Australian-owned and value-focused Emerald Waterways debuted last year, the first new river line in Europe in six years to cater to English-speaking passengers.
Looking to up the hip factor in a market that mostly caters to the age 55-plus crowd, the line operates four sleek, 182-passenger, Dutch-built ships it calls "Star Ships" – though without specific reference to Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock. Another sister will arrive next year. The ships cruise the Danube, Rhine, Main, Saône and Rhône rivers. Emerald Waterways also plans to launch a 68-passenger ship on the Mekong in 2016.
Onboard a sailing on the Emerald Dawn on the Lower Danube, from Bucharest to Budapest(through Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia and Hungary), we found there's a lot to like about cruising with Emerald Waterways. Here are some of our favourite features.