The decision to enter the yacht cruising market is a “logical extension” to the Emerald Cruises product, according to the company’s director of marketing.
David Winterton, who is also Emerald Cruises’ global brand curator, told Cruise Trade News that the new 100-passenger Emerald Azzurra – unveiled at the start of February – will provide guests with the opportunity to “sail straight into some of Europe’s finest ports and harbours which are only accessible to small vessels”.
Emerald Azzurra, scheduled to launch in July 2021, will explore a number of destinations, including the Red Sea, the Mediterranean, and the French and Italian Rivieras. Prices start at £2,965pp for an eight-day French and Italian Riviera sailing.
Winterton hinted that the company could add to its yacht portfolio in the future. He said: “At the moment we are focused on building Emerald Azzurra and bringing a new style of cruising, yacht cruising, to the UK market.
“We launched Emerald Waterways with two river ships and now we have nine sailing Europe and Southeast Asia. We are committed to growing both Emerald Yacht Cruises and Emerald Waterways over the coming years.”
Winterton also added that Emerald’s river guests will “jump at the chance” to sail the Mediterranean coastlines “with a brand they have come to know and love”.
He said: “Our yacht cruising holidays will provide the same inclusions [as with Emerald Waterways] – return flights, transfers to/from the yacht, all on board meals with complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks at lunch and dinner, included excursions and all gratuities.
“We believe the style of the yacht, with its marina platform and marina toys along with our EmeraldACTIVE programme, will attract a slightly younger guest, similar to our guests on board Emerald Harmony, sailing the Mekong.”
Emerald’s e-learning Agent Academy programme has also been updated to include a new Emerald Azzurra module, to allow agents to “independently learn about this amazing product in their own time”, added director of trade sales Joseph Grimley.