Christened alongside her sister Emerald Dawn in Budapest in August 2015, Emerald Sun is one of the latest in Australian-owned Emerald Waterways’ young fleet of innovative Star-Ships. Like her sisters, Emerald Sun is hugely popular thanks to her sleek, ground-breaking design and spacious, airy interiors with floor-to-ceiling windows throughout. Nowhere is her youthful spirit and cutting edge design more in evidence than in her swimming pool with retractable roof that can be converted into a cinema by night.
Thanks to her cool, contemporary feel, Emerald Sun attracts younger passengers as well as seasoned river cruisers. No matter what their age, her passengers appreciate the all-inclusive ethos that includes gratuities. With 47 crew and a capacity of 182 passengers, service is friendly and attentive, and the atmosphere is sociable but never hectic. As an Australian ship, Emerald Sun is popular with passengers from Australia and New Zealand, but American, Canadian and British travellers can always be found onboard too.
The main restaurant, Reflections, encapsulates stylish Australian hospitality with its laid back open-seating policy, casual dress code and emphasis on delicious food in contemporary surroundings with incredible views.
Breakfast is a buffet with an egg chef on duty and lunch also follows the buffet format with a delicious dessert table. Dinner is a four course gourmet event, and wine, beer and soft drinks are included with lunch and dinner.
At the bow of the ship, you’ll find The Terrace. With fabulous views and the chance to enjoy favourites like pasta, pizza, sandwiches and fish and chips in an al-fresco setting, this is a lovely spot for a casual meal. Tea and coffee are always available onboard and the Sun Deck has a Sky Barbeque.
The Captain’s welcome and farewell dinners are popular social events. You don’t need to dress up for these but some people like to make an extra special effort. When the swimming pool’s floor is raised, it turns into a cinema so that passengers can enjoy a drink from the bar, popcorn and a movie under the stars.
Back inside, the Horizon Lounge is a great place to find a seat with a view and enjoy a pre or post dinner drink to the sound of live piano music. One night of the itinerary is devoted to a staff talent show followed by a disco, and local entertainers are regularly invited onboard.
Most passengers are content to relax in a deckchair on the Sun Deck or an armchair in the Horizons Lounge after another busy day of sightseeing. However, the Sun Deck has a putting green and giant chess set to keep passengers amused. Free Wi-Fi is available for those who want to stay in touch with home.
Every itinerary is brought alive onboard with an EU lecture and the commentary on the passing scenery that you can tune into with headphones. A daily newsletter provides useful information about the next day’s sightseeing plans.
No matter what river your itinerary takes you on, shore excursions provide a great balance between old and new and culture and history, with experienced tour guides making the places you visit come alive. You can also enhance your experience with the Emerald Active programme that offers extra walking and biking tours for more energetic passengers, and EmeraldPLUS activities like tasting authentic Black Forest Gateau – in the Black Forest!
Emerald Sun’s spacious suites and staterooms are all decorated in a modern neutral colour scheme that adds to the feeling of space and light. Climate control, hairdryer, mini bar, safe and flat screen TV with English-speaking channels come as standard in all cabins. Daily replenishment of bottled water is also included.
The four huge Owner’s One-Bedroom Suites and eight Grand Balcony Suites are located on the Horizon Deck. Passengers pay their premium for personal verandas, which can be sealed off from the rest of the suite. This all-suite deck also has 23 Emerald Panorama Balcony Suites which boast Emerald Waterway’s signature decked balconies with ‘open air system’ designed so that the suite’s floor-to-ceiling window can drop down half-way with the simple press of a button.
37 more Panorama Balcony Suites can be found on the Vista Deck. The Riviera Deck is home to 18 Emerald Staterooms and two Single Emerald Staterooms ideal for solo travellers. These staterooms have picture windows.
A dip in the innovatively designed swimming pool with retractable roof is a must on any Emerald Star-Ship cruise. There is also a walking track onboard for passengers to stretch their legs as they admire the view. For more intense exercise, there’s a Fitness Centre with workout machines. From a pampering point of view, the Wellness Centre offers massages and other treatments, and there’s also an onboard hairdresser. The ship’s elevator is a useful addition for tired or less mobile guests.
Just like her sisters, Emerald Sun’s adventures take her all over historic Europe. Itineraries include the eight day Danube Delights cruise with highlights including Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna and the picturesque German town of Passau. She also sails a seasonal eight day Delights of the Danube Christmas Markets cruise and the 15 day Splendours of Europe itinerary.