Hollywood FL (July 2023) – With Christmas a mere six months away, travelers are already starting to dream about escaping the cold—and the frenzy that can go hand-in-hand with the season—to spend the winter holidays relaxing in a sunny, warm environment. Enter Emerald Cruises, whose twin luxury yachts, Emerald Azzurra and Emerald Sakara, will spend the winter season sailing the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. Thanks to departures that incorporate Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve, families can create new holiday traditions while spending cherished time together onboard a modern vessel that feels like it could be your own personal yacht.
The islands of the Eastern Caribbean, with their pristine beaches and European flair, provide an ideal locale to celebrate Christmas on either yacht. Departing December 23, 2023, Emerald Sakara will sail round trip out of St. John’s, Antigua, on the eight-day Eastern Caribbean & Grenadines itinerary, while Emerald Azzurra will sail from Bridgetown, Barbados, to Marigot, St. Martin, on the Eastern Caribbean with St. Barths itinerary. Both call on intimate ports like Soufrière, St. Lucia, situated in the crater of a dormant volcano featuring hot springs, botanical gardens and waterfalls in close proximity; and Terre-de-Haut in Îles de Saintes, Guadeloupe with its South-of-France vibe and stunning white sand beaches.
While the backdrop of palm trees and crystal blue water may not evoke traditional Christmas, the yachts will be fully decked out in festive flair—including beautifully trimmed trees to help set the mood. The menus—created especially for the yachts by Emerald Cruises’ Vice President of Hotel Operations and Top Chef World All Stars finalist Tom Goetter—will reflect the joy of the season while utilizing the bounty of the Caribbean region. A special Christmas Eve dinner in La Cucina dining room will feature fresh seafood, Christmas turkey and glazed ham, followed by holiday themed cocktails in the lounge. Christmas Day begins with an indulgent brunch and ends with a lavish dinner of roasted duck, veal tenderloin, vegetarian selections and more. Guests who want to get into the spirit can also join the crew for carolling on the Sky Deck or sample the Christmas cookie and chocolate selection.
Those looking for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to ring in New Year’s Eve onboard a luxury yacht—and what could be better?—can book the eight-day Hidden Charms of the Caribbean onboard Emerald Sakara. Departing St. John’s, Antigua, on December 30, this sailing will call on Gustavia, St. Barths, where French “joie de vivre” can be felt in the historic wooden houses that dot the island as well as in the high-end shopping and world class dining, and Culebra Island, Puerto Rico, known for its white sand beaches and active reef system ideal for snorkeling, before concluding in San Juan. Following a special dinner, a New Year’s Eve party (complete with hats and noisemakers), champagne toast and countdown will be held on the Sky Deck against the backdrop of a fireworks show on nearby Antigua.
For those looking to do something different this Thanksgiving—and leave the cooking to experts—Emerald Sakara will be sailing the eight-day Eastern Caribbean & Grenadines itinerary departing St. John’s, Antigua, on November 18. This voyage combines some of the most charming small villages of the Caribbean—St. Pierre, Port Elizabeth, Soufriere, and Terre-de-Haut—with the magnificent beach of Mayreau and Tobago Cays. On Thanksgiving day the ship will be in St. Lucia, meaning guests can take a swim, visit a bird sanctuary, or climb the stairways to the Pitons to burn off some calories before indulging in a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings in La Cucina dining room that evening.
All these 2023 holiday sailings are eligible for Emerald Cruises’ 2-for-1 fare program, plus an additional $500 Emerald Exclusive savings per suite. Guests who book by September 30 and pay in full within 30 days of booking qualify for free air or up to an additional $4,000 in savings per suite.
Emerald Azzurra and Emerald Sakara are 100-guest luxury yachts featuring just 50 modern, luxe suites and staterooms range from 185 to 1,185 square feet—all but six of which feature large balconies. The open-air infinity pool is surrounded by lounge chairs and day beds ideal for relaxing and enjoying a cocktail from the nearby Aqua Café. A wellness deck complete with spa, infrared sauna and gym allows guests to keep focused on their health goals, while the top deck Sky Bar offers the ideal spot to watch the sun set over the Caribbean Sea. Located at the yacht’s stern, a marina platform boasts water toys galore—kayaks, standup paddleboards, snorkel equipment, SEABOBs and a giant trampoline are available to guests when the platform is deployed. The extra-spacious La Cucina dining room specializes in fresh, seasonal cuisine with seating indoors as well as on the adjacent terrace, while the warm and welcoming Amici Lounge is a friendly place to gather and enjoy live music in the evenings. Finally, with 76 crew members onboard, guests can count on receiving attentive, personalized service.
Emerald Cruises offers a diverse lineup of river and yacht cruises on three continents. Emerald Azzurra, the line’s first ocean-going vessel which debuted in March 2022, is a 100-guest, luxury yacht sailing the warm waters of the Mediterranean, Adriatic and Red Seas, and new for the 2023/2024 season, the Caribbean and Central America. In November 2022, Emerald Azzurra was named Best New Luxury Ship in Cruise Critic’s 2022 Editors’ Picks Awards. Emerald Sakara, the brand’s second luxury yacht, launches in August, 2023. On the rivers, Emerald Cruises sails eight branded Star-Ships in Europe and one on the Mekong. The brand offers innovatively-designed ships, outstanding service and a focus on active shore excursions and onboard wellness offerings through their signature EmeraldACTIVE program. Emerald Cruises is part of Scenic Group, which includes Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, Mayflower Cruises & Tours and Evergreen Tours in Australia.
Emerald Cruises can be found on Twitter at @emerald_cruises, on Facebook as EmeraldCruisesGlobal and on Instagram as @EmeraldCruises.global.
Additional information can be found by contacting your local travel advisor; on Emerald Cruises’ website, www.emeraldcruises.com; or by calling the consumer/travel agent reservations line at 844-428-8389. Digital brochure downloads are available on the website.