While it may appear that the cruise industry has been entirely becalmed over the last year, operations have continued as usual in shipyards. That now looks like smart planning, as pent-up demand among travellers has seen them snap up cabins on soon-to-launch cruise ships.
Emerald Azzurra, new for Emerald Cruises in January 2022, has recorded strong bookings for its inaugural season in the Mediterranean and Red Sea. Among the most popular cruises booked by Australians is an eight-day Croatia itinerary between Venice and Dubrovnik, an 11-day Aegean itinerary between Athens and Limassol and a 15-day journey from Dubrovnik to Nice along the Italian and French coastlines.
"With strong demand for Emerald Azzurra's inaugural 2022 season, we are now pleased to release 2023 dates so guests can plan ahead," says Angus Crichton, Emerald Cruises Director of Sales.
"Gallipoli is a huge attraction for the Australian market so we expect these new itineraries to sell quickly," he adds, referring to two new Black Sea cruises that visit Turkey, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece.
Cruise travellers are showing increasing appetite for more adventurous destinations and small luxury ships, of which Emerald Azzurra is a prime example. The new five-star, all-inclusive yacht carries just 100 guests in 50 cabins but offers several dining and lounge venues, a wellness centre and marina platform. The ship is small enough to slip into petite ports, and will provide customised shore excursions.
Emerald Cruises is currently offering Super Earlybird savings of up to 25 per cent on selected cabins in 2023.
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