Emerald is the first ship custom built for the Tauck river fleet. The ship launched in 2006.
In a nice modern touch, there's onboard Wi-Fi access throughout the ship. Emerald also features a wellness room with sauna, steam room, spa and 24-hour Jacuzzi. Moreover, the ship boasts 14 300-square-ft. suites, with floor-to-ceiling windows, marble bath with full tub, and walk-in closets.
The onboard atmosphere is that of a country club -- not too formal, but with an unpretentious elegance.
Dinner is an open-seating affair (vegetarian meals available), and wine is included at no extra cost. Onshore dining excursions -- for example, a private dinner and musical performance in Palais Pallavicini in Vienna -- are also part of the experience and included in the fare.
Evening entertainment is tasteful, with piano music, lectures on the history and culture of the places the riverboat visits, and special local performances -- folkloric dancing for one -- rounding out the offerings.
Of course, the passing scenery has to be included in the entertainment options, and passengers can take in some of the lovely views from the Sun Deck, one of the main social gathering points. The Sun Deck also features a Whirlpool.
Emerald offers a choice of several different European sailings, focusing on the Danube, Rhine and Main Rivers, the three huge European waterways that wind through the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania. All shore excursions are included in the cost of the cruise, with a choice of sightseeing opportunities in many cities.