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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2014
Boarded the brand new Emerald Sky at Basel (Switzerland) for a cruise to Amsterdam. A few teething problems with a new boat that might not be solved very quick. Some of us never received luggage tags or the fancy folder before traveling, ... Read More
Boarded the brand new Emerald Sky at Basel (Switzerland) for a cruise to Amsterdam. A few teething problems with a new boat that might not be solved very quick. Some of us never received luggage tags or the fancy folder before traveling, hence not much information. On arrival at the airport, went out the nearest door to find nobody to meet us, eventually we found somebody after asking at information (not a good start). We booked this boat because of the heated indoor pool & booked the nearest cabin we could to have regular use. Unfortunately it was not working !!! can you imagine Royal Caribbean launching a new boat the swimming pool not working !!! they offered us wine & beer, which was included at meal times anyway & still charged for the mini bar & as the wife does not drink, we would have rather had the pool. The cruise director is the only person employed by Emerald, the rest of the staff are agency contractors. The service from the agency staff was superb & can not be faltered, the cruise director tried very hard but did not have a natural ability although most of the passengers liked her. Overall we had a fantastic holiday but that was due to meeting some fantastic people & having very good weather. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2014
I have delayed my review until after settlement of my financial claim against Emerald Waterways., but I am now able to write my review. Some of the points have already been covered in the earlier 3 star reviews but potential travellers do ... Read More
I have delayed my review until after settlement of my financial claim against Emerald Waterways., but I am now able to write my review. Some of the points have already been covered in the earlier 3 star reviews but potential travellers do need to be warned against travelling with this line. Our trip was from Budapest to Nuremberg and the first problems occurred after our collection from Budapest airport, this was booked as a package so the vast majority of passengers were on the same early flight. We were met at the airport and transported to the ship(unusually without a guide) when we arrived at the ship the cases were unloaded and we were expected to carry them up the gangway. We were then ushered into a lounge, given a flavoured soft drink and left there with no announcements. We were expecting lunch as is normal but after half an hour we went to search of lunch to be told that the first meal was dinner and no local restaurants were open.After much complaining some food was reluctantly found but the majority of passengers were given nothing, we were allowed into our cabins at about 3pm. One of the major selling points of this cruise line is a swimming pool with a retractable roof, however the roof was not opened once during the cruise, the excuse being that this would result in debris being deposited in the pool, so you are left with a small indoor pool, not good enough, if debris accumulates the pool should be cleaned. Another selling point is the covering of the swimming pool to create a cinema in the evening. Unfortunately the equipment went wrong after the first night and there was no attempt to rectify the situation, so no cinema for the rest of the cruise. Worse was to follow for me, first I slipped on a wet gangway on the way back from a trip, luckily I was unhurt but the gangplank should have been covered as soon as it started to rain. Second on the last night of the cruise I left my mobile phone on charge in my cabin and when I returned later in the evening it had gone.The theft has been dealt with subsequently but at first the line sought to deny any liability saying that I should have left the phone in the safe which seems to imply that theft is the norm on their ships. The claim has now been settled. I associate myself with the comments made in earlier postings about the cabins and dining room acoustics.The food was in the main good although service was extremely variable and in some instances very amateurish. There other problems of a minor nature which I will not dwell upon, suffice to say that this was a very expensive cruise and failed in most ways to live up to expectations. In a line's first year of operation you would expect them to pull out all the stops to build up a good reputation, not so Emerald and if they continue to offer such a substandard product they will surely fail in what is a very competitive market.   Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2014
As a seasoned Silverseas cruiser I booked the latest 5 star river ship, Emerald Star, expecting a great cruise on the Danube. It cost as much or more than Silverseas so I don't think my expectation was unreasonable. What a shock! The ... Read More
As a seasoned Silverseas cruiser I booked the latest 5 star river ship, Emerald Star, expecting a great cruise on the Danube. It cost as much or more than Silverseas so I don't think my expectation was unreasonable. What a shock! The ship is brand new and very smart but the onboard product is not. However, to be fair, only those who had never river cruised before seemed to feel this. Food is poor, often very poor, restaurant hopelessly overcrowded....the 7pm rush for free seating was a complete shocker to me. Table setups were cramped and the tables for 2 were immediately adjacent (like less than 6 inches) to a table for 4. Very few round tables. The overcrowding made for forced Bon hommie but the noise level rather restricted even that. The restaurant style could be best described as "school dinners" or a canteen. Food is delivered one course at a time....for the whole restaurant. So, if you wanted to miss a course you had to wait until those who had chosen to eat it were finished and the process restarted. I have never seen a restaurant operate like that. The staff however tried hard and the restaurant manager in particular recognised my unhappiness with the product and did his very best to make it better. My thanks to him. Wine is included but there was little or no choice.....and the wine staff had very limited knowledge. In fact, the whole ship is inadequate in size and facilities for the 180 passengers. Very few public washrooms....back to the cabin was best. There is a sundeck but it is not always available as the German sector bridges were too low. That made the rest of the ship even more crowded. The higher cost cabins were not worth it. I had 302 which was right above the entranceway so noisy and very public when in port. Oh and there was an awful sewage smell when docked to the port side. Presumably the outlet is underneath 302. Don't choose it....go further towards the stern. Balconies are clever but of little use given much of the cruising is at night and when in port you are normally double or triple banked and so your balcony could be right up against another ship, unusable and again very public. On the other hand, onshore tours were pretty good and well organised with local knowledgeable guides. Made up for the less than exciting topography of the Danube, but the villages and towns are attractive. Definitely not 5 star, more like 3.5. Even recognising this is a cultural experience and not at all a "cruise". Would I go again? Well, I would like to see the Rhine....but only when there is a 5 star ship. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2014
We were connecting with the ship from the optional Paris Extension. Just as our bus was about to reach the border of Belgium, our guide came to our seats and broke the bad news that we had left our passports and credit cards in our hotel ... Read More
We were connecting with the ship from the optional Paris Extension. Just as our bus was about to reach the border of Belgium, our guide came to our seats and broke the bad news that we had left our passports and credit cards in our hotel safe. As the safe is hidden by the same door that covers the mini bar, we missed it when checking out. This incident helped to appreciate some of the “above and beyond” work done by this guide and the cruise director in Amsterdam, with help from the hotel and unseen others — the hotel sent the passports by FedEx to Wurzburg, where they were reunited with us on the 26th! They had to be sent to one of the bus drivers who was going to take us on a tour. We had photocopies of the passports, so we had no trouble getting on the Emerald Sky (and the passports are not checked at any of the borders during the cruise). We reached the Emerald Sky around 5:30 pm and were taken to our cabins with a glass of a refreshing welcome cocktail. We didn’t have to carry our suitcases, which were delivered to us. We had received our name tags in Paris, while others who joined in Amsterdam got theirs on the ship. We were frequently reminded not to use them on shore, as it was another giveaway to pickpockets that we were tourists. Once underway, we had to participate in a mandatory evacuation drill, which was done with good humour. Emerald Waterways Everything on the ship was branded “Emerald Waterways”, which is the brand used in the rest of the world. Australia, for some reason has “Evergreen Tours”. Internet Access There was wi-fi internet for all passengers, but as it was obtained through cell towers along the route, it was non-existent in places, upon which the satellite internet link was connected behind the scenes. As there were lots of people using one connection, it was rather slow to unusable at times. In locks, all internet connectivity was lost. Television The flat screen TV was nice and there were about four English-language channels and many others in European languages, but movies were broken throughout the trip. The satellite TV reception was also dead while in a lock. Since the movies on offer were also mostly the same on the Singapore Airline flights, we didn’t mind this issue. The only channel that worked when TV was dead was the Bow Camera. It was a nice way to watch the river while lying in bed. River Levels Different ships cope with a given problem differently. In mid-to-late June 2014, there was low water in the Main-Danube Canal. Some Viking and APT ships have a deeper draft, so they had to offload passengers at Bamberg and Nuremberg and bus them to a different ship at the other end. Packing/unpacking is always annoying and we could do without it. Our ship MS Emerald Sky did not have any problem with the canal’s lack of water. Rain fell exactly when it was needed and our captain decided to take the ship all the way to Budapest. Daily Routine Each night, we would receive a programme of events for the following day. Every morning a couple of A4 sized “newspapers” and a puzzle sheet was delivered all rolled up on the cabin’s door handle. If you were keen, you might want to use the tiny gym or go for a swim in the ship’s pool, which converts to a movie lounge on some days. We could have a light breakfast in the Horizon Lounge or the heavy one in the Reflections Restaurant. The heavy one had cold meats, bread, pastries, cereals, eggs to order, bacon, potatoes and so on. We always had to collect a security card when leaving the ship and return it when we came on board. This enabled the crew to know if someone was still on shore. We did not lose any passengers. The reception desk also had a map of the local town with important points highlighted by pen, such as the location of the ship and bus stop. After breakfast, we would board a bus with a local guide (roughly five groups of 30 people each) and there was usually one group for “gentle walkers”. After about an hour of walking around, we would be given another hour or two to wander around on our own and then go back to the ship for lunch. Sometimes we would return to the same town after lunch or sometimes move to another port for another little tour. We had a receiver with earphones to use most days and the guide had a transmitter. On 3-4 days the guide’s transmitter did not work, which was annoying, as 30 people could not crowd around him/her to listen to the commentary. Changing the battery did not fix it. This should have been tested the previous evening. Each evening there was always a “Port Talk” session where the cruise director would brief us about any potential issues (such as the river levels) and about the next day’s programme. There would also be a daily joke or two and a lucky draw whose prize was usually a specialty of the next town. Except for three days, dinner was usually a la carte. The menus are pre-set by management, so personal requests were not possible. A lady kept asking for bread pudding but was disappointed. If you didn’t want the fancy main courses, there was always a steak, chicken breast or fish selection every day and I used this option a lot. Not enough regular fruit muesli was available for my liking – often two containers both filled with chocolate chip muesli! I would have liked to see the occasional curried dish – I am sure the Indonesian crew were getting some interesting dishes — perhaps a Rijsttafel would be appropriate in Amsterdam? The wines served at dinner were varied and from many continents (other than Australia). I mostly stuck to the reds and was not disappointed. After dinner there might be a guest presenter from the local town. One evening the crew put on a variety revue (lots of talent there) and another night it was the turn of the passengers. The Sights Without doubt, the castles, houses and cathedrals were fascinating. The scenery was amazing. Yes, after a week some of us were in a daze and could not recall what we had seen a few days earlier. There was a bit of steep walking, but mainly in the do-it-yourself activities. Each place had the usual souvenir shops but there were no annoying pickpockets or beggars (except in Paris). Passengers The average age of the passengers was “retired for a while”. Fewer than 10% were from the workforce, including us. The slower walkers did not cause us any hold-ups and there was usually a separate walking group for them. One or two couples were perpetual whingers, but most were fine. Some kept to their groups while most were happy to mingle and sit with new people. There were one or two entertaining characters, whose presence actually helped to make the group more enjoyable. The Crew The senior crew were mostly East European from Hungary or Romania. The hotel crew were mostly from Indonesia and all parts of Eastern Europe. On the rivers, the bridge communicates with land in German and further east (not our cruise) the language is Russian. This rules out English speakers in the bridge. The hotel staff were very professional and impressed us. They were well trained and cohesive. We did not see any frayed tempers or grumpiness on their part. Overall, the captain had a well-run ship. Our Conclusion In a word, the trip was fantastic! The meals were 5-Star; the cruise director was fantastic; the crew were great; housekeeping was fine; the ship was comfortable. Couldn’t fault it at all. It is important to note that this product is more of a cruise and less of a sight-seeing excursion. You can’t see any town in an hour or two of guided walks or bus tours, or in the subsequent hour or two of “free time”. For detailed sight-seeing, you need to travel on your own and stay as long as you need in each place. June-July seems to be a good time to travel, at least it was for us. You can’t predict if there will be floods or a drought in Europe, but be prepared for some unexpected changes. We were lucky and hope you are too.   Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
This was to be our second River Cruise first one being in Portugal and this time on the Danube. When the tickets arrived we were very surprised to also receive two very good quality back packs, it stated in the pack that these could be ... Read More
This was to be our second River Cruise first one being in Portugal and this time on the Danube. When the tickets arrived we were very surprised to also receive two very good quality back packs, it stated in the pack that these could be used for our hand luggage, and yes they were very useful. Also in the pack was a fabric zipped wallet with all the instructions and airline tickets etc, much better than a lot of cruise lines with their paper folders. We had been scheduled a flight from Manchester airport with Lufthansa and we were met in Munich and then transported by luxury coach to Nuremberg to join the ship, (Barge or boat) not sure what to call a River Vessel. On arrival we were shown to the Lounge as the cabins were not yet available, we could purchase drinks and food as the offer on our cruise started with our evening meal. When we went down to our cabin we were quite surprised to find it to be very spacious, bathroom was a little on the small side but adequate. This tour included all excursions each day, one on the morning and the other in the afternoon, all coffee and teas, which were excellent, also wine, soft drinks or beer, with both lunch and dinner. The ship was almost new this being the third cruise since it was built, and it showed, everything was very clean and with lots and lots of glass and mirrors. The dining room and the lounge had very large floor to ceiling windows, which let in lots of light and was excellent when you were sailing to view the countryside etc. There was also an indoor swimming pool which turned into a cinema in the evenings. Each day after dinner there was various entertainment provided, either music from a man playing am organ or entertainers brought onto the ship. Food was buffet service for breakfast and lunch, and waiter service for dinner. Overall the food was good, my only comment was that sometimes the food was only warm, but this was soon remedied if you asked the Chef for it to be warmed, or for a hot plate for the buffet. Wine flowed there was never any hesitation to refill glasses etc. I have to say that the organisation of the whole cruise could not be faulted, in our opinion, from the excursions each day to the run of the ship. The staff were exceptional from the Captain down. Each night we were informed of the next days schedule, both a talk by the cruise director and a paper on the bed after turn down service. All excursions were included in the price, you had a receiver in your cabin and this was used via an ear phone with the tour guide. You could choose which coach you went on and the coaches each had their own guide. TOUR ITINERARY DAY 1. Arrive Nuremberg DAY 2, Weltenburg - Regensburg. Included excursions Weltenburg Abbey and Regensburg DAY 3. Passau - Linz Included excursions Walking tour of Passau DAY 4 Melk – Durnstein Included excursions Melk Abbey and guided tour of Durnstein DAY 5. Vienna. Included excursions drive along Ringstrasse and walking tour of Vienna. DAY 6 Bratislava. Included excursions Home hosted afternoon teas with local Slovakian Family sightseeing tour of Bratislava. Day 7. Budapest. Included excursions visit to the Fisherman’s Bastion and evening cruise along the Danube, evening show of Hungarian folk dancing and music. DAY 8. Leave for home. I would thoroughly recommend Emerald Waterways and next year they will be having two new ships to add to their fleet.   Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
Our “Splendours of Europe” cruise on Emerald Star (Emerald Waterways’ ship, new in 2014) was extremely disappointing and did not live up to the advertised standard. Our expectations were not unrealistic, based on previous experience ... Read More
Our “Splendours of Europe” cruise on Emerald Star (Emerald Waterways’ ship, new in 2014) was extremely disappointing and did not live up to the advertised standard. Our expectations were not unrealistic, based on previous experience - this was our fifth river cruise – but we felt very badly let down: • Our flights from the UK were arranged by Emerald Waterways – at an extra of £129 each to the cruise cost, for the ‘regional connection’ from Newcastle via Amsterdam. The connection time in Amsterdam proved inadequate as our slightly delayed departure from Newcastle resulted in our missing the connecting flight and having a 7½ hour wait for the next flight. Arriving on board ship after midnight after a day like that was not a good start and no apology was forthcoming. • We had been given to understand that the cruise started in Budapest, but the majority of passengers had boarded in Prague a week earlier and had coalesced into large, friendly, impenetrable and noisy groups before we joined. There were no quiet areas in the public rooms. • Most of the passengers were Australians who had been sold the cruise as an “Evergreen Retirement Cruise”, for Australians only. They were surprised to find British people joining them and there was bias and preferential treatment to them. This should have been notified to ‘others’ before booking. • The brochure clearly states that a jacket and tie/smart casual dress code would be applied for evening dining, with shorts and thongs unacceptable. This was completely disregarded by most passengers, with no enforcement by the staff. • Our cabin was advertised as having a large picture window, but turned out to have had a design change so that there was only a small, high level window through which a view could be gained only by standing on tip-toe. • Our letter of complaint to Emerald Waterways elicited no useful response. They will have to do better at those prices!!   Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
My wife and I have just returned from cruising along the Danube from Nuremburg to Budapest. Much of what your previous correspondent said I fully agree with, although I have to say that we found the food generally pretty good. Staff were ... Read More
My wife and I have just returned from cruising along the Danube from Nuremburg to Budapest. Much of what your previous correspondent said I fully agree with, although I have to say that we found the food generally pretty good. Staff were pleasant and attentive and kept the ships public areas as well as our cabin spotlessly clean. Compared to an ocean going cruise this is an expensive holiday and we were looking forward to something very special. Sadly the organisation and accommodation failed to reach anything like expectations. Our flights from Manchester with Lufthansa were booked through Emerald. Our outgoing flight was at 7.15 am necessitating an early start leaving home at 4.00am. We arrived at Munich mid morning and then had a 90minute coach trip to Nurenburg. On arrival we were advised that the cabins would not be ready until 3.00pm. There was an option to take a coach to Nurenburg to explore the city. Having been on the go since 4.00am we were in need of refreshment. A very limited menu was available including the smallest plate of fish and chips you have ever seen, at a cost of £12.50 per portion. For the price paid for this holiday I would have expected complimentary sandwiches or at least a light buffet and soft drinks. Cost containment? Not a good first impression. We paid a premium for a Panorama Balcony Cabin on deck 3, it was small, so small that the sliding door into the toilet/shower room was no more than 12ins from the bed. Who wants to sleep right next to the loo door! Emerald place great importance on their innovative sliding windows. Yes, the top window does slide down giving you the opportunity to stick your neck out and admire the countryside. However, if you sit down, your view is interrupted by a thick wooden bar in the middle of the window, requiring you to either stretch your neck above it, or bend your neck to avoid it. When you dock, you frequently get other ships docking alongside you making these sliding widows completely useless. Also, if you don't want others from the adjoining ship peering into your cabin you have to draw the blinds down making the cabin during daylight hours gloomy and for all practicable purposes unusable. At the end of the holiday our return flights were booked from Budapest departing the ship at 4.00pm then flying to Frankfurt, before catching a connecting flight to Manchester at 9.55pm arriving Manchester at 10.40pm. My wife and I are both retired and considered these arrangements very inconvenient especially at the end of the holiday At the time of booking at the beginning of September I inquired with Emerald as to whether there were earlier or more direct flights. This apparently was not the case and no alternatives were offered. So it came somewhat of a surprise to find from other guests who had booked after us that they were returning on an early afternoon flight to Manchester. Whilst killing time waiting at Budapest airport, surprise, surprise, a Ryanair flight direct to Manchester took off at 5.25pm. So much for Emerald's customer help and advice, or rather lack of it. For the cruise price being charged, Emerald will have to do a lot better than this if they are going to improve customer satisfaction. We did enjoy the cruise along the Danube, but for the reasons given we did not feel 'valued' and will not be returning customers, better value and service can be found elsewhere! H B Jones   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
We have just returned from our first river cruise on Emerald Star and have no hesitation recommending this ship. We realised that river cruising would be entirely different to our two previous sea cruises and adjusted our expectations ... Read More
We have just returned from our first river cruise on Emerald Star and have no hesitation recommending this ship. We realised that river cruising would be entirely different to our two previous sea cruises and adjusted our expectations accordingly. Our cabin, on the 3rd level was comfortable and well fitted and although the bathroom was close to the bed, had every facility. We had twin beds, but of course a double would give you more space by the bathroom. There was plenty of wardrobe space and drawer space. We had been warned about double mooring occasionally, but didn't find it a problem as little time was spent in the cabins and, at times, became a source of amusement, We found the food very good with plenty of choices, which always included a local dish and the free wines were varied and plentiful. Although not as many choices as we had on the QM2, the quality was very good. The staff were excellent and very helpful. We actually liked the free dining experience meeting many new people from all parts of the world. There was plenty of seating in the dining room and lounge and we never felt overcrowded. The sun deck was wonderful with plenty of shade and seating. It was a shame this was out of use as we approached Nuremberg but, of course, this was the same for all ships, 5 star or not. The trips were all well executed and interesting, especially the Viennese concert and tea with a Slovakian family, is a must. In our case, they had a wine cellar and a taste test ensued. We were all snoring on the way back. One comment I would add is that, in our opinion, some of the trips started unnecessarily early in the morning and the ability to have a more leisurely breakfast would have been preferential. I would not hesitate to recommend this ship or Emerald Waterways.   Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
Having cruised several times over the past few years, this is the first time I have felt compelled to write a review of our experience. This was the most enjoyble of holidays, from the welcoming staff on board who could not do enough for ... Read More
Having cruised several times over the past few years, this is the first time I have felt compelled to write a review of our experience. This was the most enjoyble of holidays, from the welcoming staff on board who could not do enough for us to the best shore excursions we have experienced, the informative guides made sure we got the very best from our days on shore. Our cabin (a grand balcony suite) was truly a home from home, well fitted and spacious. There was plenty of storage and we enjoyed our window views very much. There was plenty going on to keep us entertained during our time on-board and the pool area was a particular favourite of ours, we spent many hours relaxing in and around the pool. Food was plentiful and of a very high standard, we were impressed with both the quality and quantity of our meals, in fact meal times were a highlight of our trip. We are looking forward to booking again for next year!   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2014
This was our first River Cruise and I didnt know what to expect but was told that this company was a good choice as it was a bit funkier than some of the other more old fashioned ones and had a stylish feel. We couldnt have been happier ... Read More
This was our first River Cruise and I didnt know what to expect but was told that this company was a good choice as it was a bit funkier than some of the other more old fashioned ones and had a stylish feel. We couldnt have been happier and are already looking at booking for next year - the staff have to be the best we have encountered - they were incredibly friendly and helpful and all seemed to do about 3 jobs The excursions were brilliant and were a good mixture of being informative without sounding like your history teacher reeling off a list of dates (I almost fell asleep on one cruise lines excursion round Dubrovnik) We cruised the Danube and as Ive never visited this part of Europe before all the places we visited were new to me. As for peoples comments re double docking we did a Nile Cruise a few years ago so were expecting this so it didnt spoil our trip We had an amazing cabin - Grand Balcony Suite (cabin number 310) which had a coffee pod machine so i could make a coffee while the other half got ready for breakfast - we also had free wi-fi so each morning i checked my emails and the latest news at the same time. The food was good and also on some of the nights we had a small cinema type screen showing films which i prefer to piano players or cabaret bands Probably the best thing for me was the pool as I'm a bit of a water baby and it was a bit like swimming on your own private yacht. Having cruised on big ships with Princess, and Royal Caribbean and having had a so-so Nile experience i have to be honest I thought id be under whelmed but it was a bit of an eye opener and just trying to think which river to do next but we'll definitely be booking with Emerald again Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2014
Reviews sometimes tell you more about the reviewer than the voyage and that is certainly the case with the Emerald reviews posted here. We travelled from Budapest to Amsterdam and have just returned at the time of posting. Yes it was ... Read More
Reviews sometimes tell you more about the reviewer than the voyage and that is certainly the case with the Emerald reviews posted here. We travelled from Budapest to Amsterdam and have just returned at the time of posting. Yes it was primarily full of Australians and yes it could get a bit boisterous but the cabins are comfortable enough to retreat to if you don't feel like dancing in the evening (we didn't). Karla the cruise director worked very hard to ensure that very different interests were catered for (anything organised is a compromise and a trade off for the stress of organising it oneself). The local guides were much better than I have experienced previously. Most of the reviews focus on the ship etc but for me the highlights were on shore where we spent most daylight hours and saw a huge variety of different places in five countries and in well organised comfort. I realised how little of the history, particularly recent history, I knew and this trip helped make sense of a lot of things. If you are thinking of going on this trip, don't be put off by the negative reviews but it is worth saying: 1. for safety reasons the sun deck is not in use for nearly half the trip because of VERY low bridges 2 Take lots of layering clothes - the temperatures were lower than normal but veered between about 13 and 27 C. Also take the cobbles/uneven stairs warning seriously and pack really sensible shoes particularly if you want to strike out on your own 3. It is well worth reading Danubia by Simon Winder before you travel, a very amusing and engaging history. 4. The pool is small (3 is a crowd) but the view usually fantastic Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2014
We sailed from Budapest to Nuremburg over a period of seven days from 20 Sep. The Emerald Star was a quality vessel and having done river cruises before this was the best. The included tours were excellent and were provided at every port ... Read More
We sailed from Budapest to Nuremburg over a period of seven days from 20 Sep. The Emerald Star was a quality vessel and having done river cruises before this was the best. The included tours were excellent and were provided at every port of call using local guides who knew their localities well. I cannot criticise any of the ship staff and our cabin steward Devi was first class. The cabins (ours was 323) were well appointed and clean, the food was varied and plentiful, and the wine/beer provided at meals was of excellent quality and regularly replenished. The stops were amazing although we would have liked more time in Regensburg a beautiful old Germanic town. The history of each of the stops was related to us by each guide who pointed out characteristics and buildings that we would have missed unescorted or have been unaware of their historical importance. The only a couple very minor negative points were as follows. The tea provided at breakfast was weak and unappetising, We did point this out to the waiter who told us that he had put TWO teabags in the pot, this pot must have filled eight or nine cups. Secondly having left home in the very early hours of the morning, flying to Munich where we changed planes, then flying to Budapest, transferring by coach to the ship where we arrived at about 1230ish and famished. We were told that our first included meal was dinner and that if we wanted lunch we would have to pay for it! £2500 pounds each we paid and they could not provide a bowl of soup and some bread at the least. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2014
We have just returned from a 'Danube Delights' cruise on Emerald Star and can honestly say the whole week was brilliant. The ship itself was modern and clean and our cabin was extremely well designed in terms of space and ... Read More
We have just returned from a 'Danube Delights' cruise on Emerald Star and can honestly say the whole week was brilliant. The ship itself was modern and clean and our cabin was extremely well designed in terms of space and storage. Servicing of the cabin was excellent, being checked twice each day. The food on board was of an exceptional standard and the wine and beer provided with our meals were very good quality. The price of bar drinks was not excessive – a very pleasant surprise! In the evening, there was a good variety of entertainment on offer which was enjoyable and professionally presented. All members of the crew were welcoming and eager to provide top class service. Our cruise director was extremely professional and attended to every detail. Her daily information briefings were extremely enjoyable and a printed itinerary was provided each evening. The excursions were incredibly well organised and punctual whilst the guides were professional and knowledgeable, providing key information about the places visited. The travel to embarkation went smoothly as did disembarkation which was really well organised and efficient. Overall we had a fantastic holiday, which owed a great deal to the people. The crew, in particular, but also our fellow guests, combined to make this one of our most memorable experiences.   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2014
This was our first river cruise. Overall it was an very good experience and very good value for our money. Embarkation - We made our own arrangements onboard ship in Nuremburg and although we asked multiple times to Emerald, were not told ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. Overall it was an very good experience and very good value for our money. Embarkation - We made our own arrangements onboard ship in Nuremburg and although we asked multiple times to Emerald, were not told the exact place of mooring until 7am the day of the cruise. In fact, there is only one place where the River cruise ships actual dock and the site was easy to find. We arrived at 2:30 pm and were offered a light lunch and beverages. Obviously Emerald has read some of their own reviews. Bags were taken from our cab directly to our rooms by the staff. Accommodations - There were a total 154 passengers on board for this Danube river cruise. The ship was obviously very new and well appointed. Our cabin was Panorama Balcony Suite. It was well appointed, clean and bright. Although the bathroom was somewhat close to the bed, this was manageable - there were no issues whatsoever ... some of the prior comments were really uncalled for. Meals - Generally Breakfast and lunch were buffet style while most of the dinner sittings were served. Food was good and usually there were local fare available. There was some repetition in the offerings. Some of the serving sizes were somewhat small. More was available, if you wanted though. There was also a late night snack available, but we never took advantage of this. Wine and beer were complimentary with the meals. Wine was good and varied from port to port. There was never any shortage of wine. Whilst in the lounge, the servers did not try to "push" drinks on the guests (like what we have experienced on our ocean cruises). Excursions - There was usually a walking tour with a City Guide at each port and/or a bus tour. Tours were good and of course were dependent upon who was the guide. We found two of the guides Jana and Christina especially energetic and "fun" ... tours sometimes started somewhat early (8:30). This left passengers plenty of free time after 9:30 though. Some additional tours were made available at cost: to Salzburg, Czech countryside and Vienna concert. It is interesting to point out that although there was only one couple who signed up to see the Czech countryside, Emerald still ran the tour! Vienna concert was good. Public Spaces - Lounge was the principal area for passengers to congregate and could get crowded. Upper deck was normally too cold to be useable (temperatures were about 7 degrees C below normal). Pool was small but useable. We used neither the gym nor massage services. Cruise Director - Daniela (one "L") provided excellent service to all passengers. It did not take her long to know most passengers by their first name. She provided good advice prior to each of the ports of call. Service and Staff - We found the bar and restaurant staff to be EXCELLENT. Front desk was very helpful and courteous at all times. Cabin stewards did their job. Disembarkation - This was done with almost military precision. Our bags were taken from outside our rooms to the trunk of cab at the appointed time. Overall - European river cruise is quite different from ocean cruises. We enjoyed it and were able to meet most of the passengers (mostly Brits, Canadians and some Americans). It is not inexpensive but appears to be fairly priced. Emerald did a very good job. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2014
I originally booked this cruise to sail from Budapest to Nuremberg on the 25th Oct,to be told that the cruise would be cancelled due to lack of passengers.I agreed to sail on the 18th Oct rather than cancel only to find that crew members ... Read More
I originally booked this cruise to sail from Budapest to Nuremberg on the 25th Oct,to be told that the cruise would be cancelled due to lack of passengers.I agreed to sail on the 18th Oct rather than cancel only to find that crew members told me the ship was still sailing on the return journey on the 25th Oct.I find it strange that the date I wanted was in fact sailing but had to cancel Having said that the river cruise was very good and the crew excellent.A new ship was a pleasure to sail on and food very good.Another good thing about Emerald is the inclusion of gratuities although the cost of the cruise is expensive but you do not have to think about tipping the driver or tour guide and crew staff.The pool was small but very few people on board took advantage of this facility.The evening cinema was a welcome distraction from the nightly entertainment. I have used other river cruise companies like VIKING and Amawaterways and they are all very good.I would not use Emerald again after being lied to,I would rather give my business to more truthful companies even though gratuities are not included. I have had stories from other passengers about being flown out 2 days before a cruise without hotels being booked,subsequently changed and others booked on flights without guaranteed seats and only available last minute. Ship crew excellent background staff not very impressed.   Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2014
I am not really one to write reviews but after my experience on the Emerald Star I felt compelled to share what I can only describe as "the trip of a lifetime!". I have avoided ocean cruising as my husband gets seasick but after ... Read More
I am not really one to write reviews but after my experience on the Emerald Star I felt compelled to share what I can only describe as "the trip of a lifetime!". I have avoided ocean cruising as my husband gets seasick but after speaking to some friends who had been river cruising, we decided to book with Emerald Waterways. We flew into Munich from Manchester and were met by the Emerald Rep at the airport and transferred to the ship. I'm not quite sure what I expected but I was blown away by how clean, luxurious, light and airy the ship was! We were shown to our cabin after a light lunch and it was bigger than I expected with full length windows that slide down at the press of a button. I could get used to this! The staff on board were fantastic, always cleaning and looking after you. Our cabin cleaner always had a smile at the ready and seemed genuinley interested in how our day was and where we had been out to experience without being too informal. In fact, all of the staff seemed to know who they could have a joke with and who preferred a more serious approach whilst they were proffessional to a T! The food was some of the best food I have tasted. I was impressed by the buffet on the first night but when the gala dinners and the al a carte service started on the second night, our evening meals became an event to look forward to! There was always 2 options of starters and soups plus 3 choices for main meals. If you didnt like those choices, you could choose from Salmon, steak and chicken every night as well and the steak was cooked to perfection! The deserts were delightful although I would have liked to have know which cheeses were on the cheese board as I don't like all cheeses. The excursions we went on were well organised and although they were tiring, we learnt so much about the local areas and history. Our guides had these "whisper boxes" and we carried a box around our necks with headphones so even if I held back to take a picture, I could still hear the guide talking. I won't bore you with all the destinations but my 2 favourites were Cesky Krumlov which was an extra excursion with Emerald but well worth it. It is a stunning little town really quirky but so picturesque. The other was Budapest, the history, the buildings and the tour was so enjoyable and informative. We read before we went that gratuities were included with Emerald Waterways but we were surprised to find that even the bus drivers and guides don't ask for tips. In fact, one guide refused on the first trip when my husband offered her some money saying she had been paid. We did leave some for the cleaning staff as they were so exceptional and it felt wrong to us not to leave something. So, good and bad points: Good; the staff are the best I have ever come across. The food, the excursions, the pool was lovely although we only went in once, the cabin was immaculate and the bed was so comfy! Bad; Some of the excursions were a little tiring as my husband isn't good on his feet, although there was a slower group which helped and Karla our Cruise Director told us before hand what was entailed. Munich airport was huge and we werent prepared for how far we had to walk to the meeting point. I can't actually think of anything else bad. The Emerald Star was a beautiful ship, light airy and contemporary in design. The staff were attentive and proffessional and couldn't have done more to make our trip special. The excursions were brilliantly executed, informative and educational with excellent clearly spoken guides. Karla our cruise director was fantastic and her port talks were informative, light and entertaining. Compared to the other ships we saw on the river, the Emerald Star was the Queen of the Danube and I wouldnt hesitate to recommend to other people, I already have to friends and family since we got home! Well done Emerald, I will be booking again soon! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2014
I embarked at Nuremburg.  I have been on several river cruises prior to booking with Emerald, with a few different cruise companies and have never had a problem. I thought it was time to try a new company as i had heard they had brand new ... Read More
I embarked at Nuremburg.  I have been on several river cruises prior to booking with Emerald, with a few different cruise companies and have never had a problem. I thought it was time to try a new company as i had heard they had brand new ships. The pictures looked fantastic, so i decided to give it a go. When i arrived the reception area was spotless, i was greeted by a member of the crew, who showed me to my cabin & he also carried mine and my wifes case. I had booked a category E stateroom, which within 2-3 seconds, had exceeded expectations. Everything was so sleek. We decided to take a walk to the lounge, which was equally as impressive, we knew from then on that this could be extra special. We cannot fault anything, the excursions (which are all included in the price) were faultless, the Tour Director's port talks the evening before were exceptional. I need to mention the tour guides, for their professionalism during the tours, with the endless information they were feeding us. The food was delicious. All of the crew were on the same page, and could not do any more for you, constantly replenishing our glasses of wine if we wished. The breakfast and lunch was always buffet-style but was never a sense of panic or rush when the restaurant reached peak time, the Reflection's restaurant is very spacious. To summarise, it was the most fantastic river cruise me and my wife have ever been on start to finish, and we are already planning a River Rhine cruise with Emerald Waterways next year.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2014
Firstly the ship; we enjoyed the modern minimalist décor and layout of the ship. The ship can accommodate 180 passengers and we were sailing with ~120. The indoor/outdoor swimming pool that converts to a cinema is a great idea. The ... Read More
Firstly the ship; we enjoyed the modern minimalist décor and layout of the ship. The ship can accommodate 180 passengers and we were sailing with ~120. The indoor/outdoor swimming pool that converts to a cinema is a great idea. The retractable roof and glass wall panels allowed the pool to be used even during the colder months. Panoramic windows in the cabins that dropped at the touch of a button were a wonderful idea. As our cruise was sold as a Christmas Markets cruise we expected more Christmas atmosphere on the ship. On embarkation there were no Christmas decorations. Several passengers commented about this and eventually about 4-5 days into the cruise some decorations were put up, but not much. Food – the quality and variety was sometimes hit and miss but overall was satisfactory. Each day consisted of a buffet breakfast and lunch, afternoon tea, 5 course dinner and late supper. Specialty coffee and tea was available 24/7 and was included. All you can drink beer, wine and soft drink was included at lunch and dinner. They were not stingy when it came to refilling your glass. Itinerary (Amsterdam to Budapest) was perfect and all the stops were just beautiful. All tours were included, at least 1 per day and sometimes 2. Locals with excellent knowledge of the area conducted them. Sometimes the day started early with morning tours, other times we had a lazy cruising morning and the tours would start in the afternoon. We loved the Christmas markets, especially those in Germany. There was plenty of time to do the tours and visit the markets. Service was as to be expected on a cruise – excellent! However we had a major service issue that was handled very poorly. Each cabin had a Do Not Disturb light switch. The Hotel Manager advised us at the beginning of the cruise that if we left the light on no one would enter our room. As we were in an owner’s suite we had canapés delivered to our room twice daily. On two occasions we had the DND light on, yet the steward knocked and entered the room with our canapés. We informed the Hotel Manager who immediately made up an excuse and replied that the steward thought we were off the ship! He said that he would remind the steward not to enter when DND light is on. His poor excuse was even more annoying than the incident itself. A few days later it happened again. This time I was only partially dressed and made a beeline to hide in the walk in robe. I was furious and spoke to the cruise director about the matter, clearly getting nowhere with the Hotel Manager. She assured me it would not happen again and would raise the matter with the Hotel Manager. A short time later the hotel manager approached me. He was apologetic and wanted to know if the steward was rude to me! Clearly he just did not understand that this was a violation of our privacy and had nothing to do with whether the steward was rude or pleasant in the process. The final outcome was another apology and a free 1 hour massage for my husband and myself. The massages were wonderful but this is an issue that should never have happened. That extra touch – each cabin had a 300+ page Guide Book that we could take home with us. It covered all the places we visited. We were also given a beautiful colored river map. Both of these products were very high quality. At times an extra tour was ‘thrown in’ for anyone that was feeling energetic. The downside – entertainment was lacking and usually consisted of a piano player/singer. On a couple of occasions some ‘local talent’ was brought on board to entertain. The staff talent show was quite entertaining and was one of the few occasions when people stayed up late. Drink prices in the bar were quite expensive so most people did not stay up socializing. The bar lounge was usually empty by 10pm when most people retired to their room. Our overall opinion….. We prefer large ship cruising so this took a little getting used to. Most of the passengers were retired, which means the pace was a little slower than we would like. This was our first river cruise so we can’t compare with other companies, however after speaking with other passengers they said Emerald was comparable if not slightly better than Viking. We will definitely do another river cruise, but probably not for another 10 or so years. When the time comes we would consider Emerald Waterways again but would compare with other river cruise options. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
Great itinerary. We thought this would be a great way to tour on a riverboat and decided to try it. It was a beautiful new boat and great venues. We never did a river cruise before and decide to try it through Legendary Journeys. It ... Read More
Great itinerary. We thought this would be a great way to tour on a riverboat and decided to try it. It was a beautiful new boat and great venues. We never did a river cruise before and decide to try it through Legendary Journeys. It was well planned and no problems on trip or transfers. However, the ship ran out of alcohol, ( nothing worse than a bunch of seniors without their evening toddy!) and there was no evening entertainment, with the exception of a male piano player who played the same thing every night and all the time. The employees were AWESOME and gave excellent service. The food was very good and a great variety. We enjoyed a night at the Captain's table having enjoyed an Owners Suite on our cruise. The room was most spacious and accommodated my claustrophobia. The room was spacious, walk-in closet large balcony, and a truly wonderful room. The room had a Nespresso coffee maker, AND fully stocked bar. We were very pleased to have booked it. We are not sure we would do another river cruise without GOOOOOD evening entrainment.. Since we didn't enjoy our evenings after dinner, we probably won't do another river cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
The brand new SUN is a nice ship. The beds are comfy, the opening windows are a nice touch and the food is pretty good. The staff were also very good. As this was the maiden voyage, there were some teething issues; hair dryers turned up ... Read More
The brand new SUN is a nice ship. The beds are comfy, the opening windows are a nice touch and the food is pretty good. The staff were also very good. As this was the maiden voyage, there were some teething issues; hair dryers turned up late, the pool wasn't in action until about day 4 and then it was very cold. Our bar fridge did not work for the entire trip and the light above our sink liked to blink off occasionally. For the most part, food was pretty good but often the cooked food (in the warming plates) were warm-ish. Also, I'm gluten free and it seemed like the waiters weren't well educated about what that meant and it wasn't always easy to get GF food. However, once I started speaking directly with the Maitre D or the chef, things were better. So don't be shy! My main gripe, as someone who is not yet retired, was the early timing of breakfast. Cooked breakfast was offered between 7 and 9. I don't usually get out of bed before 9 on holidays! So if I wanted a fried egg, I had to set the alarm. Setting the alarm is not really my idea of a holiday! Also, because of the early starts, we tended to do our own thing and only took advantage of 2 included tours. The first one was a bit dry but the 2nd guide was really funny and made the tour more enjoyable. If you have walking issues and/or you don't mind getting up early EVERY DAY, then you'll be fine. They did offer us a lunch when we embarked. Earlier reviews about starving until dinner on the embarkation day is no longer true. The self-serve coffee/tea is really good but a queue would often form since there is only one machine. All in all, I don't think I'd do this type of cruise again, but it was an interesting experience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
A lovely new ship with great cabins and super staff, however one quickly discovered what was less good. The lobby has white plastic stairs which are frankly, dangerous, and the naff chandelier is, well, naff. Want to know about the ... Read More
A lovely new ship with great cabins and super staff, however one quickly discovered what was less good. The lobby has white plastic stairs which are frankly, dangerous, and the naff chandelier is, well, naff. Want to know about the advertised library and shop? Don't bother, they don't exist! The gym has only one working machine "the rest have never worked". We have done several river trips with 3 other cruise companies and thoroughly enjoyed them, awarding 8 to 10 out of 10. Emerald offers no talks on local history etc and their evening entertainment is truly awful. Three quiz nights, for example. Why not be done with it and have three bingo nights as well! The side trips were not that enjoyable, but perhaps this reflects the dearth of suitable venues. The supposed highlight of the cruise, the gorge, was mostly done in the dark for some reason. The Bucharest hotel was no more than 2 star and reminiscent of the communist era. An experience not to be repeated; surprisingly parent company is Scenic Tours. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
When boarding the Emerald Star I was greeted by a professional presented crew offering us champagne. This was appreciated after an eight hour journey by bus from Paris. The cabin was immaculate, comfortable, with a space for table ... Read More
When boarding the Emerald Star I was greeted by a professional presented crew offering us champagne. This was appreciated after an eight hour journey by bus from Paris. The cabin was immaculate, comfortable, with a space for table and two chairs and a window. There could have been more room in the wardrobe for two people's clothes and there was only one line in the shower to hang up washing. There were options of a laundry system and a special which would suit a second person in any cabin. My cabin was a category C. After a relaxing day one, our cruise proved a busy one with a well planned itinerary by our Cruise Director Marcus. We had our drill being shown how to put on life jackets. Meals were buffet breakfasts, lunches and formal dinners. The waiters were funny, timely, efficient and made us all feel special. When exiting and entering the ship, the hotel manager was always present, ensuring my safety and others walking up and down stairs and gangplanks. He would always say "Welcome back". This does not happen on large cruise lines. He was always helping us down stairs as our legs were sore from so much walking. At the enquiry counter there were always staff willing to help with all inquiries and follow through with answers if appointments had to be changed. As I arranged massages, I was never certain when excursions were finished and we would be on board, so when I had to change appointments the hotel manager or staff ensured all messages and changes of appointments were completed and said they appreciated me alerting them. After two weeks I felt like we were one big family. Of course everyone was reluctant to leave. We were told there were one hundred and fifty passengers and that crew work fourteen to fifteen hours a day. They must have been very fit. There is a lift on the ship for anyone with sore knees so many passengers used it including me. The heated pool which converted to a movie area at night was wonderful as a break from company and movies were varied. Earphones were supplied. Tea coffee and milk chocolate machines were on hand in the area and in the upper lounge near the terrace along with water and ice tea. Many of us sat on the terrace and relaxed as we sailed in to locks or down the Rhine and Danube. On fine days we socialized on the top deck and played mini golf. The atmosphere on board was relaxed, with various events happening all the time, along with times to relax. TV sets were in all cabins as well. I had time to sit down and record each day while watching the ripples of water as the boat sailed smoothly down the Rhine. On top deck we had sunny days where we sat and marvelled at the wide Danube River while videoing and photographing the magnificent scenery we passed. Commentary by our cruise director on the top deck was timely. Our cabins were cleaned daily and the crew were so friendly. The crew show near the end of the fortnight proved extremely funny with the hotel manager making us all laugh followed by well planned acts. After the show everyone was encouraged to get up and dance. The hotel manager asked me up then asked other ladies up, so it was very crowded and the music was fantastic. Another night involved Hungarian dances and a band. No one wanted to leave the ship even though the two weeks were finished. I went on to Prague and it was fantastic. So for anyone wanting to travel on the Emerald Star I give it a five star rating. As I have been on five ocean cruises, this was the first smaller cruise ship I have been fortunate to have experienced. It was fantastic. I am still coming down to earth at home in Australia since returning Sunday with Singapore Air Lines. I hope anyone reading this will know it is a new ship and the pool and movie area is a very popular addition, while the hard working crew deserve recognition. I also had excellent massages. I conclude with saying I have many happy memories now. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
The ship was excellent. The staff were excellent. The food was excellent. HOWEVER there was no cruise. We arrived at Basel airport and were taken on a coach to a muddy field where the ship was moored, not Basel. Due to flooding on ... Read More
The ship was excellent. The staff were excellent. The food was excellent. HOWEVER there was no cruise. We arrived at Basel airport and were taken on a coach to a muddy field where the ship was moored, not Basel. Due to flooding on the Rhine all locks were closed and we spent three days moored at the first lock, with no expectation of moving on. We were moored on the Alsace canal. On the 4th evening everyone was told that they would be leaving the ship the following morning and would not be returning. The rest of the week would be spent in hotels. There had been a warning the previous evening the locks may not reopen soon and that cargo vessels took preference when they did. It was suggested that arrangements could be made for anyone who wished to fly home. We chose this option. TODAY we received a cursory compensation offer in the form of vouchers for a future cruise! After talking to various people on our return it seems that weather problems on the Rhine, Rhone and Danube are not uncommon. In the light of this we are hardly likely to want to use the vouchers. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We love the River Rhine and looked forward to seeing it glide by our cabin window on our first cruise. We were to board in Basel so spent two days there in the excellent Hotel Victoria enjoying the trams and the pouring rain. There ... Read More
We love the River Rhine and looked forward to seeing it glide by our cabin window on our first cruise. We were to board in Basel so spent two days there in the excellent Hotel Victoria enjoying the trams and the pouring rain. There was some alarm when we phoned the boat for confirmation of joining instructions. We were told that because of the rain the Rhine was very high and the boat could not get to Basel so was at Kembs. We should take a bus out to the airport and try to find a rep with transport. A bus took us to a field with a path to the boat. We were not advised to cancel the cruise at that time. The Reception was welcoming and our cases were taken to an excellent cabin that we thought suited us fine. We wandered round the boat and thought that it all looked good, especially the lounge and dining room. The sun deck furniture was all knocked flat for passing under bridges. As it happened, we never passed under a bridge and the furniture was never re-erected. So there were no activities up there. There was an evening briefing when we met Karla the Cruise Director. They had postponed the Welcome Reception until the next day because of the stresses folk had had on the way to the boat. The dining room seemed splendid on entry and promised some good food. However the roof was low and all sound seemed amplified. The service was fairly slow and it was acoustically painful to sit there waiting while everybody else was shouting to make themselves heard. We never managed to finish a meal. No evening entertainment was arranged while we were on the boat apart from an old film each evening in the small swimming pool/cinema area. The boat moved a few kilometres to the Breisach end of the canal but was trapped there by the high water in the canal so daily excursions were at first reorganised. Boats that had been left in the River Rhine got away. Some of the day trips were strenuous for the less fit. On the Tuesday night we were told that we would all have to leave the boat the next day. The main party must leave by 7.am for a gruelling coach tour to Amsterdam. For the rest, arrangements would be made by offices in their own countries for passengers to be flown home. There is a good video under the heading ‘Emerald Sky Jewels of the Rhine’ on Youtube that shows the problems. We flew home exhausted, with very swollen ankles and needing a holiday. A look at the weather records showed that the boat should not have been brought in to the Alsace Canal and been trapped. Having done so though, the ‘cruise’ should never have been attempted. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We were on Emerald Sky early May from Basel to Amsterdam. It was docked in Kembs in France on the canal d'Alsace. As we were already in Basel we had to go to the airport to be bussed to the ship. Due to inclement weather, the ship ... Read More
We were on Emerald Sky early May from Basel to Amsterdam. It was docked in Kembs in France on the canal d'Alsace. As we were already in Basel we had to go to the airport to be bussed to the ship. Due to inclement weather, the ship cruised 45 km to the lock at Breisach. It spent the next 5 days stuck in the lock there with Emerald bussing passengers to the Black Forest (included attraction), then to Colmar on France and finally a whole day tour to Heidelburg (5 hours on a bus) - very strenuous. The last evening the Tour guided announced that everybody must leave the ship by 7am the next day with no return to the ship and be bussed to Amsterdam missing out some of the included sights and staying in hotels on the way. The alternative was to fly home which is what we chose. While we waited for our tickets all the cabins were stripped of bed linen and made ready for the next lot. So we cruised 45 km in 5 days. It was the most expensive bus tour we have ever had. Later Emerald sent a derisory amount of vouchers for money off another booking with them. The day after we returned home I tracked the Emerald Sky with FleetMonitor racing back to Amsterdam to pick up the next set of passengers. Read Less
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