Scenic Tours have recently announced the launch of a brand new premium river cruise line, Emerald Waterways. This will launch properly at the beginning of next year and will see two new ships being brought into fruition – Emerald Star, which is expected in February, and Emerald Sky which is due in April.
Emerald Waterways are planning itineraries on the Rhine, Danube, Mosel and Main rivers and there will be both 7 and 14 night cruises.
Emerald Waterways is set to be within the four-star range of cruises and will include a whole host of innovative and modern design touches, as well as an attractive almost all-inclusive price which always seems to appeal to passengers. Included in this almost all-inclusive pricing will be soft drinks, wine and beer with meals, transfers, shore excursions and gratuities.
Emerald Star and Emerald Sky are set to be identical sister ships and will feature an open air alternative dining area, most of the staterooms will have balconies and there will be larger one bedroom suites on board.
At the aft of the ship there will be an indoor, heated swimming pool with a retractable roof for sunny days which, at night, will transform into a state of the art cinema for all passengers to enjoy. This is a first for this kind of feature on board a river cruise ship and is set to be a hit with guests.
Chris Townson, Managing Director for Scenic Tours and Emerald Waterways, has stated that the line is aiming to pull in a younger cruise passenger in the same way as ocean based cruises have been doing so successfully in recent years.Townson said ‘we believe we can attract a younger demographic too, with value for money as the emphasis’.
The question is however, will lower prices be enough to attract younger passengers to river cruising, a specific type of cruising which is synonymous with a far older market? River Cruises are unable to offer many of the flashy, modern features that ocean liners are equipped with these days. Modern ocean liners boast ice rinks, surf simulators, zip lines, rock climbing walls and so much more whereas river cruise ships will never have the space on board to accommodate features such as these.
Undeniably, innovative features such as the indoor pool area being able to change into a cinema in the evenings is a step in the right direction with regards to adding features that will appeal to younger passengers however, I believe more will have to be done before the average age of river cruise passengers lowers significantly.
If this sounds like the type of river cruising that would appeal to you then it is advisable to book early as these ships are sure to fill up fast.
Images courtesy of Scenic Tours
So River Cruisers, what do you think of Emerald Waterways new innovations?