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 Cruises’ 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. 

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Main Info
  • Children Not allowed
  • Nursery -
  • Smoking Some
  • Style Luxury
  • Decks4
  • Cabins56
  • Size Boutique
  • Ship Type River
  • Wheelchair Cabins-
  • Crew Members37
  • Launch Year2017
  • CurrencyEUR
Unique Features

Unlike any other on Europe's waters, our ships boast a heated pool* complete with retractable roof and bar which cleverly transforms into a cinema in the evening.

Disabled Facilities

We welcome all guests with mobility issues but please be aware that limitations could exist on-board and during shore excursions. Our lifts service three out of the four decks, with access to the Sun Deck only possible using stairs. Under appropriate circumstances, guests are allowed to use a collapsible wheelchair on-board.

You must be able to climb up and down the stairs on coaches and some shore excursions may require movement over cobblestones or up and down stairs. Guests with limited mobility will require the services of a reasonable companion, since the crew is limited. On occasions, we may be required to dock alongside other ships, which means accessing the shore via the Sun Deck. For further information, please contact one of our travel advisors.

A number of the shore excursions are conducted from coaches, so it is important that guests are capable of walking up and down the coach stairs. Furthermore, some of the shore excursions include walks through towns and cities – which may not be suitable for guests with limited mobility.

Guests with limited mobility will require the services of a responsible companion, due to the, sometimes, limited availability of crew members during shore excursions.

Dress Code

The River Cruise Dress Code

If you are packing for an upcoming river cruise and struggling to determine the clothes which will make the suitcase cut, and which should be left in the bedroom cupboard, worry no more. Here, we have compiled everything you need to know about dressing for a river cruise, and even sought the help of two of our favourite cruise bloggers to offer their advice on how to dress to impress (and for comfort) during a wonderful journey atop the beautiful rivers of Europe.

Advised Dress Code on a River Cruise Holiday

Emerald Cruises operates a smart-casual dress code for evening meals and entertainment. A choice of open-neck shirts with slacks or dresses are appropriate for the elegant surroundings on-board the Emerald Waterways ships. These should be paired with smart shoes. Guests are welcome to wear jackets and ties but these are not compulsory.

On-Board Dress Code

Daywear on-board the Emerald Cruises ships is casual, but not too casual. This is, perhaps, best explained by actress and contributing editor of Cruise International magazine, Julie Peasgood: “The good news about dress codes on river cruises is that there generally isn’t one. ‘Formal’ certainly isn’t the name of the game on any river cruise - and many people find the more relaxed dress code a welcome relief. Smart casual is usually all that’s required, both in the day and the evening – the emphasis is definitely on feeling comfortable.

“You can, however, don your finery at the welcome dinner on-board, or at the Captain’s reception if you wish to. It’s always special to bring out your bling if that’s your style, but on river cruises that’s going to be cocktail frocks rather than full-length gowns. Swimwear isn’t ever encouraged in the dining room by the way, with sleeveless vests and restaurants never a comfortable pairing.”

On-Shore Dress Suggestions

With city visits and cultural excursions at the heart of the Emerald Cruises experience, we want our guests to make the very most of these opportunities, and that includes dressing for the occasion. Whilst exploring enchanting cities and regions of outstanding beauty, comfort is key so picking the right clothing is important.

A comfortable pair of walking shoes is an absolute must, whether you’re undertaking an EmeraldACTIVE hike or enjoying a relaxing tour around the canals of Amsterdam. Appropriate clothing for the destinations visited is recommended, and our on-board team can keep you updated with the weather expected for upcoming port calls. Waterproofs are highly recommended, so a potential downpour does not spoil any excursion or city visit.

Our good friend, Telegraph contributor and cruise writer extraordinaire, Jane Archer, echoes these sentiments: “By day, the important thing is to be comfortable. High heels are a bad idea for walking ashore as cobbled streets are ubiquitous in Europe’s towns and cities. Summers get hot so be prepared with shorts, light dresses and t-shirts, conversely autumn and winter are chilly so a warm coat, hat and gloves are a must.”

Additionally, our river cruise itineraries visit some of the most wonderful shopping destinations on the continent. Explore the delightful Mariahilfer Straße in Vienna, taking in the exciting boutiques hidden by the bigger department stores, or the famous Váci Street in Budapest, home to designer flagships galore.

Difference Between River and Ocean Cruise Dress Codes

Ocean cruise lines often follow the maxim that ‘bigger is better’, from the size of the vessels to the eye-watering buffet options available throughout the day. And this continues through to the dress codes, with many lines imposing strict rules about what their guests should and should not wear. Particularly on Captain’s Dinner and other formal nights, tuxedos and cocktail dresses are often the order of the day. Admittedly, some ocean cruisers are ditching the dress code altogether in a bid to bring more families on board, with shorts and vests becoming a regular sight at the dinner table.

River cruise dress codes tend to be placed comfortably in the middle of these two extremes, with the smart-casual suggestion pairing sophistication with comfort.

Age Restrictions

Travellers who are less than 18 years old on the departure date must be accompanied by and share a cabin/room with an adult aged 18 or over. Children under the age of 12 years are not encouraged and are accepted or rejected at our sole discretion.

Wifi & Internet Access

Complimentary Wi-Fi is available on-board all the Emerald Cruises ships throughout the public spaces, cabins and suites.

Please note: Wi-Fi connection strength and speed may change as the vessel moves.

Special Dietary Requirements

Emerald Cruises endeavour to cater for all dietary requirements and requests. We ask that you inform us of any requirements or requests at the time of booking. This will give us chance to meet your requirements.

Vegetarian & Vegan Options

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.

Smoking Policy

Smoking is not permitted in the cabins or any indoor parts of any of the ships in the Emerald Cruises fleet.

There are areas on the ships’ external decks where smoking is permitted.

What to Pack for a River 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.

Personal Items

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 Cruises Star-Ships feature two-pin standard European sockets, so you’ll need an adapter plug.

Insect repellent
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.

Travel documents
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 Cruises Star-Ships feature two-pin standard European sockets, so you’ll need an adapter plug.

A camera
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 Cruises 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.

What not to pack

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 Cruises river cruise.

Below, we list all the things you won’t need to pack for your European river journey.

  • A hair dryer
  • Towels
  • 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

Alcohol Policy

We have no problem with guests purchasing alcohol for consumption in their rooms. However, we do ask that personal drinks are not consumed in the communal areas of the ships.

Drinks Packages

A selection of drinks packages is available on board, our most popular being our Premium Drinks Package. Please contact us for more details. 

Laundry Facilities

Guests staying in the Owner’s One-bedroom Suite and Riverview Suite can have four pieces of clothing laundered, free of charge, per day. And guests staying in the Grand Balcony Suites are permitted two complimentary laundry items per day.

For guests in all other suites and cabins, laundry services are available on river cruise ships at an additional charge. There is no dry cleaning on river cruise ships.

Deck Plans
Sun Deck

  • Sun Deck with Deck Chairs
  • Navigation Bridge
  • Sky Barbeque
  • Walking Track
  • Serenity Pool

Sun Deck.jpeg
Horizon Deck

  • The Terrace
  • Horizon bar and Lounge
  • Reception
  • Emerald Riverview Suite
  • Owner's One Bedroom Suite
  • Emerald Panorama Balcony Suite
  • Lift

Horizon Deck.jpeg
Vista Deck

  • Reception
  • Reflections Restaurant
  • Emerald Panorama Balcony Suites
  • Lift

Vista Deck.jpeg
Riviera Deck

  • Wellness Area
  • Fitness Area
  • Emerald Staterooms
  • Lift

Riviera Deck.jpeg
Emerald Riverview Suite

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.

Owner's One-Bedroom Suite

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 Cruises 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.

Four suites available on-board Emerald Sky, Emerald Star, Emerald Destiny, Emerald Sun and Emerald Dawn sailing the Rhine, Main, Danube and Moselle rivers. Two available on Emerald Liberté sailing through France and Emerald Radiance sailing in Portugal. 

Emerald Panorama Balcony Suite

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. 

Emerald Stateroom

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. 


As the host on-board, our Cruise Directors strive to ensure there’s never a dull moment during an Emerald Cruises 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.


Located in the centre of the Star-Ship, the Emerald Radiance reception area is where you will find our friendly crew who are available 24/7 to help with anything you should need, while the reception also doubles as a meeting point for the day’s excursions.

Horizon Bar and Lounge

Introducing the Horizon Bar & Lounge, a spacious and airy hub for drinking and relaxing. Meet new friends, catch-up about the day’s excursions and enjoy a cocktail or two after nightfall. It’s here you will find our state-of-the-art coffee machines, offering a selection of complimentary hot beverages day or night.

Serenity Pool

Unlike our Star-Ships sailing the Rhine, Danube and Rhône rivers, the pool on-board Emerald Radiance can be found on the Sun Deck. Custom-built for Portugal’s warmer climate, cool off and enjoy a rejuvenating dip whenever you fancy in the spa-style Serenity Pool. With the sun on your face and the inspiring landscapes of the Douro all around, there’s no better way to unwind after a memorable morning of sightseeing.

Sun Deck

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.