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5 Reasons to river cruise with Emerald

7th September 2015

Launching in 2014, Emerald Waterways are a brand new UK based river cruise line with a fleet of five stunning state of the art ‘Star-Ships’. Cruising some of the best rivers in the world, Emerald Waterways have a fantastic selection of destination rich itineraries and provide guests with a deluxe and comfortable home away from home.

Designed with space and comfort in mind, Emerald’s Star-Ships provide a relaxing atmosphere for up to 182 guests. Every cabin comes fitted with a window so you never have to miss the idyllic river views, and with five types of contemporary cabins to choose from there is something to suit all tastes.

We were lucky enough to step onboard and experience the amazing quality of Emerald Waterways first hand and have compiled our top 5 favourite features for you below.

The Destinations

Danube River Germany

Emerald’s European cruises can take you along some of the continent’s most beautiful waterways including the Rhine, Danube and Saone. With ample opportunities to step ashore, join excursions and port talks, you’ll get a fantastic introduction to each new destination along the way. From historical landmarks to pretty villages and towns, the selection of ports are magnificent.

“I loved how in each of the destinations, not only would there be expert guides to help bring it all alive, but the personal radio headsets mean you can benefit from all their knowledge at your own pace” – Margaret McCorriston, Iglu River Cruise Product Manager.

Keep Active

Emerald Waterways Star-Ship pool

Keeping active is a breeze both on and off the ship during an Emerald River cruise. There are plenty of opportunities for walking as you explore each new destination along the way, with bikes available for those hoping to cover more ground. Onboard you’ll find a small gym, river view walking track and even a heated swimming pool.


For quiet times you can enjoy the privacy of your comfortable cabin or suite. Check out the onboard book selection or catch a movie in the impressive onboard cinema.

“I was absolutely blown away by Emerald, I thought having seen many of the latest Ocean ships like Anthem of the seas, I’d seen it all – but the attention to detail, service, and innovations like the alfresco swimming pool by day that transforms into an intimate cinema by night were really impressive” – Dave Mills, Iglu Cruise Commercial Director

Keep Connected

Emerald Waterways

We are always on the move so staying connected is important to us. Free Wi-Fi onboard meant we could keep connected at all times and share our journey photos and updates straight away.

Eat Well

The Reflections restaurant kept us smiling throughout with delicious cuisine echoing the tastes of the rivers regions. Breakfast was either enjoyed at the daily self-service buffet or top deck in the sunshine. A resident Egg-Chef is also on hand providing speciality breakfast choices. Complimentary coffee and tea kept us fuelled for our excursions and we also enjoyed eating ashore to experience a taste of local life.

Have you been on an Emerald River cruise? Let us know your highlights in the comments below

Browse our Emerald Waterways river cruises

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River cruising on a budget

20th August 2015

River cruising is a great way to see the world whether exploring Europe's hidden gems or embracing the culture of Southeast Asia.

A week or two-week long trip will take you to some of the places you may have never considered venturing before. Cruises along rivers like the Rhine and Danube bring the rich histories of Eastern Europe to life, whilst river cruising Asia gives you a real sense of being an intrepid explorer.

There is a common view with many of those who have never been on a river cruise before, that river cruising is expensive. However, many river cruise lines are All Inclusive and include excursions. If you consider the cost of an All Inclusive ocean cruise, plus the total price on average of an excursion in each destination, the price of river cruising compared with ocean cruising soon even out. As with ocean cruising, there are different classes of staterooms for every budget and with a bit of careful planning you can ensure you enjoy your holiday without the fear of overspending. Here are our tips for a cost-effective cruise to some of the most picturesque places in the world.


Pick an all inclusive river cruise


Scenic river cruise ship

When picking your cruise make sure that you opt for an all-inclusive option. This means you won't have to worry about any extra expenditure whilst onboard. The majority of river cruise lines will offer all-inclusive holidays which cover essentials such as breakfast, lunch and dinner, drinks, evening entertainment and a number of excursions.

If you can, look for cruises that will include flights and transfers within the price. For example, many of the Rhine cruises begin in Amsterdam so you will need to either fly or catch the Eurostar to the Dutch capital. Having this cost included can be a weight off your mind and one less thing to organise.

Seek out free attractions


Cologne Germany

Aside from the organised excursions included in the price of your cruise, you can save a bit of cash by seeking out the free attractions. Luckily, no matter what city your boat docks at there will be plenty of things to see and do completely free of charge.

Take Cologne, for example, this major city sits on the banks of the mighty Rhine in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany. Its landscape is dominated by the imposing Do, a cathedral regarded as a focal point of the city. What makes it even better for tourists is that it is free, allowing people to wander around this magnificent Gothic structure for as long as they like.

Other favourites along traditional river cruise routes are the German National Museum of Contemporary History in Bonn, Begijnhof in Amsterdam and Geldmuseum in Vienna, all free of charge.

Sample delicious street food

Another way to save a bit of cash is by opting for the smaller street food vendors as opposed to lavish meals. Every stop on a river cruise can be a gastronomic adventure that doesn't cost the earth.

Why not hop off the boat in Germany and indulge in some currywurst for as little as €3 (£2.10) or a bowl of goulash in Budapest or even a delicious slice of apfelstrudel on the streets of Vienna? All of this glorious fare can be purchased for very little and can keep you fuelled throughout a busy day of sightseeing.

Having something on the go can mean you don't have to slow down your holiday or potentially be hit by an unexpected charge at a restaurant. If you have booked an all-inclusive river cruise you will be able to grab something whilst back on the boat.

Walk, walk, walk


couple walking in Italy

One major expenditure that any tourist can be caught out by is transport around a city. If your ship has docked for a couple of days you will be able to explore a little more but you need to be aware of how much public transport and, especially, taxis might cost.

With river cruising you can save on transport costs by exploring on foot because you can always expect to dock in a central location. Walking is an ideal way of navigating around a foreign city and you are more likely to discover some real hidden gems that you otherwise may have missed.


Browse our River Cruises, Duoro, Egypt, Mekong

Browse and book your next river cruise from our top 10 river cruises.

Single cruiser? Take a look at our single river cruise deals with low or no single supplement.

Exotic vs European cruises - Which is for you?

10th August 2015

River cruising is one of the best ways to see the world and gives you an insight into places you may have never thought of visiting before.

With so many cruises available it can be hard to know just which one to choose. However, one of the simpler questions you need to ask yourself is whether you want an exotic or European cruise? We have holidays running throughout the year on many of the major rivers across the globe.

If you are looking to stay closer to home, the Rhine, Danube and French Riviera are potential destinations while further afield Southeast Asia boasts the captivating Mekong River with much to be discovered. So which will you choose? Our guide will help inspire your decision.

European cruise

Europe has a huge wealth of waterways ensuring you a memorable break. Cruising along the likes of the Rhine, Elbe or Danube provide opportunities to visit some of the most picturesque cities the continent has to offer.

Take the Rhine, for example. This huge river is the lifeblood of Germany - flanking great industrial powers such as Dusseldorf and Cologne. However, it starts its journey in northern Holland before making its way into Germany and eventually to Austria and Switzerland. Cruises in this region highlight the majesty of these cities and the European countryside.

Most cruises of the Rhine begin in Amsterdam, famed for its canals, before setting sail to explore all the Rhine has to offer. There are stop-offs to visit Cologne and its incredible architecture, namely the Dom and the Hohenzollern Bridge, the latter forms the main entrance to the city. Most trips also take in the Rhine Gorge before ending in the hugely historical city of Nuremburg.

The benefit of a European cruise is that you are able to avoid long-haul flights. As most journeys begin in central Europe, flight times should be around three hours maximum, depending on your destination. This also rules out any form of jetlag, so you feel raring to go as soon as you step on the boat. There are also more options for shorter breaks with four and seven day cruises around Europe.

Above all, a river cruise around Europe is an excellent way to experience multiple destinations, admiring historic cities and enjoying the picturesque river views.


Exotic cruise

An exotic cruise has an added sense of adventure. Travelling to regions such as Southeast Asia, India and Africa offers a step into the unknown, but can also turn out to be the best decision you have ever made.

Choose a river cruise along an iconic waterway such as the Mekong or Nile. These river cruising experiences vary greatly from European cruises and provide unique chances to experience a completely different culture. Many people consider an exotic river cruise to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Sail down the Mekong River and see the famous sights of Phnom Penh in Cambodia or stay in the centre of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) prior to your cruise. These cruises offer you experiences you simply do not get when on a European cruise.

Heading to the likes of Southeast Asia and Africa can be a lot of travelling but the memories will last a lifetime. You could even incorporate the cruise as part of a much larger holiday and do a bit of exploring yourself. The stories will no doubt impress your friends back home for years to come.

Browse our European River cruise deals - Rhine, Danube,

Browse our Exotic River cruise deals - Egypt, Mekong, Yangtze, Burma

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