A new river cruise line is to be launched to take on Viking River Cruises.
Emerald Waterways has been introduced by CLIA member Scenic Tours for April 2014, following the company’s new European river portfolio this year.
The new cruise line will be less inclusive of Scenic’s current offering but include flights, transfers, excursions, WiFi, gratuities, meals and drinks at lunch and dinner.
Its ship Emerald Star will cater for up to 182 passengers with a pool area that turns into a cinema at night. Its rooms include a drop-down open-air window and indoor balcony, while the ships will offer an outside area to relax and eat. Another ship, named Emerald Sky will join the fleet in June.
Itineraries will cover the Rhine, Moselle and Danube.
Emerald’s managing director Chris Townson was reported in the UK’s Daily Telegraph as saying the cruise line will be a “predatory product that takes what is out there to another level.”
It aims to offer lower prices than Viking.
The launch of Emerald Waterways comes after Australia-based Scenic Cruises dipped its toes into the European river sector this year, as reported by Cruise News. The company launched ‘Space-Ships’ in Europe back in 2008 and has three vessels sailing in Europe, with a total of seven in its fleet.