The Emerald Sky in Budapest
This contest has ended.

UPDATE: The submission period for this contest has ended and the winners have been contacted. Thank you so much to all our blogger applicants!

With dozens of entries it was difficult for us to pick a winner but after careful consideration our judges have picked Kay Dougherty & Anne Reilly from as first place and Linda Bibb as second place. Kay & Anne (They’re sisters) will be going on an eight-day European River Cruise on Emerald Cruises for two in 2015 and Linda B. just became $500 richer. Congratulations to you both!


River cruising is one of the fastest growing segments of the travel industry and last year I decided it was time for me to put away my prejudices (primarily the notion that river cruising is only for older people) and check it out for myself. I went on two European river cruises—first, in the summer with Scenic Cruises (here’s my story) and the other with Viking on a Christmas market cruise (story here). Both were seven-day trips on the Danube and both were amazing experiences, as I wrote compiling these 11 reasons to go on a European river cruise.

As you can see from the stories and photos, a river cruise is the trip of a lifetime. Now, guess what? Emerald Waterways, Europe’s first new river cruise company in six years, has teamed up with to run a writer/blogger contest in which we’ll be giving away an eight-day European river cruise for two in 2015 (airfare not included)! Second prize wins $500.

This could be your room as you sail down the Danube
This could be your room as you sail down the Danube

Emerald Waterways is launching two new ships—Emerald Star and Emerald Sky—that each carry 182 guests in 72 suites and 20 staterooms, including two built for solo occupancy. Unique items include an onboard heated swimming pool with a retractable roof, transforming into a movie theater in the evening; two restaurants (Reflections, the main dining room, and The Terrace, for breakfast and lunch); and a new type of cabin design that replaces the run-of-the-mill French Balcony, common to most ships, with an indoor balcony complete with decked area and an ingenious open-air system. The system allows guests to push a button and the upper half of the panoramic floor-to-ceiling window drops down to allow an open-air experience; top suites separate the balcony from the cabin with sliding doors. Guests will also enjoy services like the onboard hairdresser, massage therapy room and fitness area.

Pool: heated. Roof: retractable. Europe: just outside.
Pool: heated. Roof: retractable. Europe: just outside.

Fare inclusions: all transfers to and from the ships; all onboard (and some on shore) meals; unlimited tea and coffee; wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner; bottled water in the cabins; continental breakfast, pre-dinner canapés and after-dinner sweet treats served in the top suites; Wi-Fi onboard the ship, at least one included shore excursion almost every cruise day and visits to many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and more.

Five itineraries are being offered by Emerald Waterways in 2014:

The contest:
We know why you should do an Emerald Waterways river cruise. Now tell us your reasons for wanting to do one! To enter to win, write a 450- to 750-word article in English about what you would most like to do on an Emerald Waterways river cruise through Europe. Please identify the itinerary that looks most exciting and write about what you’d like to do and see on that itinerary.

Entries will be judged on creativity, ability to inspire interest in Emerald Waterways and clarity of writing.

Enter in three easy steps:

  1. Write a 450-750 word article entitled: Why I want to go on an eight-day Emerald Waterways river cruise through Europe
  2. Publish your post on your blog or website.
  3. Submit the URL! Using Twitter, tweet your post’s URL using the hashtag #EmeraldWaterways and tag @JohnnyJet and @USEmerald. Entry URLs must also be emailed to with the subject line “Emerald Waterways contest.”
Tell us why you'd like to take an Emerald Waterways cruise!
Tell us why you’d like to take an Emerald Waterways cruise!

Fine print:
Entries must be received by midnight May 25, 2014 PT with the winner to be notified within seven business days. Travel must commence by September 24, 2015. Contest is open to U.S. residents only. First prize: One eight-day European river cruise on Emerald Waterways in 2015. Second prize: $500 US.

Here are ALL of the official rules.

Ready to enter? Get writing and good luck!

28 Comments On "Blogger Contest: Win an Emerald Waterways European River Cruise for Two!"
  1. noelmorata|

    Oh goody another Kerala incarnation and this time it’s a cruise

  2. BlondeBrunetteTravel|

    Here’s our entry – fingers crossed! (Not really – it’s too hard to type that way).

  3. Kate Millo-Ybanez|

    question – what if the itinerary that interests me is more than 8 days?:( is the contest only limited to the 8-day Danube cruise?

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Hi Kate,

      It’s better to just write about the 8 day one since that’s what the prize is

      1. Kate Millo-Ybanez|

        ok thanks for the response!:)

      2. Backroad Planet|

        Hope it was okay to dream and write about the 12-day Splendours of Europe cruise. That is what I understood when I read, “Please identify the itinerary that looks most exciting and write about what you’d like to do and see on that itinerary.” Hope so! Anyway here is our entry:

      3. Travellor|

        same here, as I understood it you got to choose the itinerary to write about (Please identify the itinerary that looks most exciting and write about what you’d like to do and see on that itinerary.). Then I scroll down here after typing about 700 words and see this. Gonna hope this flies.

        1. Johnny Jet|

          Thanks! Don’t forget to tweet and email it to whitney @ johnnyjet. com

          1. Travellor|

            Done, thanks. And I counted, it was only 435 words it just seemed longer. lol

  4. rosemary|


  5. Anonymous|

    Done! :) #fingerscrossed

  6. karead7|

    U.S. residents only. That sucks.

  7. BlondeBrunetteTravel|

    Did the deadline for this contest get extended? I thought the winner was going to be announced this week but now I see that the contest goes until May 25th. Another month of suspense!

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Yes! We just extended it by a month. It should’ve been a two month contest but it was only down as one month.

  8. Heather|
  9. naoma foreman|


  10. hometoitaly|

    to be SURE, after i read another comment here: write about the shorter trip even if the trip the writer would like to take is a longer trip?????

    1. Johnny Jet|

      You can write about any itinerary but the prize is the one listed.

      1. Anonymous|

        thank you

  11. Irie Girl|

    Talk about being a procrastinator……Just posted my Blog!!
    Better late than never…I promise to be on time for the sailing!!!

  12. Aaron|

    So you chose the cliche’ cruisers – two women who made the post all about themselves and already have the money to cruise and a woman who used bullet points? Yawn. How disappointing. There were much better entries.

    1. Anonymous|

      I agree. There were so many that were well written and not just a copy of what’s already in this post.

    2. Kay Dougherty|


  13. DebbieT|

    Congratulations to the winners!

    1. Travellor|

      Congrats winners!

      1. Kay Dougherty|

        Thank you – we’re thrilled!

  14. Kay Dougherty|

    We are so thrilled to have won this fabulous cruise! Thanks so much!

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