LGBT friendly river cruising

Emerald Waterways is proud to have created itineraries visiting some of Europe's most welcoming and diverse cities

At Emerald Waterways, we’re experts in creating itineraries with wide appeal, visiting interesting and diverse cities as you cruise the iconic rivers of the world. We understand there are often additional considerations to take into account when choosing your holiday destination, which is why we hope the following information will be of benefit when deciding which of our sensational itineraries to choose.

The DIVA Awards 2018

Emerald Waterways are delighted to announce we were one of the few brands shortlisted in the prestigious ‘Brand of the Year’ category at the 2018 Diva Awards.

The Brand of the Year category gives recognition to brands or organisations who either portray LBT+ women in a progressive, positive light, or which actively reaches out to the LBT+ community. Since launching the UK’s very first LGBT river cruise, Emerald Waterways has worked to promote our river cruises to the LBT+ market.

Key dates

Cities of interest


Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam is famous for its tolerant and open atmosphere, and has an extensive and open gay scene. Find bars, cafés and clubs on and around Reguliersdwarsstraat, Amstel and Kerkstraat, and closer to Dam Square on Warmoesstraat and Zeedijk.


4 - 12 December 2019

International Queer and Migrant Film Festival

International Queer & Migrant Filmfestival was founded in 2015 in Amsterdam and is a festival for queer & migrant related films as well as a multi-disciplinary community space with art exhibitions, workshops, debates, the annual newcomers dinner and the international talent programme IQMF Academy, all contributing to a diverse and inclusive society.


Chain Bridge, Budapest, Hungary
With a population of 1.7 million people, Budapest is a large, diverse city that’s considered one of the most beautiful destinations on the Danube River. There is an extensive gay scene, with numerous gay bars, cafés and clubs which are mostly located a stroll from Elisabeth Bridge.


7 - 13 August 2019

Sziget Festival

Image credits Rockstar Photographers

The Sziget Festival first began in 1993 as a small gathering and is now considered one of Europe's largest festivals. The 7 day festival hosts some of the biggest name in the music industry, over 1,000 shows across 60 stages. 


LGBT European cruises
Prague is one of Europe’s historic gems, adorned with stunning architecture, medieval lanes and a majestic castle. Prague’s vibrant gay scene is easy to navigate, with most of the nightlife located in the Vinohrady area, close to the city centre and the Old Town.


5 April 2019

Queer Eye Festival

Queer Eye festival in April of each year focuses on alternative music, performance, visual arts and photography. It maps the Czech society and culture from a different “queer” perspective, but it also has an international outreach.


Antwerp, Belgium
Antwerp, the city of famous painter Rubens, has a small but lively gay scene close to the harbour, with several popular bars and clubs including ‘Strange’, located on Dambruggestraat 161, Centre, which was the first gay café in Antwerp.


5 - 11 August 2019

Antwerp Queer Arts Festival

AQAF is an international arts festival, questioning gender and sexual diversity, that takes place each year at the end of July. Entering its fifth edition, each year they have programmed both local performers and international talent within a variety of art forms: music, literature, film, dance, theatre, exposition, performance…


Vienna, Austria
The beautiful centre of Vienna is packed with cultural sights and it’s here where you’ll find most of the famous buildings and tourist attractions. The Naschmarkt area is where you’ll find the majority of the city’s gay bars, cafés and clubs, as well as Vienna’s famous street market.


8 June 2019

Vienna Life Ball

Life Ball has been supporting the fight against AIDS and celebrating life for over 25 years. Hosted at the beautiful Vienna City Hall, the Life Ball attracts an international audience including global celebrities from fashion, music and politics. 
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