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Emerald Waterways is building fifth 'Star Ship,' Emerald Belle

Emerald Waterways is building fifth 'Star Ship,' Emerald Belle
Emerald Waterways plans a fifth 'Star Ship,' Emerald Belle. The vessel will be built in the Netherlands and is expected to be launched in early 2016, coming on the heels of the 2015 launch of Emerald Dawn and Emerald Sun.

Emerald Belle will be built in the same configuration as her four sisters while also keeping an eye on possible innovations and enhancements still to be decided, the company said.

Each 'Star Ship' carries 182 passengers in 72 suites and 20 staterooms, including two built for solo occupancy.

A new type of cabin design that replaces the French balcony, common to most ships, with an indoor balcony that has a decked area and an open-air system. Passengers push a button and the upper half of the floor-to-ceiling panoramic window drops. Top suites separate the balcony from the cabin with sliding doors.

Other ship features include a heated swimming pool with a retractable glass roof; the area transforms into a movie theater in the evening. There are two restaurants, Reflections, the main dining room, and The Terrace, for breakfast and lunch. A hair dresser, massage therapy room and fitness area are provided.

Part of the Scenic Group, Emerald Waterways entered service in 2014 with a near all-inclusive pricing plan that bundles in transfers; wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner; shipboard Wi-Fi, most shore excursions; bicycles to use for independent touring and gratuities.

Emerald Waterways will offer nine itineraries in 2015. They include the eight-day, Nuremberg-to-Budapest 'Danube Delights'; the 15-day 'Splendours of Europe,' which travels the Rhine and the Danube from Amsterdam to Budapest; the 10-day 'Enchantment of Eastern Europe,' which travels eastern Europe via the Danube through Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania; the eight-day 'Highlights of the Netherlands and Beauty of Belgium,' which begins and ends in Amsterdam and shows off this region at the height of spring when the tulips are in bloom; and 'Delights of France,' an 11-day sailing from Lyon to Arles.