Scenic Group, which owns both Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours and Emerald Waterways, is sailing into new waters with the announcement of Emerald Yacht Cruises.
The division is taking off with the 100-guest, 50-cabin super yacht called Emerald Azzurra, which means sky blue in Italian, set to launch in July 2021 with itineraries in the Adriatic, Mediterranean, and the Red Sea.
Appearing via video at a Toronto event yesterday (Feb. 5) as part of a Canadian roadshow from Ottawa to Vancouver, Glen Moroney, owner and chairman of the Scenic Group said, “this I’m certain will be extremely popular and I’ve gotta tell you it’s mega-yacht cool. This infinity pool, I think there are going to be a hell of a lot of people watching the ship go past saying who is the billionaire on there? There will be a hundred of them or at least they’ll get treated that way.”
The 360-foot long yacht will call on multiple ports in Greece, Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, France, Turkey, Cyprus, Malta, Spain, Israel, Jordan and Egypt, and features a full gym and spa with sauna and steam room, and a hairdresser.
“Yes, we start in Barcelona and finish in Rome, but it’s all the little ports in between that will make this really special,” he said. “It’s a 12 month program in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, a lot of what the ship is about is getting into those smaller ports and there’s quite a few here where we pull up right in the centre of town because the locations that we pull up will totally allow people to go on and off the ship at their own bequest, and do whatever they want to do for the day and explore at their own and come back when they feel like it without their own set itinerary… and there are some beautiful other places [we visit] like really local villages.”
With the new division, Patricia Wu, brand director, Canada for Emerald Waterways says they’ve launched Emerald Cruises with a new tagline: intimate experiences and exotic destinations. The majority — 88% — of the cabins onboard feature balconies or terraces.
“We have more than 25 wonderful curated itineraries for those seas, they’re just these intimate small coastal towns that you can walk off and do your shopping, relax and enjoy on and off the ship,” she added. “We have 64 crew for those 100 guests so very high guest to crew ratio.”
For those with clients interested in taking part in the experience, Juna Ueda, General Manager – Canada Sales, says to jump on it because sales have already exceeded expectations with competitive lead-in prices available starting from $495 per person, per day.
“For that price, it’s a steal. It’s a good price,” he said. “It’s an interesting, exciting time.”
Although Emerald Waterways is only five years old, Ueda said it continues to grow in double digits year over year, and Scenic on pace with single-digit growth. He credits the increase to having local BDMs in Ontario, a growing groups business and its information sessions, which are targeted events for the public to discover the brands. In total 58 events across both brands are planned.
“All of this drives inquiry back to you all,” he told the gathered travel partners. “That’s our commitment to you and that will never change because without you all we will never succeed.”
Meanwhile, Lisa McCaskill, vice president, sales and marketing for Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours was on hand to highlight the Scenic Eclipse, thanking travel partners for their patience during the delays.
“Luckily at the end of the day she was the spectacular ship we all hoped and wished for,” she said. “Then of course we had our christening in New York with Dame Helen Mirren that was so cool, I got to shake her hand, I was like a total idiot I was like ‘hi, I’m Lisa from the Canada office,’ but she was fabulous.”
The ship is currently in Antarctica, and specializes in discovery in Antarctica and the Arctic with discovery leaders on board and lecturers. Guests can also opt for additional experiences such as a submarine or helicopter ride.
Looking ahead to the 2022/2023 season, she said there are 15 itineraries, six of which are brand now. She encouraged agents to take advantage of a pre-registration offer for clients to lock in on the suite and itinerary they want for a fully refundable $500.
Also new, there will be shorter itineraries available, including 7 and 9-day tours, which caters more to the Canadian market.
As part of the brand refresh, she said the Scenic landing page now reflects both river and yacht cruises.
Pictured at the event are: Juna Ueda; Patricia Wu; Jared Gelfand; Tracy Daniels and Lisa McCaskill.