(9:00 a.m. EDT) -- Emerald Cruises announced today it will build a second oceangoing vessel to be named Emerald Sakara.
The 100-passenger superyacht, as the line refers to it, will carry 100 passengers and will be a sister ship to Emerald Azzurra.
Emerald Sakara -- meaning "thoughts become things" in Sanskrit -- will debut on a series of eight-day itineraries in the Seychelles in 2023. Emerald Cruises' brand-new, eight-day 'Tropical Charms of the Seychelles' itinerary will explore Port Victoria (Mahe Island), Sainte-Anne Island, Cousin Island, Praslin Island, Grande-Soeur Island, Curieuse Island, La Digue Island and Aride Island.
The destination is a brand new one for the company, which is perhaps best known previously for its European river cruise journeys. Like sister-ship Emerald Azzurra, which will debut in January 2022, Emerald Sakara will offer sailings to the Mediterranean, Adriatic, and the Red and Black Seas.
Where most new small-ship vessels are being built to navigate the world's polar seas, Emerald Sakara has been designed to embrace warm-weather cruising destinations. Speaking with Cruise Critic, Anna Wolfsteiner, global chief sales and marketing officer with Emerald Cruises' parent company, Scenic Group, this was a conscious decision.
"Our owners are very much about saying, 'how can we do it better'?" said Wolfsteiner. "It's like a warm-water luxury yacht. That makes a big difference."
Over 88 percent of all cabins aboard Emerald Sakara will offer private balconies. Passengers will also be able to enjoy other onboard amenities like an infinity pool, a stylish spa and fitness centre, and even an onboard watersports marina.
"We also have the marina platform and water toys," said Wolfsteiner. "You can stop almost anywhere and use this. There are only 100 passengers onboard, so it’s never crowded."
The decision to build a second dedicated oceangoing yacht, according to Wolfsteiner, is due to unprecedented demand for the company's sailings onboard Emerald Azzurra. Black Sea voyages aboard the ship sold out in two weeks, despite the ongoing global health pandemic.
"Our guests choose very clearly where they want to go," adds Wolfsteiner. "Our guests are looking for discovery options, but they don't want to be on a large ship."
"Starting in the Seychelles is a great opportunity. We're always looking at new destinations that Emerald can go to on the oceans."
Like Emerald's river journeys, fares aboard Emerald Sakara will include complimentary beer, wine and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, along with a selection of shore excursions and other onboard activities.
The new oceangoing ship will be the 11th vessel in the Emerald Cruises fleet when it sets sail, joining nine river cruise vessels and sister-ship Emerald Azzurra.
“Just like we did eight years ago on the rivers, we are bringing our own style of innovative and contemporary cruising to the world’s celebrated oceans, and we cannot wait to welcome guests on board our two superyachts to explore some of the world’s most incredible regions with them," David Winterton, global director of brand & marketing, Emerald Cruises, said.
Itineraries for Emerald Sakara will go on sale September 28, 2021.