The small ship experience with Emerald Waterways

What to Expect from Small Ship Cruising with Emerald Cruises

There’s nothing quite as relaxing as exploring Europe by river. When travelling with Emerald Cruises, you’ll benefit from the small ship experience, enjoying the intimacy of small guest numbers paired with the spacious surrounds of our innovative Star-Ships.

Every part of our European river cruises has been designed with you in mind. Our fleet of Star-Ships cater from just 84 to a maximum of 186 guests, letting you meet like-minded travellers in a more intimate group, whilst allowing you to have plenty of room for yourself too.

As with all of our river cruises, you can take advantage of our exceptional EmeraldVALUE promise. So much is included in the price of your holiday, meaning you can have complete peace-of-mind while you travel. Our attentive on board crew, expert Cruise Directions and knowledgeable on shore guides will help to make your holiday truly memorable.

Here’s what to expect when you travel on a European river cruise with Emerald Cruises and the many benefits you can enjoy as part of the small ship experience.

Your choice of suites and staterooms

While you explore Europe’s wonders, our Star-Ships will be your own boutique floating hotel. Choose from our selection of suites and staterooms, all of which have been designed to be a haven of comfort as your home away from home. You can expect a wealth of sumptuous amenities, including luscious linens, a flatscreen TV with an infotainment system, and an en-suite bathroom complete with plush toiletries.

All of our suites feature an innovative and ingenious all-weather balcony system. At the push of a button, the glass slides down, enabling you to admire the views and a fresh river breeze on sunny days. The luxurious and spacious surrounds allow you to unwind during those moments you would like to spend alone, enjoying the privacy of your own sanctuary. Our staterooms provide picture windows, inviting in the natural light as you traverse Europe’s waterways.

Spacious public areas

From the Reflections Restaurants and Horizon Bar & Lounge to the Sun Deck and indoor pool*, our Star-Ships feature numerous spacious public areas to unwind in. Relax in unrivalled comfort, whether you’d like to enjoy a drink with newfound friends or find a secluded corner to yourself.

The Sun Deck runs the full length and width of each of our Star-Ships, giving you plenty of room to soak up the beautiful views ⁠–⁠ recline in one of the sun loungers with a book, take a stroll around the walking track, or talk about your travel experiences over a drink with friends.

The floor-to-ceiling windows of the Reflections Restaurant help bring the picturesque views indoors, letting you witness the serene course of your journey along Europe’s river as you dine. With a choice of tables throughout the restaurant and a diverse menu of dishes, you can dine your way and in ultimate comfort.

The Horizon Bar & Lounge offers similarly peaceful views. Sit back in one of the cosy armchairs watching the world pass by, enjoying complimentary tea and coffee all day long. The atmosphere in the evenings is more lively, making this the place to be for a night cap, a quiz led by our Activity Managers or authentic entertainment.

Room to relax alone

One of the joys of river cruising is meeting like-minded travellers. There may be times when you’d prefer to relax alone though, enjoying a peaceful haven for some ‘me time’. Our Star-Ships are designed to allow for both a social and a solitary river cruising experience.

Each of our suites and staterooms provide optimum room, letting you retreat to this private area whenever you wish. If you book one of our suites, you’ll benefit from your own innovative balcony too – a delightful corner to soak up the views and a fresh breeze without needing to visit one of the public areas.

If you are looking for a way to feel truly rejuvenated, book an appointment at our on board Wellness Centre. There’s no better way to enjoy time alone than with a complete pampering session. Our salon beauticians and spa specialists are on hand to provide an indulgent spa treatment, restorative massage or even a new hair-do and manicure. 

Activities to enhance your wellbeing

We understand that health and wellbeing don’t stop when you go on holiday. That’s why our European river cruises feature a number of elements that help to promote and enhance wellbeing. 

Our EmeraldACTIVE program is designed for those seeking more active experiences. Why not join a guided walking tour of a local vineyard or hike through the Black Forest. If you’d prefer to get about on two wheels instead, you can embark on a small group cycling tour with our free on board bikes†. A fun and alternative way to see your destination, you’ll get the chance to explore beyond city limits including picturesque routes along the riverside.

As well as onshore activities and excursions, you can participate in an on board fitness class with our trained Activity Managers. Wake up to a morning yoga class on the Sun Deck and feel invigorated by the outdoor setting. Or put your swimsuit on for an aqua aerobics class in the indoor pool*.

If you’d prefer to exercise without guidance, visit the on board gym, which is well equipped with machines and apparatus. Allowing just a few guests at one time, you can maintain your gym routine safely. The indoor pool is also open throughout the day if you want to do a few leisurely strokes while you watch the scenery unfold through the window. On sunny days, the retractable roof allows free-flowing air while you swim.