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CRUISES TO REMEMBER - EMERALD CRUISES IN EUROPE AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
 
(2024 - Spring/Summer Issue)

Writer: DEBRA SMITH



In 2022 I joined Emerald’s Splendours of Europe classic river cruise, sailing the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers in a fairy-tale-come-to-life setting dotted with hilltop castles, lush vineyards and stone-clad villages. The friendships I made on board are one reason I am a cruise convert. I also discovered the many ways that Emerald Cruises understands people—more specifically, what interests Canadians. Turns out we love the first-class service, luxurious hotel-style accommodations, elevated cuisine, and bespoke tours that take you to the heart of a country.

Since 2014 award-winning Emerald Cruises has been offering small ship cruises along the great rivers of Europe including the Rhône and Saône in France and the Douro in Portugal. Their fleet of nine Star-Ships puts romantic itineraries within reach. For the 2024/2025 season exciting new river cruise itineraries will be added in Southeast Asia through Cambodia and Vietnam along the storied Mekong River.

Mekong Magic

On board the superb Star-Ship Emerald Harmony (ratio of 84 guests to 40 crew members), prepare to sail past the finest historic gems and exotic treasures of Southeast Asia. Dock in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City and get ready for sparkle. On this voyage, witness such standouts as Halong Bay’s karst islands in Vietnam, the wild jungles of Cambodia and Vietnam, and ancient coastal towns and temples. The Star-Ship’s open-air design complements the warm climate, featuring a stylish sun and pool deck and a wellness area. The Asian-inspired cuisine is divine. Join EmeraldPLUS walking tours to a temple at dawn in Siem Reap and city explorations along Southeast Asia’s longest river. Choose from 8- to 23-day voyages. 

Elevated Experiences

Put your mind at ease about hidden fees. The Emerald value philosophy means that all Emerald Cruises itineraries include EmeraldPLUS and EmeraldACTIVE tours with knowledgeable local guides. Also included with every Emerald cruise you’ll enjoy on-board dining, local wines and beers served with meals, free Wi-Fi, and port charges and gratuities for a worry-free trip. The only exception is the DiscoverMORE tour that offers deeper dive experiences into the local culture and cuisine.

According to Glen Moroney, Founder and Chairman of Scenic Group, the parent company of Emerald Cruises, this cruise company is unique when it comes to river and small ocean luxury ships. “We’re intimately involved with every aspect of the build process,” he notes about the hands-on company approach from concept to interior design.  

Sleek Star-Ships

Your spacious suite or stateroom has plush luxurious amenities. Egyptian linens top comfy queen or twin beds and an ensuite bath features ESPA toiletries, fluffy robes and slippers. The majority of cabins have a balcony or terrace ideal for watching the storied coastlines of the world. Daytime dress is resort casual since every cruise follows the sun. Bring your shorts and T-shirts and comfortable shoes for bespoke walking tours to UNESCO World Heritage Sites with EmeraldPLUS or hop on an electric bike for countryside rides to a castle or winery with EmeraldACTIVE.

Say Yes to Emerald Yacht Cruises

Are you wondering whether small ship ocean cruising is right for you? The answer is yes. The 100-guest Emerald Azzurra debuted in March 2022, and its sister-ship the Emerald Sakara, the newest Emerald luxury yacht, launched in December 2023 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Both of these sleek new luxury yachts are custom built for warm-water cruises in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Emerald’s award-winning luxury yachts have also been voted the world’s #1 small ship cruise line. What does this mean for you? A new world of cruise destinations has arrived with exciting destinations exclusive to small ships only.

On board one of these two 110-metre yachts, you’ll experience Emerald’s foray into the world of sleek luxury yachts. Picture 50 spacious staterooms and suites, most with a private balcony, and a devoted cabin crew who ensure personalized service. Choose from six spacious decks, the Sky Deck with its panoramic views and plunge pool, the formal dining room and several lounges, and then get ready to relax in the infinity pool, the spa and sauna. On board is a gym and additional amenities like paddleboards, kayaks and self-propelled SEABOBs, which make it easy to explore warm waters when the ship drops anchor in secluded harbours. 

Adriatic New Waves

While these ocean vessels in Emerald’s portfolio were designed for the warm waters of the Mediterranean and Caribbean, offering sea seekers plenty of R+R and soothing wellness time as they chillax on their private balconies, the luxury yacht set are now aiming their binoculars towards the Adriatic and the tony Dalmatian Coast, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. 

For this luxe Dalmatian Coast sail, start in Venice, Italy. The temptation is strong so consider a two-day pre-tour of the historic floating city. Now you’re set for this coastal cruise. Experience the allure of the “Golden Island” of Krk, renowned for its beaches and nature. Step back in time as you explore Diocletian’s Palace in Split. Lose yourself among the cobblestone streets, medieval squares and churches of Korčula. And end your voyage in enchanting Dubrovnik, gazing upon the Adriatic Sea from these ancient ramparts. With more time, you can make your way down the coast stopping at Kotor, Montenegro where Venetian influence is everywhere.

Emerald Cruises Star-Ships are the small cruise ship experts, ready to welcome you at some of the world’s finest port cities imaginable. Whatever Emerald cruise you choose, just say yes.

A Family Affair

Next April, in a culinary journey of a lifetime, foodie cruisers will unite on an epic Sensations of Lyon and Provence culinary cruise with Canadian celebrity chef Michael Bonacini and his son, Oscar. In eight days between the French foodie capital of Lyon to pretty Provence, this epicurean fantasy cruise will showcase the finest in Burgundy and Rhône Valley wines with market tours at the esteemed Les Halles Paul Bocuse. Don’t miss your chance to dine at the chef’s table with the Bonacinis. Bon appétit! emeraldcruises.ca/bonacini

Safari and Swim on an Emerald Seychelles Cruise

Cruise the beautiful islands off east Africa or join a delightful ocean and safari combo from Emerald Cruises’ newest Seychelles offerings. Seek out the “Big Five” on safari in the famous Masai Mara then board Emerald’s award-winning luxury yacht, Emerald Azzurra, where an array of activities awaits. Choose an islands-only cruise and swim with dolphins and sea turtles in the protected waters of a national marine park and explore the untouched beaches of the islands of the Seychelles. Isn’t it time to enjoy all these superlatives at sea? You can with Emerald Cruises. 

Travel Planner

Contact Emerald Cruises toll-free at 1-855-444-0161 or your travel professional. For reservations and cruise details visit emeraldcruises.ca

 
 
 
 
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