Built in 2014, Emerald Sky — the debut ship of Emerald Waterways' five-vessel fleet — showcases several firsts in European river cruising: Fittingly christened by 1960s mod fashion icon Twiggy, it has an edgy, contemporary flair and wow factors like a swimming pool that converts into a cinema and suites with sliding glass windows that form French balconies.
What We Love
Fitness-Friendly: Unlike many river cruise ships that are short on wellness facilities, Emerald Sky has a jogging track on the top deck and a small gym for passenger use.
Special Excursions: In addition to the daily shore excursions led by local guides, there are two or three immersive events per cruise that can range from hosted tea with a local family to an evening of live Bavarian band music.
Best Known For
Emerald Panorama Balcony Suites: In this cabin category, the top half of the floor-to-ceiling windows slides down with the touch of a button to form an open-air balcony with a translucent bottom half.
Pool/Cinema: By day, the pool area is a nice place to relax with a view over the shipʼs wake. At night, a platform covers the pool, and the space converts into a cinema, where popcorn is served during movies.
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Who It's Best For
The Intellectually Curious: Emeraldʼs European itineraries are packed with ports steeped in history and culture that are accompanied by enriching shore excursions and onboard lectures.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Food Could Use Improvement: You won't feel a need to write home about some of the offerings, which can be disappointing.
Not All the Staff Speaks Fluent English: As a result, communication can be an issue on board.
Peter Knego is a California-based contributor to ShermansCruise who also writes for USA Today.
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Emerald Sky at a Glance
- Line: Emerald Waterways
- Class: Star-Ship
- Number of Passengers: 182
- Ship Size: Small
- Launch Date: 2014