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Ask The Expert

David Winterton, Brand Manager at Emerald Waterways, tackles the FAQs of river cruising

David Winterton - Emerald Waterways' Brand ManagerHave you ever thought about taking a cruise but weren't quite sure about taking that final step and booking it? It might have been fears over not having enough to do on board. Or if a cruise is for someone who likes to keep active?

There are plenty of misplaced stereotypes around the world of river cruising that either no longer apply - or never had much relevance in the first place. Will you have to wear a tuxedo to dinner, for example? Or how many people will be on board? We asked David Winterton, brand manager for Emerald Waterways, to dispel some of those stigmas and stereotypes.

David Winterton - Emerald Waterways Brand Manager

What does a river cruise offer that an ocean cruise doesn't?

While some ocean cruise liners can hold up to 6,000 passengers, an Emerald Waterways Star-Ship welcomes just 182 guests. This intimacy is beneficial because the staff get to know you personally and can cater to your every whim. It also takes a fraction of the time to dock, and you are more than often bang in the middle of the city centre. What's more, there are the constant views as you'll take advantage of every cabin having a river view. You'll glide past riverside towns, cut through stunning gorges, navigate placid and dramatic landscapes littered with castles, palaces, abbeys, hamlets and ancient icons.

How does tipping work on board?

As part of our fully inclusive service, all tipping is included in the price.

What else is included in the price?

It's amazing what's included on an Emerald Waterways' cruise: return flights, transfers to the ship, your suite or stateroom, all on board meals and a collection of highlight dinners; complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner; free tea and coffee throughout the day; bottled water restocked daily in your cabin; an included excursion almost every day; first-class service from an English-speaking crew; knowledgeable local guides at each destination; complimentary on board wi-fi and all port charges, airport taxes and transfer costs. As mentioned we also take care of all tips, saving you up to £440 per couple on a 15-day cruise.

What's the dress code on board?

Informal and casual during the day - make sure you have some comfortable shoes for the included walking trips. Smart/casual at dinner. Some people do like to dress up for our highlight meals, like our Farewell Dinner.

How much time will I spend on board the ship?

It depends on your itinerary and how much cruising is involved. Typically, guests will enjoy a morning tour or excursion and some free time to explore before lunch on board. In the afternoon you may set sail for your next destination; on others you could spend the rest of the day visiting the near by sights.

Will there be enough to do to keep me entertained?

On board you will find a pool, cinema, lounge/bar, books to read, wi-fi to connect to the internet, port talks and a small gym. Up on the Sun Deck there is also a putting green and walking track. In the cabin the entertainment system shows international TV channels and a host of films.

Do river ships have inside cabins?

Our ships don't! Every cabin has at least a window so that guests can see the beautiful scenery, while higher-grade cabins have balconies. The majority of suites on board feature our ingenious balcony systems, which drop down at the touch of a button to unveil full panoramic views. There all-weather sanctuaries are the ideal place to watch the sights roll by.

I'm very active - is a river cruise for me?

The great thing about our cruises is that you can be as active as you want. After a planned excursion or tour almost every morning, you will enjoy free time to explore on your own terms, if you itinerary permits. There's also a walking track on our Sun Deck and an on board gym. What's more, we also have a collection of bikes that you can take ashore.

What is your staff to guest ratio on board?

There are around 182 guests, with a beneficial staff-to-guest ratio of almost 3:1.

What is the food like on board?

Our Reflections Restaurant showcases a selection of regional cuisine and western fare. Help yourself at our plentiful buffet, which is available for breakfast, lunch and dinner, freshly prepared by our team of expert chefs.

Read more about drinks & dining with Emerald Waterways here >

 

   David Winterton - Emerald Waterways Brand Manager

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