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Emerald Waterways is building up its fleet. The river cruise line, which debuted as a division of Scenic Cruises in 2014 with two 182-passenger ships, will inaugurate Emerald Sun and Emerald Dawn this summer; Emerald Belle is scheduled for 2016. All five vessels have essentially the same design and will serve a slightly younger demographic, with lower pricing than Scenic.
The two newest Emerald ships were christened in a joint ceremony in Budapest, Hungary, with a bow to both the North American and the U.K. trade. Kelly Bergin, who has more than 25 years of experience in the travel industry, is godmother to Emerald Dawn. She was recently named president of Boca Raton, Fla.-based OASIS, a national affiliation of independent travel consultants and one of the largest Internet-based travel companies in the U.S. Julie Kendrick is godmother for Emerald Sun. The 25-year industry veteran is head of commercial and marketing at Midcounties Co-Operative Travel, the largest independent consumer co-operative in the U.K., with a network of more than 60 branches.
The newbuilds will carry 182 guests in 72 suites and 20 staterooms, including two built specifically for solo passengers. The design continues Emerald’s innovative onboard heated swimming pool with a retractable roof, which transforms into a movie theater in the evening. Like Scenic, Emerald has balconies that can be fully enclosed with the touch of a button, and there’s an onboard hairdresser, a massage-therapy room and a fitness area. Two restaurants serve guests: Reflections, the main dining room, and The Terrace, which serves breakfast and lunch.
Emerald’s vessels operate seven- to 14-night cruises on the Rhine, Main, Danube and Moselle rivers, with fares that include transfers to and from the ships; use of onboard bicycles; unlimited tea and coffee; wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner; Wi-Fi access; most shore excursions and all gratuities.