Built in 2008, Royal Emerald began life as Scenic's Scenic Emerald and is currently chartered by Teeming River Cruises. At 443 feet in length, the 171-passenger ship distinguishes itself by offering full step-out balconies in nearly every grade of cabin accommodation, along with contemporary design throughout the ship and its public rooms.
In addition to the usual main dining room and bar and lounge combination, Royal Emerald offers passengers a small wellness area, a gift shop, a forward-facing observation deck and a jogging track. A passenger elevator travels from the Sapphire Deck to the Diamond Deck but does not go up to the Sun Deck or down to the Jewel Deck.
Most meals are taken in the Restaurant, where water, coffee and tea are provided complimentarily. Other beverages, in keeping with Teeming's policies, can be ordered at an additional cost during all meal hours.
Cuisine onboard ranges from European-inspired specialties to North American favorites. Lighter fare can be found at select hours in the ship's main lounge. Dining times vary according to itinerary and day, but generally early riser light breakfast is served at 6:30 a.m., full breakfast buffet between 7 and 9 a.m., lunch buffet from noon to 1:30 p.m., and dinner from 7 to 9 p.m.
There are six separate categories of cabin aboard Royal Emerald, spread across three passenger decks.
Standard Suites are 160 square feet and are located on the Jewel Deck, the lowest passenger deck aboard Royal Emerald. These economical rooms feature plenty of comforts along with half-height "riverview" windows positioned near the top of the room. These rooms feature a desk and vanity area, bathroom with stand-up shower, flat-panel television and closet with ample storage space.
Balcony Suites are larger at 205 square feet and offer a full-size, step-out balcony with floor-to-ceiling windows. Balconies have two chairs and a small table, and the stateroom offers a small vanity area, bathroom with shower and ample closet space.
Deluxe Balcony Suites measure 225 square feet and offer more living space over the slightly smaller Balcony Suites.
Junior Balcony Suites offer 250 square feet of living space along with a private, step-out balcony. These rooms feature additional living space and a larger bathroom with a full-size bathtub and a stand-alone shower.
Royal Balcony Suites run between 300 and 315 square feet. They feature an enlarged sleeping and sitting area with sofa and chairs, an expanded step-out balcony and a bathroom with full-size bathtub and a stand-alone shower.
Panorama Suites are the largest onboard, offering 325 square feet of space. These feature floor-to-ceiling windows, a full-size balcony, an oversize sitting area adjacent to the main bed and a large bathroom with a stand-alone shower (no tub).
Up top, Royal Emerald includes a jogging track, a rooftop garden terrace and plenty of open space for scenic cruising.
Entertainment onboard tends to be of the low-key variety, with most passengers electing to converse with each other over cocktails and nightcaps.
Royal Emerald primarily operates Teeming River Cruises' itineraries on the Danube River.