Emerald Cruises

Founded in 2013 as Emerald Waterways, Emerald Cruises is an award-winning travel operator specialising in deluxe river cruises and luxury yacht cruising.

Our fleet of Star-Ships have been custom-built to sail Europe’s Rhine, Main, Moselle, Danube, Rh?ne, Douro and Volga rivers, as well as the Mekong in Southeast Asia, with each one home to a range of stylish innovations. Unpack once in our contemporary suites and staterooms, enjoy delicious cuisine in our elegant dining venues, relax on our spacious Sun Deck and enjoy the river breeze from our indoor heated pool with retractable roof, which transforms into an evening cinema*.


Emerald Azzurra, our ocean cruising superyacht, has been designed to dock in the smaller ports of the Mediterranean, the Adriatic coast, the Red Sea and the Black Sea, providing unique access to extraordinary destinations that other yachts of its type cannot. With a maximum capacity of just 100 guests, every inch of Emerald Azzurra has been designed with your comfort and enjoyment in mind. Cruise in luxury, where state-of-the-art amenities and refined finishing touches elevate your experience of the world's oceans. Unwind in our opulent dining and lounge spaces, relax in our stunning on board infinity-style pool and enjoy our unique swim platform which provides simple and safe access to the sea.


Whether you’re travelling by river or ocean, Emerald Cruises will always dock in the heart of the destinations we visit, be it on the banks of the Danube with the backdrop of Budapest’s breathtaking Parliament Building, in Ho Chi Minh City with its vibrant culture right on your doorstep, or in coastal cities such as Dubrovnik, Mykonos, Sorrento, Venice and Istanbul.


And, wherever you travel, you’ll benefit from our promise of exceptional EmeraldVALUE, entitling you to included excursions, handpicked by our journey planners, as well as our special EmeraldPLUS experiences and EmeraldACTIVE guided bike tours^ hikes and activities. Not only that, exquisite on board dining, complimentary drinks with lunch and dinner, transfers to and from the vessel and tips have been taken care of so all you have to do is enjoy the journey of a lifetime.

Emerald Cruises' Ships

More about Emerald Cruises

Our commitment to a sustainable future

Emerald Cruises’ Cherish the Planet ethos is our commitment to creating positive changes through sustainable practices and rich community partnerships. Built in accordance with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, our sustainability agenda reinforces a commitment to environmentally responsible tourism and protecting the locations we operate in.

We aim to leave as small a footprint as possible while proudly forming positive and enriching associations with the communities we visit.

1. Leave No Waste

As we constantly look at new ways to reduce our waste print, we are proud to announce that in 2023 we will have eliminated all guest single-use plastic on board all Emerald Cruises vessels around the world, both river & ocean. This will be achieved by removing plastic drink bottles and straws, offering complimentary refillable bottles to guests and filtered water stations across our ships and introducing refillable toiletries in our suites featuring premium spa brands.

2. Rebalancing CO2 Emissions

We are committed to designing and operating our ships efficiently and sustainably to reduce the impact of fuel consumption on the environment. We have partnered with an accredited independent third party organisation to calculate the average carbon footprint of our guests on each of the journeys we operate globally. This data will be used to set tangible targets for reducing our carbon footprint.

3. Sourcing Sustainably

As we cruise through Europe, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas, fresh produce is sourced from the local markets and the on board herb garden (available on selected ships). Our goal is to source sustainably every step of the way, to support the communities we visit, and to avoid the extensive carbon footprint of food storage and transportation. Everyone at Emerald Cruises is committed to the Cherish the Planet ethos guidelines to procure, contract, and source all levels of suppliers and partners sustainably.

4. Growing with Communities

We are committed to meaningful and respectful cultural interactions with the communities we visit. In consultation with local leaders and third-party organisations, we have developed and implemented sustainably aligned guidelines to include at least one Cherish the Planet experience in each itinerary we offer. Our goal is to ensure local businesses benefit from our guests visiting their region, as we work together towards a sustainable future.

5. Grow from Within - Value Diversity

The people at Emerald Cruises are at the very core of what makes our journeys truly memorable. We value diversity and currently employ over 50 nationalities from across the globe. We believe it is a strength to have different perspectives and that it helps us find the best solutions and services for our guests. We treat all crew and employees equally, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, age, race, or religion.

6. Advocate Health, Safety & Security

We have created an engaging workplace that supports the wellbeing of our staff, prioritising health and safety. To ensure every staff member is fully immersed in our Cherish the Planet ethos, we provide extensive and continuous training to support their wellbeing and to promote health and safety as a priority.

European Star-Ships

  • All engines comply with the strictest EU rules for inland waterways ships (EPA Tier 3, IMO II, EU IW)
  • All ships have state of the art sewage treatment plants (with membrane filters).
  • Separation of all waste for recycling
  • Land based waste disposal
  • Flotation units to separate fat/grease
  • Anti-.fouling coating in accordance with the Inland Waterways Rhine regulations
  • All ships equipped with connect to land based electric power provider (subject to existing land based infrastructure)

Southeast Asia Star-Ship

  • Built to European safety and emission standards
  • A bow thruster allows her to manoeuvre safely through the busy Chao Gao canal, enabling you to enjoy unique access right into the heart of Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Goes beyond the local regulatory requirements for fire protection - Marine grade sandwich panels have been used throughout the ship. Critical for both fire protection and blocking internal and external noise pollution.
  • Surpasses local regulatory hygiene requirements - All the water on our ship is treated with reverse osmosis, UV and carbon filters, and the ship has a centralised hot water system. This ensures not only that hot water is always quickly and readily available, but also that it is constantly kept at the correct temperature to prevent growth of harmful bacteria.
  • All engines, ventilators, generators and exhaust lines are flexibly mounted to minimise vibrations and maximise sailing comfort. 

Luxury Yachts

  • Built to comply with stability regulations and requirements.
  • Retractable fin stabilisers to enhance guest comfort, so yacht can operate in any weather.
  • Electro-hydraulic steering gear with two high-lift fishtail rudders.
  • An electric bow thruster.
  • Energy efficient and ecologically friendly yacht design.
  • Advanced heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) technology to improve air quality.
  • Recycled energy from exhaust gases used to heat water for the yachts needs.
  • All engines comply with the IMO tier III emission regulations.
  • Sewage treatment meets strongest requirements that allow us to sail in special areas.
  • MARPOL compliant to prevent the pollution of marine environment by yachts.

1553 Cruises · 11 Ships

Cruise Regions

  • Caribbean
  • Mediterranean
  • Mekong
  • Australasia
  • Rhine
  • Dutch Waterways
  • Danube
  • Rhine/Danube
  • Rhine/Moselle
  • Black Sea/Med
  • Douro
  • Rhone/Saone
  • N Europe
  • Middle East
  • Indian Ocean
  • Africa

View cruises with this operator:

Reasons to Book

EmeraldDISCOVERY

Our collection of itineraries each offer the perfect platform for new experiences to ensure you see the very best of each destination.


With our included excursions and specially selected EmeraldPLUS experiences, you will enjoy unique encounters and embark on guided tours of wonderful towns and cities.

In addition, for the more active guest, our included EmeraldACTIVE excursions consist of guided bike rides and hikes for an alternative perspective on a location. You will also have the opportunity to explore each destination further by booking one of our optional DiscoverMORE^ excursions and experiences.


We’ve ensured you’ll have plenty of time to dedicate to independent exploration. We want you to feel free to personalise your time onshore, with the opportunity to disembark the yacht for unguided city visits, relaxing beach days and evenings out. Of course, your tour manager will always be available to point you in the right direction and inspire you with regards to a destination’s hotspots.

Discover on your own

We’ve ensured you’ll have plenty of time to dedicate to independent exploration. We want you to feel free to personalise your time onshore, with the opportunity to disembark the yacht for unguided city visits, relaxing beach days and evenings out. Of course, your tour manager will always be available to point you in the right direction and inspire you with regards to a destination’s hotspots.

^Available at additional cost.

EmeraldPLUS

These extra-special experiences aim to take you to the heart of local culture and promise to be a highlight of your trip. You can look forward to:


  • Klapa performance in the cellar of Diocletian’s Palace in Split
  • Guided tour of Sorrento with gelato presentation and tasting
  • Concert at the Apollo Theatre in Ermoupolis
  • Guided tour of Petra with lunch
  • The Great Pyramids of Giza and felucca cruise on the Nile

Included excursions

Specially designed for guests seeking a more active experience, enjoy seeing a destination from another perspective as part of a guided bike ride or hike. You can look forward to:


  • Guided hike of Kotor’s city walls
  • Guided bike tour of Çanakkale
  • Hiking tour of Cephalonia Island
  • Hiking tour of the Sorrento coast
  • Guided bike tour of Istanbul

EmeraldACTIVE

Insightful and diverse, every one of our wonderful itineraries boasts a selection of included excursions, handpicked by our journey planners. You can look forward to:


  • Guided walking tour of Corfu Town
  • Tour of Bonifacio with tasting
  • Guided tour of ANZAC Cove and Gallipoli Peninsula
  • Naama Bay and glass bottom boat trip in Sharm el-Sheikh
  • Danube Delta safari in Sulina

DiscoverMORE

For guests who wish to see and do even more, these optional excursions are available at an additional cost and enable you to further immerse yourself in an area’s history and culture. You can look forward to:


  • Guided walking tour of Mykonos town with wine tasting
  • Discover the Tomb of Mausolus in Bodrum
  • A Bedouin experience in Hurghada
  • Kayaking tour of Tigullian Bay in Portofino
  • Snorkelling at Ras Mohammad National Park in Sharm el-Sheikh

Members Club

At Emerald Cruises, we’re extremely proud of our continuous commitment to providing the best river and ocean cruises in Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia and beyond. And, as we continue to grow within the world of cruising, we’re delighted to have had many returning guests, fascinated by the wonderful travel opportunities we provide and eager to embark on another journey. With this in mind, our Emerald Cruises loyalty scheme, EmeraldEXPLORER, has been created to reward you for your loyalty and how you build up your points couldn’t be simpler.

Upon returning from your first river cruise, you will automatically become a member of our EmeraldEXPLORER loyalty club, entitling you to exclusive benefits, including savings on future cruises, advance notice of new itineraries, and much more. Our structure is not only designed to recognise your time spent with us, but how much you spend. So, the higher the category of your suite, the more points you’ll receive per day. And, for every subsequent cruise you take with us, you will earn EmeraldEXPLORER points. 

Loyalty tiers at a glance

EmeraldEXPLORER Silver | 1-4,999 Points to qualify

  • Welcome home voucher – an additional discount off your next cruise - £100 per person
  • Refer a friend scheme - £100 per booking discount for both referrer & friend
  • Complimentary luggage with each trip - EmeraldEXPLORER Silver backpack
  • Exclusive member-only savings and offers
  • Exclusive advance notice of brochure launches
  • Exclusive EmeraldEXPLORER magazine

EmeraldEXPLORER Gold | 5,000 - 9,999 Points to qualify

  • Welcome home voucher – an additional discount off your next cruise - £150 per person
  • Refer a friend scheme - £100 per booking discount for both referrer & friend
  • Complimentary luggage with each trip - EmeraldEXPLORER Gold backpack or satchel
  • Exclusive member-only savings and offers
  • Exclusive advance notice of brochure launches
  • Exclusive EmeraldEXPLORER magazine

EmeraldEXPLORER Diamond | 10,000+ Points to qualify

  • Welcome home voucher – an additional discount off your next cruise - £200 per person
  • Refer a friend scheme - £100 per booking discount for both referrer & friend
  • Complimentary luggage with each trip - EmeraldEXPLORER Diamond backpack or satchel or trolley
  • Exclusive member-only savings and offers
  • Exclusive advance notice of brochure launches
  • Exclusive EmeraldEXPLORER magazine