Sign Up for Our Monthly River Cruise Newsletter
First Viking expanded from river to ocean cruising, and then Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours followed suit. CroisiEurope Cruises and Vantage Cruise Line are planning to do the same — but they are no longer the only ones. Emerald Waterways and Viva Cruises are heading for the oceans, as well.
The trend is telling of companies’ ambitions to tap the broader market while still maintaining relatively small ship sizes. While traditional cruise lines continue to build bigger vessels, these new entrants are pushing in the other direction by constructing or operating small ships as a refreshing alternative to floating behemoths.
Emerald CruisesMuch like how Scenic recently entered the expedition cruise market with Scenic Eclipse, the line’s corporate cousin Emerald is planning to do the same with its own Emerald Azzurra super yacht in July 2021. This also introduces the Emerald Yacht Cruises brand as part of a larger umbrella now known as Emerald Cruises.
The 360-foot Azzurra will accommodate 100 guests sailing to the Adriatic, Mediterranean and Red Sea regions for its initial season. Major and smaller ports of call will be highlighted in Greece, Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, France, Turkey, Cyprus, Malta, Spain, Israel, Jordan and Egypt.
Selling points of the Azzurra include a vessel comprised of 88% balcony cabins and staterooms that will begin in size at over 285 square feet. The ship will feature an onboard wellness center complete with a gym and a spa, as well as a marina platform for paddleboarding and snorkeling. Three tenders and two Zodiacs will further facilitate landings onshore.
Emerald’s usual inclusions will be extended to the yachting experience encompassing a la carte dinners; breakfast and lunch buffets; complimentary wine, beer or soft drinks at lunch and dinner; all shipboard gratuities; airport transfers; port charges; and all taxes. Shoreside, signature EmeraldPlus excursions and EmeraldActive tours will be included while DiscoverMore experiences will be optional.
Viva CruisesScylla AG — the Swiss operator known mostly by way of other lines such as Riviera River Cruises and Tauck that charter its vessels — is making waves with its own Viva Cruises brand. The river cruise line began in 2018 and is now anticipating an ocean vessel, having purchased the 155-passenger Bremen from Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.
In May 2021, Bremen will become Seaventure and head to polar destinations. With its first entry into the expedition market, Viva will operate the ice-class ship in the summer (from May to October) and charter the ship to U.S.-based Polar Latitudes in the winter (from October to May).
Seaventure’s first sailing will depart from Amsterdam on May 15 before cruising the Baltic Sea, Iceland and Spitsbergen, Iceland and Greenland, Iceland and Canada and South America.
The Details Emerald Cruiseswww.emeraldyachtcruises.com