The 169-passenger Scenic Emerald debuted in 2009. Like its nearly identical sister Scenic Tours riverboats, Emerald sails Europe's Danube, Rhine and Moselle rivers.
Here's what to expect on a Scenic Emerald cruise:
The cruise holiday is essentially all-inclusive, with fares covering meals, gratuities and shore excursions. And beginning in 2013, the line will add unlimited drinks (including those from the mini-bar) and a butler service for all guests.
Breakfast and lunch are served buffet-style, but dinner is offered in a single seating (open-seating) beginning at 7 p.m. sharp. Dinner is held in one of two dining venues, the main restaurant (which can accommodate everyone) and Portobello’s Italian Restaurant, the ship's small alternative venue available to all passengers at least once a cruise. Occasionally, there are dinners on the sun deck (think BBQs). There is no extra charge to dine in Portobello's.
Cabins range from 160 square feet (outside cabin without balcony) to 315 square feet (Royal Suite with balcony). Eighty-two percent of cabins have real balconies with space for two chairs -- unusual in river cruising.
Shore excursions are included in every port and are guided by English-speaking locals. Whisper headsets are provided to make hearing the commentary easier even in crowded places. Bicycles are available for use between certain ports.
Satellite Internet is available, through laptop or cabin televisions, but there is a cost per use.