The Emerald Radiance will explore Portugal’s Douro region, navigating the eponymous river Douro. Dissecting some of Europe’s most beautiful vineyards and wine-producing villages, the river Douro evocatively stretches through beautiful backdrops on either bank. Fittingly, the bespoke Emerald Radiance has been lovingly designed and built to complement the jaw-dropping scenery unfolding before the ship’s bow.
The Emerald Radiance is our most intimate ship to date, with a capacity of just 112 guests. Paired with the crew-to-guest ratio of 1:3, this low capacity accommodates incredible levels of service.
However, the small scale of the Emerald Radiance does not mean it is missing the key amenities and features to make your holiday atop the Douro any less comfortable or enjoyable. Intelligent deck planning has allowed us to add all the favourite features of Emerald Waterways’ fleet to the Emerald Radiance, and there are even beautiful extra flourishes throughout. From the generously-proportioned suites and staterooms to the contemporary, chic Horizon Bar and Lounge, no aspect of the ship has been compromised by its moderate size.
Amongst the brand new additions featured aboard the Emerald Radiance are the Riverview Suites. Located at the rear of the ship on the Horizon Deck, and boasting floor-to-ceiling windows encasing our innovative balcony; the two Riverview Suites offer amazing, unspoiled panoramic vistas of the river as it flows on by.
Purpose built for Portugal’s warm climate, the comprehensive Sun Deck aboard the Emerald Radiance provides ample opportunity to sample the sun and gentle river breezes. The open-air aspect of the Emerald Radiance includes The Terrace, the perfect place to enjoy a bite to eat and a drink or two with new friends. Or if you fancy a plunge, the Serenity Pool on the Sun Deck is the perfect place for a few lengths before breakfast, under the beautiful Iberian sky.
- Size boutique
- Style Luxury
- Type river
- Year of launch 2017
- Length 89.0m
- Decks 4
- Language English (British)
- Currency Euro (€)
- No. of passengers 112
- No. of crew 37
- No. of cabins 56
- -wheelchair access 0
No need to tip
Don’t stress over how much you need to tip your crew on-board, because gratuities are included in the fare. We want you to relax and enjoy your time with us, and this is just one little thing we do to help with that.
Our suites and staterooms are chic, modern sanctuaries, something you would expect from that of a world-class hotel. Inspired by innovation and contemporary design, we have five suite and stateroom grades. In all suites, the traditional French balcony has been substituted for our ingenious all-weather system, transforming your balcony into the perfect place for you to enjoy the endless river views, regardless of the weather. Our staterooms offer a picture window, perfect for admiring the views.
All suites and staterooms boast a wealth of sumptuous features, from luxurious toiletries and a revitalising shower in your spacious en-suite bathroom, to a queen size* or twin hotel-style bed, draped with luxurious linens. Not forgetting, a flat screen HDTV and infotainment system, free Wi-Fi to keep you connected with loved ones, and a bottle of water, replenished daily. We also provide trekking poles to assist on guided walking tours and hikes.
Some of the most sumptuous suites on European waterways, our Owners One-Bedroom Suite has it all. A separate lounge and bedroom area allows the luxury of space, from which to enjoy your complimentary continental breakfast in the morning, a drink from your fully stocked minibar or after-dinner sweet treats before bed.
Your queen-size or twin hotel-style bed will be draped in high quality linens, for the perfect night’s sleep, plus you’ll have the pleasure of selecting your preferred pillow from our extensive menu. Get comfortable for the night after a busy day exploring, and prepare for the next as you unwind with a film on your flat screen TV and infotainment system in true comfort.
A walk-in wardrobe makes unpacking even more of a dream. A great space to keep all your belongings and outfits for special occasions, such as your exclusive dinner at the Captain’s Table. You’ll even have the option to have four items laundered a day to ensure that favourite dress or suit is in the best possible condition for your event.
In the morning, enjoy the perfect wake-up call with a fresh coffee from your in-suite Nespresso™ machine. Sip it on the balcony, wrapped in the comfort of your Emerald Waterways bathrobe and slippers after a refreshing shower in your stylish in-suite bathroom, enhanced by luxurious toiletries.
You’ll have so much to tell your loved ones back home, so we’ve made keeping in contact really easy. Not only will you have an in-suite telephone, but complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the Star-Ship and an iPad means you can choose your favourite method of communication, whenever the moment suits.
A suite unique to our Emerald Radiance Star-Ship sailing Portugal’s Douro, our two exquisite Emerald Riverview Suites are thoughtfully positioned at the back of the ship. Floor-to-ceiling windows open out onto your own private balcony which, at the simple press of a button opens up to transform it into an open-air space. Relax in the morning with a freshly made cup of coffee from your Nespresso™ machine and, if you wish, have a continental breakfast brought to your suite to enjoy in private. You’ll have the luxury of space as your separate bedroom and lounge area creates the ideal home-away-from-home, as well as a walk-in wardrobe, so you can truly settle into your surrounds.
Enjoy an incredible night’s sleep in your queen-size or twin hotel-style bed, wrapped up in luxurious bed linen, and select a pillow from our extensive menu. Lay back and watch a film in bed on your flat screen TV and infotainment system, or enjoy the space as you ponder an exciting day ahead.
Your luxurious bathroom features a shower complete with decadent toiletries, as well as comfortable bathrobes and slippers, the perfect attire for getting ready for an evening meal. And, the suite comes with an exclusive invite to dine at the Captain’s Table for an evening sure to become a highlight of your river cruise. Take advantage of having four laundered items a day and prepare that special suit or gown for a night such as this or for an occasion you may be celebrating. You can even have pre-dinner canapés delivered to your door and after-dinner sweet treats to enjoy with a drink from your complimentary minibar.
With so much to tell your loved ones back home, you can make calls from your in-suite telephone, utilise the ship-wide Wi-Fi and an iPad that’s available for your personal use throughout your journey.
Your Emerald Panorama Balcony Suite offers everything you could possibly need throughout your cruise, and more. You’ll be surrounded by elegant décor and opulent, comfortable furnishings, as you unwind in your home-away-from-home. Relax on your balcony as the stunning landscapes pass by, and transform it from an indoor to an outdoor space with ease, as the floor-to-ceiling window lowers to a halfway point at the touch of a button. Enjoy the river breeze from your comfortable chair, enjoying a good book or the unfolding vistas. Treat yourself to a drink from your suite’s minibar, or use it to keep your complimentary bottle of water chilled, or for any souvenirs that require it.
When it’s time to retire to bed, you can look forward to the exceptional comfort of your queen-size or twin hotel-style bed, complete with luxurious linens. Treat yourself to an indulgent shower with luxury toiletries, to really prepare yourself for an excellent night’s sleep.
Of course, keeping in touch with your loved ones is really easy. Every suite has its own telephone, as well as complimentary Wi-Fi being available throughout the Star-Ship.
An Emerald Stateroom is home to all the amenities you need to settle into your home-away-from-home. A great size picture window lets in the perfect amount of light, welcoming in the golden summer sunshine, or the winter sun during cooler months.
Comfort is of the highest importance, so each room features individual climate control, allowing you to personalise your room’s temperature to suit your preferences and the time of year you’re cruising.
We’ve designed our bathrooms as a relaxing retreat to retire to after an exciting day exploring. Enjoy a sumptuous shower complete with indulgent toiletries, as well as a hairdryer, all before settling into your queen or twin hotel-style bed, complete with luscious linens, as you enjoy a movie on your flat screen TV and infotainment system with, perhaps, a nightcap from your mini-bar.
If you wish to stay in contact with loved ones throughout your trip, you can do so using your in-suite telephone or our free Wi-Fi available throughout the ship.
Sun Deck with Seating Area
Golf Putting Green
Horizon Bar & Lounge
Owner's One-bedroom Suites
Grand Balcony Suites
- Emerald Panorama Balcony Suites
Emerald Riverview Suites
- Reflections Restaurant
- Emerald Panorama Balcony Suites
Expect truly memorable on board dining experiences, from start to finish. Every Emerald Waterways river cruise begins with a festive Welcome Buffet Dinner where you'll meet the intimate group of cruise guests, and ends with a sumptuous Captain’s Farewell Dinner where you share mutually treasured moments in camaraderie with new-found friends.
We believe that great service plays an important role in the dining experience, which is why all of our team members have been carefully selected for their experience and expertise. And with one of the very best guest to crew ratios on Europe’s and Asia's rivers, you can expect customer care at its finest. No matter where or how you choose to dine on-board our ships, you’ll find our friendly, professional team are always ready to help you.
Free drinks with meals
What’s better than free meals? Free drinks perhaps? During mealtimes on-board Emerald Sun and Emerald Dawn, you’ll be able to enjoy complimentary drinks, including a selection of beers, wines and soft drinks. Alternatively, buy a drinks package to take advantage of our bar menu whenever you fancy throughout the day.
Reflections Restaurant is the centre-point of our dining experience on-board the Emerald Sun and Emerald Dawn, where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner in relaxing, contemporary surroundings. All the dishes served in Reflections Restaurant are chef-prepared and inspired by the local region, so you can look forward to some excellent cuisine during your time on-board, as well as some much-loved favourites from home.
A beautifully decked area at the front of the Star-Ship, The Terrace provides a lovely retreat from which to enjoy a light snack or refreshing drink. Depending on the Star-Ship, this partly indoor and outdoor space is a spectacular vantage point from which to soak up the scenery, whatever the weather. This peaceful setting is also a great spot to enjoy a glass of local wine or beer with your loved ones or new-found companions.
As the host on-board, our Cruise Directors strive to ensure there’s never a dull moment during an Emerald Waterways river cruise. With this in mind, a fantastic range of entertaining activities are available for you to enjoy.
Thanks to the unique design of our Star-Ships, we are able to host a unique event program throughout your cruise. In the Horizon Bar & Lounge, immerse yourself in ancient folklores, passed from one generation to another for hundreds of years, during an authentic show. Or, let the music of a nation sweep you off your feet as a local band takes to the floor in their traditional attire. Alternatively, catch that film you never got round to seeing during movie nights in the cinema.
The Horizon Bar & Lounge is the social heartbeat of our Star-Ships. Surprisingly spacious and exceedingly modern, this contemporary and comfortable haven is one of the most popular areas of our vessels day or night.
There's a fully stocked bar with attentive bartenders, help-yourself to a selection of coffees from out high-tech coffee-machine, or try one of our speciality teas, and take a seat in our plush and spacious sofas and chairs. In the day it's a place to catch up with new friends and unwind.
Each evening before dinner, your Cruise Director welcomes you to the Horizon Bar and Lounge for an informal yet fascinating talk on your forthcoming ports of call. With tips on what you'll see and things to look out for, this is an ideal opportunity to plan for the day ahead. When the evening arrives, we have a medley of entertainment planned especially for you.
Take in the inspiring vistas of the Douro from the panoramic Sun Deck, your space for sun-worshipping and sightseeing on-board Emerald Radiance. With sun loungers and deck chairs aplenty, this is the perfect place for working on your tan or enjoying the scenery as you travel through Portugal.
A comprehensive selection of gym equipment and spa facilities are available to all guests in the wellness and fitness areas – keeping you treated and toned throughout the cruise.
Don’t let your holiday stand in the way of your fitness routine. Whatever time of day you like to work out, you can get your heart pumping in our purpose-built fitness area.
Please note: there will be no children's facilities onboard the Emerald Radiance.
From guided hikes and bike rides to guided tours of iconic cities, you’ll enjoy exciting excursions every day of your journey on-board Emerald Sun and Emerald Dawn. This includes EmeraldPLUS experiences and EmeraldACTIVE excursions, which are designed to help you enjoy all of the wonders of Europe – such as the opportunity to enjoy home-hosted coffee and cake with a Slovakian family.
To immerse you further in local history and culture, we also offer optional DiscoverMORE special excursions (at an additional cost). Look out for details on each itinerary. These can either be booked before you go or once on-board.
Life seems to exist at a slower pace on the banks of the Douro, making it the perfect place for a little extra cultural exploration.
Discover the Baroque Masterpiece of Mateus Palace
Nestled in landscaped grounds amid the spectacular Douro Valley World Heritage Site is Mateus Palace, a wonderful country retreat which stands as one of the finest examples of Baroque civil architecture in Portugal. DiscoverMORE invites you to explore Casa de Mateus inside and out, from its intricately carved 18th-century wooden ceilings to its collection of artworks, silverware and ceramics. Amongst the highlights of this wonderful excursion are the palace’s beautiful gardens, which offer the perfect place for a relaxing stroll beneath the warm Portuguese sun.
Explore Mateus Palace with a DiscoverMORE excursion on our Secrets of the Douro River Cruise.
Head into Portugal’s Sintra Mountains
Just west of Lisbon is the popular resort town of Sintra, sitting in the foothills of the mountain range of the same name. Boasting amazing views over the flatlands of Portugal and a selection of grand 19th-century buildings, Sintra provides a romantic marriage of natural beauty and whimsical architecture.
Our range of outdoor activities suit the more active guest, so if you love to explore during bicycle rides and walking excursions, look out for them on your chosen itinerary.
Running through the Douro Valley in beautiful Portugal, the Douro can be explored on foot, bicycle, or even by canoe.
Canoeing experience with expert guides
If you long to get a little closer to the waters when exploring the Douro, EmeraldACTIVE gives you the chance to venture out on a canoe. With an expert guide teaching you the ropes and leading the way, you’ll soon be navigating these amazing waters in invigorating style.
Enjoy this EmeraldACTIVE excursion on our Secrets of the Douro river cruise.
Guided Walking Tour of Porto
Where the Douro meets the sea, Porto’s rich history and heritage opens up in all its splendour. A delightful mix of modern and ancient architecture, Porto provides a stunning setting for a walking tour. With an expert guide on hand, you’re bound to learn plenty about Portugal’s second city.
Immerse yourself further with EmeraldPLUS
EmeraldPLUS are our collection of extra-special excursions and events designed for you to see the destinations we visit in a different light, giving you memorable experiences that go beyond that of the ordinary traveller.
EmeraldPLUS is about seeking out rare insights, giving you the chance to uncover hidden gems you may not have discovered without the guidance of a local expert, as well as beloved tourist hotspots that cannot be missed. We believe it’s these special touches that make a holiday with Emerald Waterways truly unforgettable, offering moments of joy, wonder and discovery that you’ll treasure for a lifetime.
With a different port call almost every day of your cruise; Emerald Waterways have organised a series of inspiring days ashore – taking you to the very heart of the beautiful towns and cities we visit. Exploring authentic local cultures, Emerald Waterways excursions are led by experienced, knowledgeable guides – introducing you to a wealth of knowledge.
Featuring as many as 16 destinations across up to five different countries, an Emerald Waterways cruise provides the perfect platform to absorb a huge array of cultures and traditions in one fell swoop. Every Emerald Waterways cruise itinerary is carefully planned to ensure the ship visits only the most fascinating, rewarding port towns and cities – affording you the opportunity to derive maximum reward and pleasure.
Whether exploring a new town on foot or navigating the streets of an ancient city by coach, English-speaking guides will be on hand to bring your destination to life through educational and enlightening commentary. And to ensure you don’t miss a second of the tour, we will provide all of our guests with a personal headset.
Emerald Waterways welcomes disabled guests but wishes all guests to understand that limitations could exist on-board and during shore excursions. The lifts on the ships service three out of four decks, with access to the Sun Deck only possible using stairs. Under appropriate circumstances guests are welcome to use collapsible wheelchairs on-board. Many tours are conducted from coaches,so guests need to be able to climb up and down the stairs to board. Some shore excursions may require movement over cobblestones or up and down stairs;accordingly, guests with limited mobility will require the services of a responsible companion to be travelling with them, since crew availability is limited. If you have any medical, physical or other special needs, please contact the travel advisors for further information and have a look at the deck plan to gain an understanding of the layout of any particular ship. On occasion they will be required to dock next to other ships, which may mean accessing the shore via the Sun Deck, requiring you to ascend and descend stairs.
One of the things Emerald Waterways guests love about travelling with us is the relaxed dress code. We’re not strict about what you wear, only that you bring clothes that will help you enjoy the great cultural tapestry of Europe in complete ease and comfort.
Below, we list our recommendations for the clothing you should bring for an eight-day European river cruise, both for days and evenings. We’ve tried to be as comprehensive as possible, taking into account different clothing for the time of year.
During the day, your everyday clothing should do the trick, so no need to splash out on a new wardrobe. Our good friend, the travel writer and cruise expert, Alan Fairfax, says: “Think chinos and sports shirts, while ladies - the choice is yours.”
- A choice of t-shirts, tops or casual shirts that are comfortable for day-long wear. In the colder months, these can be worn as a base layer.
- A couple of warm sweaters, sweatshirts or knitted tops. Even in spring and summer evenings can be chilly, so make sure you have something warm to pull on – particularly when you’re away from the ship.
- A few pairs of trousers, jeans or chinos (we’d recommend around three for an eight-day cruise). Of course, if the forecast looks warm, bring a couple of pairs of comfortable shorts, too.
- A light weather-proof jacket, rising to a good winter coat in the colder months. Even the summer months can’t guarantee dry weather, so don’t get caught without a rain and wind-proof jacket.
- A good pair of walking shoes. The cobblestones of Europe can be tough on feet, so make sure you bring a pair of comfortable, thick-soled walking shoes for comfortable daily wear.
- Swimwear. With Emerald Star-Ships boasting a pool, be sure to pack your swimwear to enjoy a leisurely dip as your ship floats to its next destination.
- Hats, gloves and a scarf – for those chilly winter days on the river.
- Sunglasses and sun hat.
During evening meals, smartening up is a nice touch, but there’s no need to bring your tuxedo; open-neck shirts, trousers and dresses complement our luxury surroundings just fine.
- A selection of long-sleeved, open-neck shirts for gents, and a couple of casual evening dresses for ladies. There’s no need be overly formal – think smart casual comfort.
- A couple of pairs of chinos, smart jeans or trousers. These can be the same as the ones worn during the day, paired with an open-neck shirt, for instance.
- A blazer or smart jacket. Though not necessary, it’s nice to dress up for the Captain’s Welcome dinner or evenings spent onshore – but there’s no need to bring a tie.
- A comfortable pair of smart shoes. While you’re free to wear the same pair as during the day, there’s a chance they could get dirty, so it’s good to have a reserve for the evenings.
Travellers who are less than 21 years old on the departure date must be accompanied by and share a cabin/room with an adult aged 21 or over. Children under 12 years of age are not accepted. This is a condition of carriers and cruise operators.
Completely removing the risk of an awkward silence at the end of a delectable meal, or upon receipt of a bottle of crisp champagne to your suite; Emerald Waterways have already taken care of on-board tipping.
The last thing you want at the end of an amazing holiday is to be presented with additional and unexpected charges. This can leave a sour taste in your mouth and a dent in your spending money. When you travel with Emerald Waterways, you don’t have to worry about any unwanted surprises because we include all tips.
By including all tipping in the price of your cruise, which can add up to £440 per couple on a 15-day journey, we ensure that you don’t get hit with any shock expenses. It’s also a great way to guarantee that our hardworking servers receive the gratuities they deserve. What’s more, all the other little things like port charges, airport taxes and transfer costs are also taken care of, so all you have to worry about is enjoying the journey of a lifetime.
Paired with the complimentary dining options, free drinks with meals and all-inclusive services; you’ll seldom need your wallet or money clip whilst on-board an Emerald Waterways river cruise. Your days on-board can be spent enjoying the views and uncompromised services, rather than budgeting, scrimping and saving.
So whether you’re exploring the capital cities dotted along the Danube or navigating the mighty Rhine, you can rest assured that tips and gratuities have already been taken care of. You’re free to spend each day on-board an Emerald Waterways river cruise enjoying the attentive service of our experienced team, the wonderful amenities and luxurious settings as the ship meanders through one of Europe’s beautiful rivers.
Complimentary Wi-Fi is available on-board all the Emerald Waterways ships throughout the public spaces, cabins and suites.
Please note: Wi-Fi connection strength and speed may change as the vessel moves.
Smoking is not permitted in the cabins or any indoor parts of any of the ships in the Emerald Waterways fleet.
There are areas on the ships’ external decks where smoking is permitted.
While we do not offer a separate vegan menu, all of our vegetarian dishes are clearly marked and there will be a vegetarian option available with every meal.
We do offer all of our guests the opportunity to make dietary requests at the time of booking. These are then reviewed and special arrangements can be made. Personalised menus are also available.
Certified vegan wines are also available on board each of our cruises, one white and one red. If you would like, then you can request something special at the time of booking so that it can be sourced for you before your cruise.
With clothing and footwear wrapped up neatly in your suitcase, it’s time to consider those easy-to-forget essentials that you may or may not need during your river journey. Below, we recommend a list of personal items and electronics which you should pop in your case for a comfortable and hassle-free trip.
From prescribed medications (clearly labelled) to painkillers, allergy relief tablets and travel sickness pills, you shouldn’t leave home without packing those all-important medicines.
A backpack, satchel or travel bag
Remember to bring the charging lead for your phone, camera and other electronic items, as well as a travel adapter. All Emerald Waterways Star-Ships feature two-pin standard European sockets, so you’ll need an adapter plug.
Depending on the time of year you travel, you may want to pack insect repellent to divert the attention of Europe’s creepy crawlies, including mosquitoes and midges.
Toiletries and cosmetics
While we provide a selection of complimentary toiletries, we understand there are some things you can’t live without – so don’t forget your washbag.
An obvious one, but easy to neglect; make sure to pack your passport, tickets, boarding passes and any other documents related to your trip.
Tech and handheld devices
A smartphone or tablet
While a river cruise is a chance to escape the realities of everyday life, a smartphone or tablet is useful for helping to plan and research the day’s activities, or help you navigate one of the continent’s bustling cities.
Device chargers and travel adapters
Remember to bring the charging lead for your phone, camera and other electronic items, as well as a travel adapter. All Emerald Waterways Star-Ships feature two-pin standard European sockets, so you’ll need an adapter plug.
From the Rhine Gorge to Buda Hill, the rivers of Europe boast some truly beautiful vistas, so pack a camera to document those special moments.
Whether listening to music by the pool or tuning into coach tour commentary, a pair of headphones is a useful addition to your suitcase.
Extra memory cards
From the moment you set out, you’ll feel the impulse to capture your surroundings, so pack additional memory cards for your camera or smartphone to ensure you never miss a beat.
There’s something wonderful about reading a book as the great spectacle of Europe floats by, so if you’re an avid reader, save space in your case with an E-reader.
“Take lots of guide books. You'll want to read more.” – Sarah Lucas
Alan Fairfax was kind enough to provide a handy checklist, compiling some little extras to make your first-time river cruise even more enjoyable.
- Don’t forget a lightweight plastic hooded rain mac for those unexpected showers.
- A small rucksack for your camera, binoculars, rain macs and other items when out on excursions is essential.
- Research the countries you’ll visit. Check their currency, especially if travelling the Danube. If you’re using cash, get it before you leave. If you choose to use a credit card, ensure there are no transaction charges. Emerald Waterways Star-Ships do hold a small amount of currency – please refer to the FAQ page for more information.
- Don’t forget your electrical plug adapters. All sockets on the ships are the two-pin variety.
- A phrase book is always handy, especially in the smaller, more provincial towns and villages.
- Check your mobile network provider for any overseas charges, and don’t forget chargers and cables.
We understand it’s the small touches and finer details which make your travel experience that much more special and care-free. That’s why our Star-Ships are kitted out with a range of carefully-considered amenities and inclusions, taking the stress out of packing for your upcoming Emerald Waterways river cruise.
Below, we list all the things you won’t need to pack for your European river journey.
- A hair dryer
- Toiletries (we provide a selection of toiletries, but you may prefer to use your own)
- Hiking poles and umbrellas
- Bottled water for excursion days
- A travel iron (all ships offer a comprehensive laundry service, for a fee)
- Coat hangers
- Bathrobe and slippers