In 2013, luxury cruise and tour company Scenic launched its sister venture, Emerald Waterways. This new company would emulate the deluxe experience and all-inclusive feel of Scenic’s itineraries while catering to more budget-conscious travelers.
Port charges, airport transfers and all gratuities are covered in the price of your Emerald sailing. Also included are all onboard meals with a selection of beer and wine. Wi-Fi is available for those who like to stay connected, and complimentary bicycles encourage passengers to explore the ports from a new perspective.
Emerald Waterways’ rapidly expanding fleet currently includes vessels used exclusively by Emerald on European waters in addition to one shared ship, the Mekong Navigator. Emerald’s ships are among the youngest in the industry; the oldest was built in 2014. This recent construction is reflected in the contemporary sleekness and thoughtful simplicity of their outer and interior designs.
Intimate, Innovative Ships
Emerald’s largest ships carry a maximum of 182 passengers, so guests enjoy personal attention and a boutique hotel atmosphere. Those who book suites receive extra in-room perks, such as a concierge service that delivers continental breakfast, predinner hors d’oeuvres and sweet confections after dinner.
Emerald Waterways’ vessels set themselves apart by employing technology to optimize the comfort of their passengers. Cabins on upper decks feature balconies with an “open-air system” that allows guests to open or close the window with the push of a button. Certain suites also come equipped with iPads. A heated swimming pool with a retractable roof ensures that the weather doesn’t interfere with plans for a dip. On all but one ship, this same pool area can convert to a cinema.
Immersive and Active Excursions
While Emerald’s journeys feature excursions at every port of call, the EmeraldPLUS program goes further. Seeking to provide a deeper insight into the culture of the destination, these complimentary excursions engage with local residents and traditions to provide a truly authentic experience. Guests cruising on the Mekong might receive a water blessing from Buddhist monks at a temple in Cambodia, for example, while visitors to the south of France might indulge in a Provencal dinner cooked by a local chef.
Taking a trip doesn’t have to mean taking time off from a fitness regime. EmeraldACTIVE excursions incorporate scenic surroundings into your workout. Like the EmeraldPLUS programs, these activities are complimentary. Guided hiking and biking tours exercise both body and mind and appear frequently on Emerald’s itineraries. Onboard yoga or Pilates lessons also are available on certain sailings.
To get a feel for the Emerald experience, check out the video below.