Emerald Harmony Sailing Europe

What to expect from small ship river cruises


Small ship cruising is the most intimate and relaxing way to explore the rivers of Europe and Southeast Asia. Measured guest numbers ensure the highest level of customer service, and all guests benefit from plenty of space on board to unwind in any way they see fit.

When travelling with Emerald Cruises, you’ll enjoy special attention and treatment on board our award-winning Star-Ships while indulging in the mesmerising sights of whichever waterway you’re cruising. Spend time meeting your fellow travellers or find a private spot to switch off and take in the beauty of your surroundings.

A small ship cruise provides you with unparalleled freedom. Choose to unwind in a way that suits you and allow Emerald Cruises to help you get the most satisfaction from your time cruising. We specialise in comprehensive small ship experiences from arranging the most insightful excursions to providing you with peace and tranquillity on board. Here’s what you can expect when you travel the waterways of Europe and Southeast Asia with Emerald Cruises.

Your choice of suites and staterooms

Emerald Cruises Suite iverlooking River on Cruise
Couple enjoying their luxury suite on an Emerald Cruises Luxury Star Ship
Our award-winning Star-Ships are your home away from home. A boutique floating hotel, our Star-Ships’ range of contemporary suites and staterooms feature as standard:

An en-suite bathroom
A queen-sized or twin hotel-style bed
An HDTV flatscreen TV with infotainment system
Complimentary Wi-Fi
Complimentary bottled water restocked daily

All our suites also feature our innovative balcony system, which allows you to raise or lower the floor-to-ceiling window to transform the space and make the most of your view.

We believe in providing you with choice, which is why you have the option to choose from multiple grades of suites and staterooms, no matter which Star-Ship you sail on:

Europe and Southeast Asia suites and staterooms

You'll find the following cabin options available on all our Star-Ships sailing across Europe and Southeast Asia. 

Owner’s One-Bedroom Suite

Small ship cruising with Emerald Cruises doesn’t get any more gratifying. Only a limited number of Owner’s One-Bedroom Suites are available on each Star-Ship, making them the most exclusive and sought after suites we have on board.

A separate living room and bedroom area offers a greater amount of space to settle in and a walk-in wardrobe provides ample storage room.

You’ll enjoy all the benefits that come with a Grand Balcony Suite, but with additional perks. A complimentary minibar restocked daily and up to four items of clothing for laundry per day are just the beginning. Guests staying in our Owner’s One-Bedroom Suite will also have full use of a personal iPad and an invite to dine at the Captain’s Table.

Emerald Grand Balcony Suite

A more refined version of the Emerald Panorama Balcony Suite, our Emerald Grand Balcony Suites also come with an outdoor private balcony area, complete with open-air system, allowing you to enjoy the seasonal breeze and fresh air. A pillow menu ensures you have the best night’s sleep possible, and a continental breakfast delivered to your room on request guarantees a leisurely start to your day.

Pre-dinner canapes and after-dinner sweet treats are also available to enjoy in your suite, and a Nespresso™ machine situated in your room means you can indulge in a delicious coffee in the most comfortable surroundings at any time you choose.

If you would like to wear a certain outfit for any occasion, you will also benefit from having two items of clothing laundered for you per day.

Emerald Panorama Balcony Suite

Located on both the Horizon and Vista Decks, these chic suites are perfect for blissfully viewing the scenery which gently passes by your window. Our innovative all-weather balcony system allows the floor-to-ceiling window to drop down electronically and an indoor decked area allows you to enjoy the sights in all their glory.

Emerald Stateroom

The staterooms found on the Riviera Deck boast a spacious layout when it comes to European small ship river cruising. A picture window (or port hole when cruising Southeast Asia) provides plenty of natural light, and your en-suite bathroom will be fully stocked with luxurious ESPA toiletries.

European Star-Ships

You’ll find these staterooms on selected Star-Ships cruising the Danube, Moselle, Rhine and Rhône rivers.

Emerald Single Stateroom

We understand that river cruising may be the ideal way for solo travellers to see the world, so we’ve included these single staterooms on selected Star-Ships. Featuring a picture window and quality facilities, these comfortable cabins are specially built for solo travellers

The Douro

You’ll find these suites exclusively on Emerald Radiance, our Star-Ship which sails the Douro in Portugal and Spain.

Emerald Riverview Suite

This spacious suite allows you to truly make the most of the Portuguese sunshine. Our all-weather balcony system and floor-to-ceiling windows combine to help you make the most of the views, while the suite also benefits from a walk-in wardrobe, hotel-style bed and a pillow menu.

Spacious socialising

Friends sat at the bar enjoying the drinks on an Emerald Cruises Star Ship
Relaxation Area on an Emerald Cruises Star Ship
People enjoying the pool on an Emerald Cruises ship
Contemporary suites and staterooms offer an unparalleled private retreat, but it’s the social spaces on our small river ship cruises that truly make our Star-Ships stand out. Measured guest numbers allow for plenty of room to share with your loved ones or fellow travellers whether you’re enjoying a light bite to eat in our lounges and restaurants or sunbathing by the pool.

You’ll enjoy a range of social areas all designed with guest satisfaction in mind. Bar and dining options include:

The Reflections Restaurant where chefs create the finest dishes with locally sourced ingredients
The Terrace – perfect for a light snack or refreshing drink
Horizon Bar & Lounge complete with a well-stocked bar, dancefloor, and entertainment space

Finding a spot to leisurely while away the hours when small ship cruising is made simple with Emerald Cruises. The Sun Deck on the top deck of our Star-Ships is where you can partake in a game of golf on the putting green, challenge your fellow travellers in the games area, or simply stroll along the walking track.

A heated indoor pool* allows you to enjoy a swim no matter the weather. On selected evenings, the pool is transformed into a cinema where you and other guests can unwind while watching a hit film.
If keeping fit forms a part of your daily routine, our well-equipped gym is perfect for any workout. Make sure to stop by our Wellness Area for a touch of pampering as well. For an additional cost, our team can provide an array of services from massages to hairdressing.

*Please note, Emerald Radiance on the Douro does not feature an indoor pool or cinema, but benefits from a spa-style heated Serenity Pool instead. And on Emerald Harmony, you’ll find a spacious outdoor pool on the Pool Deck surrounded by stylish wooden decking and plenty of loungers to take in the Southeast Asian sun from.

Activities and included excursions

Couple sat on wall on an emerald cruise
Entertainment on an Emerald Cruise
A small ship cruise wouldn’t be complete without a wealth of activities and excursions included. Our handpicked itineraries are designed to satisfy a range of needs from broadening your horizons through cultural immersion to providing sightseeing guided coach tours and walking tours showcasing scenic treasures throughout Europe and Southeast Asia.
An included excursion is available almost every day with our EmeraldDISCOVERY programme, so there is no shortage of sights to see. Also included are our selected EmeraldPLUS and EmeraldACTIVE activities. EmeraldPLUS provides further local traditions to enjoy, including cultural shows on board our Star-Ships. EmeraldACTIVE is for those seeking a more energetic experience, including hikes and bike rides through cities and off the beaten track.
If exploration is the main driver for your cruise, our extra special DiscoverMORE excursions have been created to grant you rare insights that venture beyond ordinary travel encounters. Available at an additional cost, these optional tours complement our included excursions and our EmeraldPLUS and EmeraldACTIVE programmes, bringing to you a wealth of immersion that highlights the gems of each region.
The freedom of choice is always at the heart of small ship cruising. All included excursions are yours to enjoy if they pique your interest, but if a relaxing day next to the pool is your idea of heaven, then you have the luxury of spending your time on a lounger with a good book instead.

Exemplary cruise ship dining

Dining on an Emerald Cruise
Waiter preparing food on an Emerald Cruises star ship
Lamb dinner on an emerald cruises star ship
The culinary expertise of our chefs ensures an enticing array of dining options. We fully believe that all small ship cruises through Europe and Southeast Asia should celebrate the local flavours, which is why freshly prepared seasonal cuisine is offered at every evening meal – all inspired by the destinations you’re travelling through.

If the local dishes aren’t to your taste, our chefs are more than happy to accommodate by preparing a range of home favourites as well.

Breakfast, lunch, and light snacks are also catered for on board our Star-Ships. Whether your mouth is watering at the thought of a cooked breakfast, fresh fruit, tasty sandwiches or even afternoon tea, we provide a selection of delicious foods for you to indulge in.

And of course, complimentary drinks are available with lunch and dinner. Choose from your favourite beers, wines, and soft drinks to enhance your meals. Our team carefully select a choice of wines each evening, sourced from local and regional vineyards.

You have complete choice when it comes to drinking on board. Whether you prefer to stick to the complimentary drinks at lunch and dinner, or take full advantage of the bar menu*, there’s a drinks package to suit everyone.

*Excludes minibar drinks, Champagne, and wine by the bottle

A wealth of generous inclusions

Small ship cruises should always provide guests with complete peace of mind. That’s why we take care of all the important things while you’re sailing with us. You won’t have to spend a single penny extra on board if you don’t want to, with the following inclusions forming part of our high level of service:

Return economy flights from up to 16 UK regional airports (no-fly options available on selected itineraries)
Airport transfers
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner on board
Complimentary beer, wine, and soft drinks to accompany lunch and dinner
Complimentary bottled water, restocked daily
Luxurious ESPA toiletries in your en-suite bathroom
First-class service
Included excursions with local guides
Complimentary Wi-Fi
Use of our bicycles* 
All airport taxes and port charges taken care of
All gratuities on board taken care of

For additional peace of mind, small ship cruising with Emerald Cruises is ABTA and ATOL protected.

*Where safe and bicycles are not already in use for an excursion

The most enjoyable small ship cruising experience

Every moment you spend on board should be one of pure indulgence and our team is dedicated to putting you first. Whether it’s creating sumptuous dishes, providing entertainment, or keeping our Star-Ships to a high standard, our attentive crew members and excellent staff-to-guest ratio ensure the most enjoyable small ship cruising experience.

If you’re looking to explore the sights of Europe or Southeast Asia, Emerald Cruises is on hand to guarantee an experience like no other.
Download a free destination brochure to learn more.