As river cruise lines try to better position themselves to cater to an increasingly broad spectrum of the travelling public, Scenic Tours founder Glen Moroney came up with a rather innovative solution recently by launching Emerald Cruises. The new river cruise company is being billed as a value-oriented alternative to Scenic and – presumably – other river cruise companies.
Rather than repurposing existing vessels from the Scenic fleet, the new Emerald Cruises will officially launch next April following the delivery of two European newbuilds, Emerald Star and Emerald Sky, both of which will accommodate 182 guests. This places them in the same successful passenger capacity bracket as Viking’s Longships.
Much like parent-company Scenic, Emerald Cruises will place special emphasis on distinguishing features like a heated indoor swimming pool topped with a Magrodome-style retracting roof that will double as a movie theatre at night.
The ship will sport 18 standard staterooms, two staterooms designed specifically for solo travellers, and will feature a total of 72 suites. Staterooms and suites located on the upper decks will feature retractable windows that will open the room up to the passing scenery outside.
The main differences between Emerald Cruises and Scenic’s existing product can be found in the number of dining venues, which will be reduced to two from the five aboard the Scenic ships. That certainly doesn’t mean Emerald Cruises will lack in quality, though – it will just be billed as “Mainly Inclusive” instead of “Fully Inclusive” to offer what may be the most appreciable difference, price.
Best of all, Emerald will be marketed to North Americans as well as Australians (Scenic is headquartered in Newcastle) through the usual travel agent channels, but will likely appear first with those agencies and partners that already carry Scenic’s river cruise and land tour products.
More information on Emerald Cruises will be forthcoming as we receive it.
For more information on Scenic Tours, their fleet of “Space Ships” and their itineraries, visit our complete Scenic Tours overview here on River Cruise Advisor.