Why have you decided to launch Emerald Waterways in Australia now?
This is an exciting time for the Scenic Group and in particular what we call the “E brands”, that is Evergreen Tours, Emerald Waterways and Emerald Yacht Cruises.
This recent growth phase started in 2019 with the launch of our eighth ship and our first Star-Ship outside of Europe, Emerald Harmony, on the Mekong River.
We then announced a new concept and brand, Emerald Yacht Cruises, on February 1 this year with a preview of stylish super-yacht Emerald Azzurra who will welcome just 100 guests to the Mediterranean, Adriatic and Red Sea; and we announced our ninth Star-Ship was being built for the 2021 season in Europe.
This combined with the worldwide success of the Emerald Waterways brand means it is now time for the brand to become as known and loved in Australia too.
What will this mean for the cruise-loving travellers of Australia?
Despite the temporary impact COVID-19 has had on our market, we know Aussies are starting to plan their 2021 and beyond trips now and are seeing very encouraging signs.
When they are ready to travel again we want Emerald Waterways to be their first river cruise brand of choice for value-conscious guests.
Is this a testament to the ever-growing popularity of small ship cruising?
Absolutely. And we have both river and ocean cruises covered with the Emerald Waterways and Emerald Yacht Cruises brands.
We have a maximum of just 180 guests on our Rhine, Main and Danube Star-Ships and only 100 guests on brand new super yacht Emerald Azzurra. Most of our cabins enjoy a balcony space, so there is abundant fresh air.
Tell us more about your new ship coming online in 2021.
Emerald Azzurra is a new concept in boutique, small-ship cruising from sister brand Emerald Yacht Cruises.
With just 100 guests on board, you’ll feel like a millionaire on your own super-yacht.
At just 110metres long, you’ll dock in the heart of small Mediterranean and Adriatic ports for an uncrowded and truly magical authentic travel experience.
How do you think cruising will rebound from COVID-19?
We’re already seeing bookings for 2021 and beyond, with Emerald Azzurra open for 2022 bookings right now. As borders start to open and guests feel confident that their health, wellbeing and safety is the number one priority, we’ll start to see the industry rebound.
How important will travel agents be in spreading the Emerald message?
Our travel agent partners are critical! They are already familiar with the award-winning Evergreen river cruise program which has been operated by sister brand Emerald Waterways since its launch in 2014.
Having won the Cruise Critic “Best River Line for Value” award for the past five consecutive years, agents can be confident the quality of the river cruise is the same, as it the promise of exceptional value – it’s just the name that is changing to Emerald Waterways.
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