Senior Activity Manager: Sarah Spilsbury

What is your background and how did you become one of your new Activity Mangers?

When I was a child I always used to go on holiday to Spain and to our caravan in Wales with my family and always used to love joining in the Kids Club, watching the shows and dancing the night away so I think that’s what inspired me to join the entertainments and leisure industry as I remember these happy memories.

As soon as I graduated  from Theatre school at the age of 21, I applied and auditioned for the role of host and lead singer for a hotel in Fuengirola, Spain and ever since then I have caught the travel bug and went on to work for various British cruise liners for the last 12 years as a host and lead band singer, travelling all over the world.

As soon as I saw the role of Activity Manger advertised for Emerald Waterways I was instantly intrigued as it offered something different to what I had experienced in my past roles on cruise liners such as a different cliental, different itinerary and an overall a new challenge.

What do I enjoy most about the job?

What I enjoy most about this job is meeting new and interesting people, travelling the world and joining our guests on guided city tours, hikes and bike tours.

Another big factor of this job role is that you are constantly learning new skills, since I have joined Emerald Waterways, I have trained in wellness activities such as yoga, Pilates and aqua aerobics and have learnt a lot about the history of the amazing ports we dock in and rivers we sail in.

What does your typical day involve?

Describing a typical day as an Activity Manager is quite difficult as every day is different which is great as it keeps me on my toes, I have never liked the idea of a 9 to 5 job.

The morning could begin with a wellness class such as yoga or Pilates out on the pool deck to stretch out those aches and pains or I could be meeting guests out on the gangway to take a leisurely hike into the local town or city where they can explore beautiful scenery, cathedrals or landmarks.

During the afternoon if you have stayed on board the Star-Ship or returned from your onshore excursion early you can join us for a sports activity such as golf putting or pétanque or sit and relax for a tea time trivia or our very interesting team game of Battleship Scattergories.

After dinner guests are invited to come and join me in the lounge for an evening of entertainment, we have a great variety of gameshows and team trivia as well as the guests entertaining us with karaoke and ‘Emeralds Got Talent’.

I am very proud to get the chance to perform my cabaret during the river cruise and very honoured to invite traditional performances by local performers on board to experience their wonderful culture.


What can guests expect from the new EmeraldACTIVE program?

I am so pleased we have the EmeraldACTIVE program on board as it’s so important for all age groups to keep an active lifestyle.

The EmeraldACTIVE program consists of a selection of activities to keep you moving whether it be a day on the water or when we are docked in one of our beautiful ports of call.

We have a range of wellness classes as I have mentioned such as stretching, yoga and Pilates, the beauty of these classes are that they are for beginners, so everybody is welcome to join.

Also the fun sports activities on board include Golf putting and you can try your hand at the Nintendo WII. 

On board in your staterooms there are trekking poles and a number of bicycles available so you to join me on the leisurely organized hikes and bike rides free of charge to see those amazing sights.

What is your favourite destination and why?

My favourite destination so far is Budapest as this is a very interesting and active day for me.

During the morning I had the chance to join the guests on a hike through the lively city and up to Buda Hill where we saw the breath-taking views over The Chain Bridge linking Buda and Pest and Buda Castle, the guides are truly amazing and a fountain of knowledge.

When I returned to the star-ship I have a quick lunch and I am off again where I lead an organized and leisurely one hour walk around the Danube bank where we can take photographs The Hungarian Parliament and the Shoe memorial.

The shoes on the Danube is a memorial to the Hungarian Jews who were shot between 1944 to 1945, they were ordered to take off their shoes and line up and shot into the Danube. The memorial is 60 pairs of iron shoes in a row along the Danube. It was so emotional and touching and will stick in my mind forever and made me realise how lucky I am. If you every manage to go to Budapest this is a must.

After all the walking myself and the guests enjoyed a delicious Hungarian evening dinner made by our talented chefs and we welcome onboard a traditional folk show.

The music, dancing and traditional costume were amazing, and it was a delight to see all the guests clapping along and joining in with big smiles on their faces. A very memorable day.

Activity Manager