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Emerald Harmony Review

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Emerald Harmony
4.0 / 5.0
4 reviews

Sleek, elegant river ship with rare amenities like a laundry room and rear-facing pool
Onboard air-conditioning has trouble keeping up with the hot, humid climate of Southeast Asia
Bottom Line
Tailored to the Mekong, the ship offers thoughtful touches and tours that highlight what makes the region special




Passenger to Crew


Shore Excursions
Sails To
Sails From
Emerald Waterways Cruise Deals
Ashley Kosciolek
Cruise Critic Contributor

Emerald Harmony Overview

Built expressly to sail into the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, Emerald Harmony is Emerald Waterways' first ship built exclusively for the Mekong River. It's a unique feature, as most other river cruise ships plying the Mekong are forced to dock in a large industrial port outside of the city and bus passengers in.

Functionality aside, the ship also feels homey, like a comfortable boutique hotel where, at the end of each day, passengers can seek respite from some of the less comfortable aspects -- lack of clean drinking water, extreme heat and humidity, and overt poverty -- of a trip to Southeast Asia.

Since debuting in Europe in 2014, Emerald Waterways is perhaps best known for its fleet of contemporary "Star Ships," which combine affordability (they are a fraction of the cost of their most upscale brethren, Scenic) with contemporary design and inclusive features.

Emerald Waterways has brought the same elegant but understated style to Emerald Harmony, which outwardly looks more like a yacht than a traditional river ship. Capable of carrying just 84 passengers, it offers a nearly 2-to-1 crew ratio and a wide variety of accommodations, from value-added cabins to suites that span 450 square feet and include wraparound balconies and private hot tubs.

From the neutral palette in the spacious cabins to the cozy layout of the plush furniture in the ship's main lounge, the calming onboard atmosphere truly does make the ship feel like home.

The vessel also includes some unexpected touches like a soaring atrium, a swimming pool with a retractable sun shade, an onboard hair stylist and even self-service laundry facilities (a rarity on river cruise ships and one which we found exceedingly helpful, as the climate necessitated at least two wardrobe changes a day).

Overall, we found the ship to be exceptional. What it lacks in entertainment options and cabins with traditional balconies, it more than makes up for with its stellar shore excursions and large picture windows. The cruise director and crew go out of their way to make sure passengers are comfortable, and dining options are considerably varied for a ship of Emerald Harmony's size. It's a great way for Southeast Asia first-timers to experience the region in style.

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Included with your cruise fare:

  • Accommodations
  • Most shore excursions
  • All meals
  • Soda, select spirits, beer and select wines with lunch and dinner
  • Shipwide Wi-Fi
  • Fitness center access
  • Laundry facilities
  • Gratuities for crew, tour guides and drivers, and luggage porters

Not included with your cruise fare:

  • Discover More excursions
  • Spa treatments
  • Salon services

Top Emerald Harmony Itineraries

View All Emerald Harmony Itineraries (0)

Fellow Passengers

Passengers on Emerald Harmony include a mix of people from the U.S., Canada and the UK, as well as Australia, due to the country's relative proximity to Asia. (The line does business in Australia as Evergreen.) On our sailing, passengers ranged in age from early 30s to late 80s with an average age in the late 60s.

Emerald Harmony Dress Code

Daytime: Emerald's dress code is relaxed and informal, but that's especially true on Emerald Harmony, where the weather is hot and humid all year. Passengers will be most comfortable in long, loose clothing that will protect them from sun and mosquitoes while meeting modesty requirements for the many temples they'll visit. Sturdy shoes are a must.

Evening: Casual attire is fine for dinner, but some cruisers choose to wear collared shirts or informal dresses. Shorts and flip-flops are not allowed in the restaurant during dinner.

Not permitted: Bathing suits are not permitted in the restaurant, and shoulders and knees must be covered to enter temples ashore.

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Emerald Harmony Ratings

Public Rooms3.55
Fitness Recreation4.54.8
Value For Money4.05

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Cruises on Emerald Harmony start from null per person.

Awards and Recognition

Emerald Harmony Member Reviews

Emerald Harmony
Sail Date: Feb 2020
We look forward to another adventure in the future with Emerald Waterways.... Read More
Emerald Harmony
Sail Date: Nov 2019
Aboard the Harmony, the staff quickly learned our names, and called us by name. There are only about 75 guests on the boat, which was a really nice number to be a part of.... Read More
Emerald Harmony
Sail Date: Aug 2019
Emerald seem to get it right everytime.... Read More
Emerald Harmony
Sail Date: Mar 2020
We then boarded the Emerald Harmony for a 7 night cruise which only had 29 passengers out of a possible 84 due to the fact nobody from the USA or Canada could get to Siem Rep due to travel restrictions... Read More

Emerald Waterways Fleet

Emerald Star
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

127 reviews

The 182-passenger Emerald Star is affordable, comfortable and friendly with simple, yet modern decor and pricing that includes excursions in every port.

Emerald Star Cruises to Europe View All Emerald Star Cruises
Emerald Sky

A moderately priced river cruise ship with three passenger decks that pack in plenty of facilities including a hair salon, gym, massage room and a swimming pool.

Emerald Dawn

The 182-passenger Emerald Dawn offers a contemporary decor, heated swimming pool with a retractable roof and cabins from singles to suites.

Emerald Sun

Emerald Sun is a 182-passenger, 443-foot long ship, with 92 cabins from singles to suites, and a heated pool with retractable roof.

Emerald Destiny

Emerald Destiny -- one of Emerald Waterways' signature Star Ships  -- navigates the Danube, Moselle, Rhine and Main Rivers.

Emerald Liberte

Emerald Liberte is the fifth vessel in the line's Star-Ship fleet but it's 82 feet shorter and carries a maximum 138 instead of 182 passengers.

Emerald Radiance
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

With 112 passengers, Emerald Radiance sails the Douro with plenty of amenities and Portuguese hospitality


Emerald Harmony
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

A slice of Europe on the Mekong, Emerald Harmony brings thoughtful, contemporary sailing to an adventurous region of the world.

MS Lastavica

Emerald Waterways expands its small-ship cruises on the Dalmatian Coast in 2020 with this yacht-style vessel capable of carrying 36 passengers.

MS Swallow

The first of two new vessels to sail Croatia's Dalmatian Coast for Emerald Waterways, 36-passenger MS Swallow debuts in 2019. 

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