Emerald Waterways eyes UK growth with the launch of yacht cruising

Emerald Waterways has officially entered the yacht cruising market with the launch of its first custom built 100 guest ocean-going super yacht – Emerald Azzurra – to be launched under the newly formed Emerald Yacht Cruises brand.

Emerald Azzurra will become the first vessel owned by the new Emerald Yacht Cruises brand and will sit alongside Emerald Waterways as the two brands making up the newly formed Emerald Cruises portfolio.

The new 110 metre long Emerald Azzurra is being built in Ha Long City, Vietnam, and will be launched in July 2021 sailing a series of 47 itineraries.

On sale from 1st February 2020, the new sailings will explore destinations including the Red Sea – Israel, Jordan and Egypt – and the Mediterranean – Greece, Montenegro, Italy, France, Cyprus, Turkey, Malta and Spain – offering guests an intimate, boutique yacht cruising experience.

As well as exploring the major highlights in these regions, guests will also have access to the smaller ports and harbours including Kotor, Santorini and Amalfi which can only be reached by small yachts.

On board, guests can enjoy local flavours and cocktails whilst taking in the views from one of the three different bars and restaurant. 88% of cabins include a balcony and the yacht features an on board wellness centre, three tenders and a Zodiac for shore landings. Emerald Azzurra also features a marina platform to allow easy access to snorkelling, paddle boarding or swimming at one of the many swim stops.

Mirroring the existing Emerald Waterways experience, the price of a cruise with Emerald Yacht Cruises includes return flights, transfers, all tipping and gratuities, meals at breakfast, lunch and dinner with complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks at lunch and dinner, plus excursions and experiences. On shore, guests will enjoy the popular EmeraldPLUS cultural experiences, a range of included EmeraldACTIVE excursions, and have the opportunity to book additional DiscoverMORE optional excursions to tailor their cruise.

David Winterton, Emerald Cruises Director of Marketing & Global Brand Curator commented: “We are thrilled to be introducing a new sister brand to Emerald Waterways. We have ambitious growth plans for the UK and can’t wait for past river cruise guests and new customers alike to join us on board our new ocean-going yacht.

“At just 110 metres in length, we are excited to be offering an intimate experience on board, with just 50 cabins, and on shore due to the fact we will have access to small ports and harbours that large ships can’t access. 

“As a brand we always act swiftly in response to our guest’s demands to ensure we are continually evolving our offer. We chartered a river ship on the Mekong River, before building Emerald Harmony and we have done the same by chartering small ships in Croatia last year before committing to building Emerald Azzurra.”

Part of the Scenic Group, Emerald Waterways currently operates nine Star-Ships in 19 countries and charters two small ships sailing the Adriatic coast.

Glen Moroney, owner and Chairman of the Scenic Group added: “Emerald Waterways has been operating award-winning river cruises in Europe since 2014. The launch of Emerald Yacht Cruises and the stunning new Emerald Azzurra are a logical extension of the Emerald Cruises portfolio, adding intimate yacht cruising of the Mediterranean to its Emerald Waterways Europe river cruise offering.”

The launch of the new Emerald Yacht Cruises brand comes hot on the heels of sister brand Emerald Waterways unveiling a new river ship for 2021, together with a brand-new European itinerary travelling through the Netherlands and Belgium calling in at Hasselt for the first time, as well as Amsterdam, Antwerp and Rotterdam. The new Star-Ship, Emerald Luna, is set to sail in spring 2021 offering a wealth of culturally immersive itineraries along the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers.