Emerald Waterways on board Sun Deck

A day on-board an Emerald Cruises river cruise

What can you expect from a typical day on-board our Star-Ships? The beauty of travelling on an Emerald Cruises river cruise is that no two days are ever the same. You can tailor things to suit your tastes with ease. Want to get to the heart of local life through the day, or just luxuriate in your new surroundings? No problem, the choice is yours.

So, far from the rules being hard and fast, we offer plenty of freedom during your time with us, but here’s a timeline of travel, with some words from our favourite travel writers, to guide you through the ways you can spend your day.


Start your day with a delicious breakfast at our Reflections Restaurant, the centrepiece of our on-board dining experience. Choose from a range of cooked favourites, fresh fruit and cereals, and be sure to give our omelette station a try, too. Specialty teas, fresh coffee and delicious juices are also available - the perfect way to start your day of exploration.
If you’ve selected a Grand Balcony Suite or Owner’s One-Bedroom Suite, then why not enjoy continental breakfast in the privacy and comfort of your room’s balcony?
Orange juice and croissants

Follow up with…

Now you’re free to explore as you please. Enjoy the picturesque river views atop our Sun Deck, or head onshore and experience the many treasures these unparalleled destinations provide.

The variety and freedom you’re afforded makes your time with us one of boundless choice. Here’s what Trish, of the website Mum’s Gone To, had to say about the experience: “It can be hard to tear yourself away from the comfort of an Emerald Cruises ship but when you do, you'll be rewarded with a whole host of exciting experiences."

“I could break away to take photos, whilst still listening to the guide on my headphones,” says Trish. “Free time is always included at each port so you can wander back to the ship at leisure, calling in for a drink at a welcoming bar en route, if the fancy takes you.”

If you’ve stayed on-board, there’s still plenty to do. The Sunday Times’ Sue Bryant paints a splendid picture: “Head up top! Enjoy 360° river views from the Sun Deck. Walk or jog around the marked track; read; chat to new friends; bring your lunch up and eat in the sunshine (the waiters will remember you’re there and they keep the wine coming) and marvel at the complexity of the locks you’ll pass through.”

Fish and Chips with Tartar sauce
Satisfy your appetite with a lunch inspired by the cuisine of the region. Our chefs serve up local favourites and beloved British staples, so there’s something for everyone.

Of course, complimentary drinks are served as standard to accompany the delicious fare. 

Back on the move

Sunbathing on Cruise
Once everyone is back on-board, we set sail for our next destination. Luxuriate on our Sun Deck and watch idyllic landscapes unfold before you, drink in hand. Take a dip in our indoor heated pool or practice your putting in the sun on our golf green.

More fine dining

Steak fillet and wine
In the evening, a fusion of buffets and à la carte menus are available for your delectation. Tracing the path you’re travelling on, our Reflections Restaurant serves up seasonal, regional food that complements your experience perfectly.

Handpicked by our expert sommeliers, a selection of robust reds and delicate whites serve to highlight the regions’ finest tipples, enhancing the flavours of your food wonderfully. 

After-dinner entertainment

Band performing on Cruise
Retire to the Horizon Bar & Lounge, where your resident pianist soundtracks the evening with serene, relaxing favourites. On select evenings, enjoy local acts performed in the traditional style, from Bavarian bands to Hungarian dancing.

For a change of scenery – literally – make your way to the indoor pool. During the evening, the floor rises through the pool’s surface and a screen is lowered from above, turning this tranquil area into an entertainment centre in minutes. In your new cosy cinema, enjoy a selection of classic and contemporary films for your viewing pleasure.