Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Are additional tours available throughout the river cruise?

In addition to your included excursions, EmeraldPLUS and EmeraldACTIVE experiences and activities, we offer a selection of DiscoverMORE optional excursions which are bookable on-board or through our reservations team.

Q. Is Wi-Fi provided on-board the ship?

Complimentary Wi-Fi is available on-board all the Emerald Waterways ships throughout the public spaces, cabins and suites. Speed will vary depending on where the ship is positioned and the number of users. Wi-Fi can be slow to use and there may be occasions when no signal is available. Guests staying in an Owner’s One-bedroom Suite will have complimentary use of an iPad throughout the cruise.

Q. Will the ship’s dining venues cater for special dietary requirements?

Emerald Waterways endeavour to cater for all dietary requirements and requests. We ask that you inform us of any requirements or requests at the time of booking. This will give us chance to meet your requirements.

Q. Will there be a Cruise Director on my cruise?

Yes, an experienced Cruise Director accompanies every journey. The Cruise Director is responsible for ensuring the entire river cruise runs smoothly.

Q. What is the language on the Star-Ships?

The language on-board is English. All staff, crew and tour guides speak English and all announcements and lectures will be made in English.

Q. Is smoking permitted on-board the ship?

Smoking is not permitted in the cabins or any indoor parts of any of the ships in the Emerald Waterways fleet.

There are areas on the ships’ external decks where smoking is permitted.

Q. Are laundry facilities provided on the ships?

Guests staying in the Owner’s One-bedroom Suite and Riverview Suite can have four pieces of clothing laundered, free of charge, per day. Guests staying in the Grand Balcony Suites are permitted two complimentary laundry items per day.

For guests in all other suites and staterooms, laundry services are available on river cruise ships at an additional charge. There is no dry cleaning services on river cruise ships.

Q. What are the seating arrangements in Reflections Restaurant?

Reflections Restaurant features unreserved seating for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Simply arrive at the designated dining times and you will be seated at the available table of your choosing.

Q. When can I use the pool?

The on-board pool is open from 06:00 until 18:00 every day. On selected evenings, the pool area is transformed into our evening cinema. Please note: the Emerald Radiance, sailing on the Douro River, has a Serenity Pool on the Sun Deck, and therefore does not have a cinema or Riverview Lounge.

Q. Do I need to reserve my seat to watch a film in the cinema?

No, but the cinema can fill up quickly and operates on a first come, first serve basis — so it is best to head down early.

Q. How do I request the use of one of the complimentary bicycles?

Bikes should be reserved at reception. The reception team will then organise for the bikes to be brought out of storage when the ship docks.

Q. Where can I help myself to complimentary hot drinks?

You will find tea and coffee machines located in the Horizon Bar and Lounge. A selection of speciality teas and coffees are available throughout the day and night.

Q. What are the Sun Deck opening times?

The Sun Deck is open from 08:00 through to late evening.

Please note: Sun Deck operation hours may be limited when travelling under low bridges, for safety purposes, or due to other local authority restrictions.

Q. What are the on-board dining times?

Typical timings:

  • Breakfast: 07:00 - 09:00
  • Lunch: 12:00 - 14:00
  • Dinner: 19:00 - 21:00
  • Full timings are provided in the daily programme.
Q. Is there an on-board fitness room?

Each of the Emerald Waterways ships boasts an on-board fitness room, with high-quality equipment and gym apparatus.

Q. Are any on-board salon and spa services available?

Each of the Emerald Waterways Star-Ships features a hairdresser and well-appointed wellness area – helping you pamper yourself whilst cruising the beautiful waterways of Europe.

Q. Are elevators present on the ship?

Elevators are present on each of the Emerald Waterways Star-Ships – servicing three of the four decks. Only the top deck, the Sun Deck, is not serviced by an elevator. Access to the Sun Deck is restricted to stairs.

Q. Is there an on-board shop?

Our Star-Ships do not include on-board shops, however small emergency toiletry items such as toothpaste and deodorant may be purchased from the ship’s reception

Furthermore, each ship also stocks a small selection of gifts and souvenirs.

Q. Is it possible to visit the wheelhouse on my ship?

The wheelhouse is open for all guests to visit during a cruise itinerary. If you have a particular interest in river navigation, the wheelhouse can provide a wonderful insight into the role of the captain and the intricacies of working through locks.

Q. Can I order a gift to be placed in the cabin?

Yes, please contact our Reservations team and they will be able to assist you.

Q. Can I order refreshments to the cabin?

For guests in our Owner’s One Bedroom Suite and our Grand Balcony Suite, continental breakfast, pre-dinner canapes and after-dinner sweet treats are served in your suite.

Q. Can I use my mobile phone on the cruise?

Yes, but please be aware that signal may be limited as your cruise passes through the more rural areas. It’s also worth checking with your network provider for additional charges, dependent on the destination you’re visiting.

Q. Can I bring my own alcohol on-board?

We have no problem with guests purchasing alcohol for consumption in their rooms. However, we do ask that personal drinks are not consumed in the communal areas of the ships.

If your question has not been fully answered, please get in touch via our Contact Us page.


The Sun Deck operational hours may be limited due to the passage through low bridges or other restrictions by local authorities.


Emerald Waterways guests from New Zealand are responsible for arranging their own flights to Europe.


Emerald Waterways welcomes disabled guests but wishes all guests to understand that limitations could exist on-board and during shore excursions. The lifts on our ships service three out of four decks, with access to the Sun Deck only possible using stairs. Under appropriate circumstances guests are welcome to use collapsible wheelchairs on-board. Many tours are conducted from coaches, so guests need to be able to climb up and down the stairs to board. Some shore excursions may require movement over cobblestones or up and down stairs; accordingly, guests with limited mobility will require the services of a responsible companion to be travelling with them, since crew availability is limited. If you have any medical, physical or other special needs, please contact our travel advisors for further information and have a look at our deck plan to gain an understanding of the layout of any particular ship. On occasion we’ll be required to dock next to other ships, which may mean accessing the shore via the Sun Deck, requiring you to ascend and descend stairs.


To experience the full range of regional attractions during our itineraries, there will be a certain amount of coach travel required.


Availability of bicycles and EmeraldACTIVE tours on bicycles is limited to the number of bicycles available on each Star-Ship.