • “Splendors of Europe” allows guests to spend 15 days exploring Europe’s sights – between Amsterdam and Budapest – and is priced from $3,760 to $8,965.

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