Emerald Sky will debut in April and sail from Basel to Amsterdam. // © 2014 Emerald Waterways
Emerald Waterways, the new brand from the owners of Scenic Cruises, will officially debut on April 15, when the 182-passenger Emerald Sky sets sail on a 12-day cruise from Basel to Amsterdam. Sister ship Emerald Star, scheduled for its inaugural sailing in early May, will offer eight- to 15-day cruises.
The first new European cruise line to start service in more than six years, Emerald has a lower price point than Scenic, with fares for the 12-day cruise set from $3,533 per person. Prices include port charges, gratuities and airport transfers, all onboard meals and most meals on shore, unlimited tea and coffee and wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner. Rates also include bottled water in the staterooms; continental breakfast, pre-dinner canapes and after-dinner sweet treats served in the top suites; Wi-Fi access onboard the ship; and at least one shore excursion almost every cruise day.
The two ships will have heated pools with retractable covers, and the pool areas can transform into movie theaters at night. Each ship also has a fitness area, a massage therapy room and a hairdresser.
Guests will be able to take part in four included EmeraldPlus activities: a cooking demonstration and lunch at a family-run gasthof, or inn, performances by local German folk musicians, a guided visit to the millennium-old Reichsburg Castle and a classic Amsterdam canal cruise in a glass-top boat. Onboard, the sundeck is set up for lounging, reading, watching the scenery go by, playing giant chess, practicing golf putting or just soaking up the sun with a drink in hand and friends nearby.