Frequently Asked Questions

Prior to travel
Q. Should I attach the Emerald Waterways luggage label provided prior to departure?

No, please wait until you have claimed your luggage at your destination airport. This will ensure airline companies will not remove this tag, as it is required to easily identify your luggage for transfer services and hotels.

Q. What validity do I need on my passport?

All passengers are required to possess a passport valid for 6 months beyond the conclusion of their trip. Please note: If your nationality (passport) differs from the country in which you reside, please take the time to check carefully with your local consulates concerning visa and passport requirements for your travels. Holidays can be disrupted or may need to be altered altogether if the correct documents cannot be supplied at airports or borders, so check carefully that you have the required papers.

Q. Do the excursions require a high level of mobility?

A number of the shore excursions are conducted from coaches, so it is important that guests are capable of walking up and down the coach stairs. Furthermore, some of the shore excursions include walks through towns and cities – which may not be suitable for guests with limited mobility.

Guests with limited mobility will require the services of a responsible companion, due to the, sometimes, limited availability of crew members during shore excursions.

Q. When will we receive our final documents?

You can expect your travel documents to arrive between 2 – 4 weeks prior to your departure date. When booking within two weeks of departure date, your travel documents will be emailed to you to print at home.

Q. How do I know which ship I am travelling on?

If requested, we can confirm the name of the ship at the time of booking. Your booking confirmation will also show the name of the ship on which you are travelling.

Q. Can you provide docking location and/or port address?

Yes, we provide the docking location and port address in your final documents. Please note: These details are subject to last minute changes by the relevant port.

Q. Could changing water levels affect my cruise?

Cruise itineraries may be varied due to high or low water levels, flooding, lock closures, unscheduled vessel maintenance or for any other circumstances beyond our control. In the rare event of low or high water levels, certain itineraries may be affected by these conditions out of our control. However, we will do everything within our power to minimise the impact these conditions have on your holiday, making alternative arrangements for the duration of the itinerary. If we’re unable to continue sailing certain rivers due to water level problems. This could mean arranging coach transfers, organising ship swaps, providing hotel accommodation or finding alternative attractions to visit - all of which are weather dependent.

Q. Are cruises LGBT friendly?

Yes, all our cruises are LGBT friendly. A selection of our destinations are famed for an LGBT friendly atmosphere, including Amsterdam, Vienna, Cologne and Budapest

Q. Is River Cruising suitable for solo travellers?

Absolutely! Our warm and welcoming atmosphere is perfect for first-time and seasoned solo travellers alike, with included guided group excursions at each destination and evening dinners inviting conversation with like-minded guests. Most of our Emerald Waterways Star-Ships have single occupancy staterooms.

Q. I'm pregnant- can I still cruise?

Most river cruise companies do not allow mothers-to-be on-board past their 28th week of pregnancy. Pregnant women that do decide to travel may be asked to provide a doctors certificate stating their fitness for travel.

Q. My question isn't answered elsewhere, how can I contact you?

Please find our contact details here.

Q. What safety requirements should I be aware of?

Once you have boarded your Star-Ship, the on-board crew will conduct a safety briefing for all guests. This will run-through the relevant safety procedures, and what you should do in the event of an emergency. All our ships are equipped with safety equipment to ensure the safety of our guests, including sprinkler systems and life-saving equipment.

Q. Do the ships provide mobility/wheelchair access?

We welcome all guests with mobility issues but please be aware that limitations could exist on-board and during shore excursions. Our lifts service three out of the four decks, with access to the Sun Deck only possible using stairs. Under appropriate circumstances, guests are allowed to use a collapsible wheelchair on-board. You must be able to climb up and down the stairs on coaches and some shore excursions may require movement over cobblestones or up and down stairs. Guests with limited mobility will require the services of a reasonable companion, since the crew is limited. On occasions, we may be required to dock alongside other ships, which means accessing the shore via the Sun Deck. For further information, please contact one of our travel advisors.

Q. Is there an emergency contact for the ship?

We provide full email and telephone contact details for the ship in your final documents.

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.