Emerald Cruises identifies new niche for superyacht market

Brand targets discerning travellers looking for more intimate experiences

Scenic Group says it has identified a new niche that has been long overlooked for its Emerald Cruises brand, while launching a new trade incentive to drive bookings to the brand.

Next month, Emerald Cruises will launch its first of two superyachts, Emerald Azzurra – a 100-passenger yacht that will offer coastal voyages in warm water destinations, primarily in the Mediterranean and Greek Islands.

Speaking at last week’s official launch of the Emerald Cruises’ brand in Australia to travel advisors in Sydney, Anthony Laver, Group GM Sales & Marketing, Australasia said the Group continues to innovate.

Anthony Laver presenting at the Emerald Cruises launch in Australia.

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“We haven’t stopped over the last few years. We know that people still want to reconnect, they still want to travel, hopefully in 2022 and beyond,” Laver said, before introducing Scenic Group founder Glen Moroney as an “incredible entrepreneur” and “innovator”.

“[Glen’s] looking at what the future needs are for guests travelling. He looked at the industry and saw that everybody was zigging in a certain area. They were going to larger ships, similar destinations and he thought what can we do differently, and he zagged and went to smaller ships and to very bespoke, unique locations, very unique experiences,” Laver said.

Having successfully launched the ‘six-star’ Scenic Eclipse “Discovery Yacht” under the Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours brand in 2019, Laver said the evolution of Emerald Cruises was next for Moroney, saying “he’s created a whole new class of small ship and superyachts.”

“For the global market, this is a new category. We built something for where there is a massive gap in the market…Glen has re-engineered the concept of superyacht. It’s a whole new category and class.”

Emerald Azzurra - Emerald Cruises' first of two superyachts

Laver said the niche is a younger demographic – “not traditional cruisers of 55-60” – and that the Emerald Cruises’ superyachts will have a smaller footprint onshore, whereby the 100-guests “don’t disrupt the local communities visited compared to cruise ships”.

In a recorded message from Switzerland played to travel advisors at the event, Moroney said the rationale behind Emerald Azzurra had been conceived 4.5 years earlier.

“When we sat down and started to think about taking the Emerald Cruises brand to the oceans and what sort of experiences to deliver, we wanted it to be intimate. We wanted warm water cruising and we wanted something that would deliver an experience that has been long lost for a ship of its size,” he said.

Moroney said last month’s sea trials of Emerald Azzurra “exceeded all of its design parameters – speed, noise and vibration and overall comfort of sailing, and manoeuvrability.”

“It really is a very, very special ship and it will deliver a fantastic experience,” he added.

Joanne Watson, Penny Spencer Travel; Gada Selim, Helloworld Miranda; Cathy Page, Emerald Cruises (Scenic Group); Melanie Stedman, Helloworld Winston Hills and Yohan Siva, Helloworld Dapto.

Angus Crichton, Director of Sales, Marketing and Product for Emerald Cruises said Emerald Azzurra creates a new category for cruising. “There’s nothing like it,” he said.

“Emerald Cruises isn’t Evergreen Tours rebadged. It’s so much more.

“Emerald Cruises is about giving your guests the best small ship and superyacht experience and exceptional value. After taking tens of thousands of travellers around the world as Evergreen, and as Scenic Group, we listened and learnt and designed Emerald Cruises specifically around this travelling segment,” Crichton said.

Crichton described a profile of the Emerald Cruises’ superyacht client as a “discerning traveller”.

“They know quality but they are strong on value. That is, they love to go super yachting but not at a super price.

“They are a sharer – they share the experience but don’t brag about the brand. They are easygoing, like to have things organised but also have some freedom to explore. They can be a high-nett-worth individual or someone who has saved for the trip of a lifetime – so it is a really broad socio-economic range,” Crichton said.

Angus Crichton, Director - Sales, Marketing and Product for Emerald Cruises and Judith Hainke, Senior Marketing Manager, Australia & New Zealand, Emerald Cruises.

Crichton also used last week’s event to reveal a new Emerald Cruises incentive for travel partners.

The Top 10 advisors that sell Emerald Cruises’ product (both river cruising in Europe and Asia, and superyachts) between now and the end of March 2022, will be rewarded with a suite aboard Emerald Azzurra, for them and their travelling companion. For more details on the incentive, contact your Emerald Cruises’ BDM.

Emerald Azzurra is scheduled to operate its inaugural service in late January 2022. Sister-ship Emerald Sakara will debut in 2023.

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