ALMOST SMOOTH SAILING
SCENIC Emerald is a sleek new vessel with modern lines, cool colours (shades of grey brightened by violet) and luxurious details such as arrangements of orchids. The 169-passenger boat has a wealth of facilities, including two restaurants and four decks. There are 85 suites and cabins, most with private balconies.
I amon the maiden voyage of the Scenic Emerald, however, and a new boat is much like a new house: there are bound to be some teething troubles. In our case, the gremlins are uncertain plumbing and noisy engines, and internet access is not always possible. I amassured, however, these problems have been fixed. On the plus side, the service is impeccable, the food is delicious and wine flows freely.
Tours are well designed and on our cruise every passenger has their highlight: the castles beside the Rhine, the chapel where SilentNight was composed, that memorable concert in Vienna. But mine are of our journey through the vineyards of the Wachau Valley and watching men play chess in the thermal waters of my new-found love, Budapest. Eithne Nightingale