• Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Log In

Emerald Harmony Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
5 reviews
See all photos
Editor Rating
4.0
Very Good
Ashley Kosciolek
Cruise Critic Contributor

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.

Pros

Sleek, elegant river ship with rare amenities like a laundry room and rear-facing pool

Cons

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

About

Passengers : 84
Crew : 40
Passenger to Crew : 2.10:1
Launched : 2019
Shore Excursions : 0

Sails To

Sails From

Inclusions

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

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.

Sign Up for Price Drop Alerts

Get Emerald Harmony price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Find an Emerald Harmony Cruise

More about Emerald Harmony

Where does Emerald Harmony sail from?

Emerald Harmony departs from

Where does Emerald Harmony sail to?

Emerald Harmony cruises to

How much does it cost to go on Emerald Harmony?

Cruises on Emerald Harmony start from null per person.
Emerald Harmony Cruiser Reviews

a superb cruise !

Chose this cruise as we liked the look of Emerald Cruises, and the new Harmony ship, when investigating possible intineraries for a trip to Vietnam and Cambodia.... Read More
User Avatar
Lesjan

2-5 Cruises

Age 70s

A First Class Plus River Cruise

We look forward to another adventure in the future with Emerald Waterways.... Read More
User Avatar
janet2506520235

6-10 Cruises

Age 70s

Beautiful riverboat with lovely staff and an excellent itinerary.

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
User Avatar
anfai

2-5 Cruises

Age 60s

Stunning cruise through a stunning part of the world

Emerald seem to get it right everytime.... Read More
User Avatar
AmyLouisePoli

2-5 Cruises

Age 40s

Emerald Waterways Fleet
Emerald Star
Show more
Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.