Emerald Waterways , Europe’s newest river cruise company, has announced plans for construction of its fifth “Star Ship.” “The demand continues to strengthen and outpace supply,” states Emerald Waterways’ North American vp of brand management Lisa Norton. “These beautiful and innovative ships are proving to be exactly what the market has been waiting for.” The Emerald “Star Ships” recently won Cruise Critics 2014 Editor’s Pick for “Best New River Ships.” The Emerald Belle is being built in the Netherlands and is expected to be launched in early 2016, coming on the heels of the 2015 launch of the Emerald Dawn and the Emerald Sun .
Due to extremely positive guest and media feedback regarding the current “Star Ships” design, the Belle will be built in the same configuration as her four sisters while also keeping an eye on possible innovations and enhancements still to be decided. All of the “Star Ships” carry 182 guests in 72 suites and 20 staterooms, including two built for solo occupancy. Unique items include an onboard heated swimming pool with a retractable glass roof, which transforms into a movie theater in the evening; 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 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. Ships also feature an onboard hairdresser, massage therapy room and fitness area.
Launched in 2014, Emerald Waterways caters to the four-star-plus market by using five-star ships and service and a near all-inclusive pricing plan. The company’s approach is to minimize the guests concerns about daily budgets or mounting costs. The cruise fare includes all transfers to and from the ships; all onboard (and some on-shore) meals; unlimited tea and coffee; wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner; bottled water in the cabins; continental breakfast; pre-dinner canapes and after-dinner sweet treats served in the top suites; WiFi onboard the ship; most shore excursions; bicycles to use for independent touring and more — as well as all gratuities.
Emerald Waterways will offer nine itineraries in 2015, including the eight-day, Nuremberg-to-Budapest “Danube Delights;” the 15-day “Splendours of Europe,” which travels the Rhine and the Danube from Amsterdam to Budapest; the 10-day “Enchantment of Eastern Europe,” which travels Eastern Europe via the Danube River through Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania; the eight-day “Highlights of the Netherlands and Beauty of Belgium,” which begins and ends in Amsterdam and shows off this region at the height of spring, when the tulips are in bloom; and “Delights of France,” an 11-day sailing from Lyon to Arles.
As part of the Scenic Group, Emerald Waterways is backed by the award-winning expertise of the world’s leading luxury river cruise operator. Additional information can be found by contacting your local travel agent; and for the US: Emerald Waterways’ website ; or by calling the US consumer/travel agent reservations line (855-222-3214 ). For Canada ; or by calling the consumer reservations line, 855-444-0161 ; and travel agents reservation line, 1-855-265-2899 . Brochure orders may be placed on the website, or a digital downloadable version is available.