Emerald Waterways Expands into Yacht Cruising
River cruise company Emerald Waterways is entering the yacht cruising market in the Mediterranean, and it offers a remarkably affordable way to access the full-sized megayacht experience.
The new Emerald Azzurra is a 100-passenger, 360-foot boutique cruise ship with a convincing yacht-inspired design. Booking rates for the Azzurra start at just $360 per day - a vanishingly small fraction of the ownership or charter cost for a comparably-equipped private vessel. Even better, Emerald is known for its inclusive packages: the booking cost includes economy flights to and from Heathrow, airport transfers to and from the yacht, all onboard meals, complimentary wine and beer at lunch and dinner, free wifi, an included excursions package, and all taxes, fees and gratuities.
Emerald Azzurra is fitted for cruising the Med in style, with two pools, two restaurants, several bars, a sauna, a spa and a well-equipped gym. 88 percent of her accommodations are suites. When in port or at anchor, she has a marina platform with a Zodiac for excursions.
Images courtesy Emerald Waterways
In addition to in-demand areas of the Mediterranean, Emerald Waterways plans to deploy the Azzurra to small ports in the Adriatic and the Red Sea, giving cruisers access to regions that are not accessible for large vessels. Adriatic itineraries include destinations along the Croatian and Slovenian coastlines, like Zadar, Krk, Rovinj and Koper. For those interested in the other side of the Suez Canal, Azzurra will visit Sharm el-Sheikh, Nuweiba, Safaga, Eilat and Aqaba. Some Red Sea itineraries depart from Cyprus and call at Haifa, Ashdod, Alexandria and Port Said before transiting the Canal.
Emerald is targeting younger UK market cruisers with the Azzurra, and it intends to focus on the first ship first before contemplating additional vessels. However, brand curator and marketing director David Winterton told Cruise Trade News that it may well look to expand this part of its fleet in the future.