Value-focused Australian-owned Emerald Waterways is adding ships on the Rhône and Saône rivers in France and Douro River in Portugal.
The new ships, to debut in 2017, will be similar to the value-priced line’s contemporary, 182-passenger “Star Ships,” but with fewer passengers. They will bring the line’s fleet to seven.
The Emerald Liberté in France will carry 138 passengers in 70 suites and staterooms and have the signature Emerald Waterways’ feature of a heated swimming pool with a retractable glass roof, which transforms into a movie theater at night. Fares for a seven-day sailing, from Lyon to Arles, including the Burgundy wine region, are from $2,695 per person. Land extensions are available in Nice (including a tour of Monte Carlo).
In Portugal, the Emerald Radiance will carry 112 passengers in 56 suites and staterooms and have a pool up on top, sans cinema. The ship will also debut a new category of cabin wit 330 square feet of space and panoramic floor-to ceiling windows on two sides. Itineraries will include a day in Salamanca, Spain, with add-on land extensions available in Lisbon and Madrid. Fares are from $2,195 for a seven-day sailing.
In addition, a new two-week itinerary will combine the rivers of France and Portugal, priced from $4,985.
Suites on both ships will have a glass wall that opens at the push of a button. There will be a hairdresser onboard who doubles as a massage therapist, a fitness area and bikes for complimentary guest use.
Included in the cruise fare are gratuities and all meals (some onshore), as well as wine, beer and soft drinks with meals, free Wi-Fi, transfers and shore excursions.
A sister line to luxury river cruise operator Scenic, Emerald is also launching a new 182-passenger “Star Ship,” Emerald Belle, on the Rhine and Danube this year. For a deck-by-deck look inside an Emerald Waterways river cruise ship, click through the carousel below.