Citing strong demand, Emerald Waterways will build a fifth river cruise ship scheduled for delivery in early 2016.
“The demand continues to strengthen and outpace supply,” said Lisa Norton, Emerald’s North American vice president of brand management. “These beautiful and innovative ships are proving to be exactly what the market has been waiting for.”
The 182-passenger Emerald Belle is under construction in the Netherlands. The company, a more affordable sister line to the more upscale Scenic Waterways, is introducing two new ships this year, the Emerald Dawn and Emerald Sun.
All the vessels are the same configuration, a design Emerald calls “Star Ships.” They have 72 suites and 20 staterooms, including two built for solo occupancy and some with an “indoor balcony” that lets guests push a button to open the upper half of the floor-to-ceiling window. The top suites have a full balcony accessed by sliding glass doors.
The Star Ships also have a heated swimming pool with a retractable glass roof, two restaurants, a hairdresser, massage therapy room and fitness area.
Launched in 2014, Emerald Waterways caters to the four-star-plus market with fares that include all transfers to and from the ships; all onboard and some on-shore meals; unlimited tea and coffee; wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner; bottled water in cabins; continental breakfast, pre-dinner canapés and after-dinner sweets served in top suites; Wi-Fi onboard the ship; most shore excursions; bicycles to use for independent touring; and all gratuities.