Emerald Waterways Yacht Cruises Compared to Scenic Eclipse Discovery Yacht

Did you hear the big news? Emerald Waterways, whose river cruises quickly became a favorite experience of ours in 2019, is debuting a 360-foot yacht in January 2022. Scenic Group, the parent company of Emerald Waterways with its own luxury river cruise line, debuted a yacht last year. It led us to think about the trend towards cruise lines creating yacht experiences. And, in particular, the newly formed Emerald Yacht Cruises compared to the Scenic Eclipse.

Emerald Waterways has been voted best value for the money in river cruising three years in a row by Cruise Critic. They also voted the Scenic Eclipse the Best New Luxury Cruise Ship in 2019.

As fans of Emerald Waterways, we genuinely wondered: what’s the difference between the yacht cruise ships, the Emerald Azzurra and Scenic Eclipse? We break it down for you by extensively comparing them. In addition to this, we provide you with our overall conclusions. (In our humble opinions, of course.)

Emerald Waterways Yacht Cruises compared to Scenic Eclipse Discovery Yacht. These two luxury cruises are operating under the same company, Scenic Group. It's an Australian based company but the ships sail in other oceans. Scenic Eclipse in Polar Regions including Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Antarctica. Emerald Azzurra in the Aegean and Red Seas. For as many differences there are some similarities. From submarine excursions, to guided tours, restaurants, spas, bars and lounges. #luxurycruises
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General Conclusions for Both Yacht Cruises

From the get go, we have to acknowledge we’re not comparing apples to apples here. The similarities are 1) the parent company and, 2) the word “yacht” when discussing both options. As well as some environmentally conscious features and they’re both very spacious ships. But their biggest differences are weighty, like where they sail and what the cost is. While the Emerald Azzurra is gorgeous and high end, the Scenic Eclipses oozes luxury.

Spoiler alert: Emerald Yacht Cruises are a lower price point than the ultra-lux brand, 6-star Scenic Eclipse. About 50% less money. And the Emerald Azzurra sails in warm waters while the Scenic Eclipse was built for cold water cruising, like in the Arctic. The conclusion we came wasn’t revolutionary: they’re both incredible products. But the precise options and differences onboard make it truly interesting to deep dive into both lines. What you would like really depends on what type of experience you’re looking to have, and at what cost. You can’t go wrong with either.

As could be expected, the Emerald Azzurra is great value for the investment. And that’s truly what you’re doing when you sign up for either yacht cruise: investing in an experience. We personally like that the Emerald Azzurra’s a little smaller than the Eclipse. But then again, the Scenic Eclipse has some great restaurant options we’d love to try and a spa we can definitely see ourselves relaxing in. Also, we love Polar Regions. Like Northern Norway. Sigh. Choices, choices.

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Questions We Sought to Answer

We aim to answer deeper questions you may have floating around your head that came to mind for us, like:

  • Where are they sailing? And for how many days?
  • What’s the decor on each of the ships?
  • Are the staterooms and suites sizable? (As any cruiser usually wants to know!)
  • What amenities are available on the ships?
  • Exactly how much does the Scenic Eclipse cost? And is it worth the extra money?

Let’s get to it.

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Cruise Itineraries

Though offerings and itineraries are likely to change a little bit here and there over time we’ll discuss the current offerings projected until 2022.

Currently both ships offer incredibly different experiences, heading to very different regions. The Emerald Azzurra goes to typically warmer waters and some smaller ports. The Scenic Eclipse is “Where Luxury Meets Discovery.” And is for travelers seeking destinations that are less visited, due to the remoteness of their locations and gear needed while you’re there.

Emerald Azzurra

This ship focuses on Europe with a touch of the Middle East. It will be sailing the Adriatic, Mediterranean, and Red Seas. This includes countries like Croatia, Greece, Slovenia, Italy,  Spain’s Costa Brava, the French Riviera, and Israel on a variety of itineraries. Cruises usually last between 8 to 12 days.

Emerald Waterways Yacht Cruises compared to Scenic Eclipse Discovery Yacht. These two luxury cruises are operating under the same company, Scenic Group. It's an Australian based company but the ships sail in other oceans. Scenic Eclipse in Polar Regions including Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Antarctica. Emerald Azzurra in the Aegean and Red Seas. For as many differences there are some similarities. From submarine excursions, to guided tours, restaurants, spas, bars and lounges. #luxurycruises
Emerald Azzurra exploring the Amalfi Coast

Scenic Eclipse

The Eclipse puts a lot (but not all) of its focus on Scandinavia, including Norway, Iceland, Greenland. (Call us biased but we love the itinerary that goes from Oslo to Tromso!) It’s made for “Polar Region” cruises to Antarctica too, which is the coveted seventh continent avid travelers look to check off their bucket lists.

It also sails to Central and South America, Scotland, Alaska and British Columbia, the west coast…and more. Itineraries are usually between 9 to 20 days.

Emerald Waterways Yacht Cruises compared to Scenic Eclipse Discovery Yacht. These two luxury cruises are operating under the same company, Scenic Group. It's an Australian based company but the ships sail in other oceans. Scenic Eclipse in Polar Regions including Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Antarctica. Emerald Azzurra in the Aegean and Red Seas. For as many differences there are some similarities. From submarine excursions, to guided tours, restaurants, spas, bars and lounges. #luxurycruises
Scenic Eclipse exploring Polar Regions
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Ship’s Physical Length

We were surprised to learn the Scenic Eclipse is longer than the Emerald Azzurra, by 190.1ft (almost 58m). Why does this matter? It means that the Eclipse Azzurra could have an advantage that money can’t buy on the Scenic Eclipse: it can go into smaller, more intimate ports. This potentially means it can visit some really cool locations other ships cannot physically access. (Then again, the Azzurra isn’t built for cold waters like the Eclipse is so there are ports the Eclipse can go to the Azzurra can’t. “Advantages” might be in the eye of the beholder then.)

Perhaps the Scenic Eclipse’s length was precisely designed to be small enough to navigate the waters, but also large enough for stability purposes in the Arctic.

Emerald Azzurra: 360.9ft (110m)

Emerald Waterways Yacht Cruises compared to Scenic Eclipse Discovery Yacht. These two luxury cruises are operating under the same company, Scenic Group. It's an Australian based company but the ships sail in other oceans. Scenic Eclipse in Polar Regions including Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Antarctica. Emerald Azzurra in the Aegean and Red Seas. For as many differences there are some similarities. From submarine excursions, to guided tours, restaurants, spas, bars and lounges. #luxurycruises
Emerald Azzurra

Scenic Eclipse: 551ft (almost 168m)

Emerald Waterways Yacht Cruises compared to Scenic Eclipse Discovery Yacht. These two luxury cruises are operating under the same company, Scenic Group. It's an Australian based company but the ships sail in other oceans. Scenic Eclipse in Polar Regions including Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Antarctica. Emerald Azzurra in the Aegean and Red Seas. For as many differences there are some similarities. From submarine excursions, to guided tours, restaurants, spas, bars and lounges. #luxurycruises
Scenic Eclipse
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Common Areas, Deck by Deck

The Emerald Azzurra is a smaller ship than the Scenic Eclipse and has less decks. Emerald Azzurra has six decks the public can access while the Eclipse has eight.

Emerald Azzurra

  • Deck 7: Smallest, top deck, containing the Sky Bar, called the “Sky Deck”
  • Deck 6: Pool cafe and lounge area
  • Deck 5: Panorama deck with open viewing
  • Deck 4: Observation deck, with a lounge area, open viewing and guest laundry
  • Deck 3: Reception area, outdoor terrace, gift shop, Reflections Restaurant and Horizon Bar & Lounge
  • Deck 2: Wellness deck, with spa, sauna, hairdressers and the marina deck
Emerald Waterways Yacht Cruises compared to Scenic Eclipse Discovery Yacht. These two luxury cruises are operating under the same company, Scenic Group. It's an Australian based company but the ships sail in other oceans. Scenic Eclipse in Polar Regions including Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Antarctica. Emerald Azzurra in the Aegean and Red Seas. For as many differences there are some similarities. From submarine excursions, to guided tours, restaurants, spas, bars and lounges. #luxurycruises
Emerald Azzurra Sky Deck

Scenic Eclipse

  • Deck 10: Plunge pool and sun terrace
  • Deck 9: Guest suites
  • Deck 8: Helicopter hangars and helipad, guest suite
  • Deck 7: Fitness and pool deck (indoor, outdoor and plunge), guest suites
  • Deck 6: Spa
  • Deck 5: Restaurants, Observatory and Observation Terrace
  • Deck 4: Restaurants and theater
  • Deck 3: Laundry
Emerald Waterways Yacht Cruises compared to Scenic Eclipse Discovery Yacht. These two luxury cruises are operating under the same company, Scenic Group. It's an Australian based company but the ships sail in other oceans. Scenic Eclipse in Polar Regions including Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Antarctica. Emerald Azzurra in the Aegean and Red Seas. For as many differences there are some similarities. From submarine excursions, to guided tours, restaurants, spas, bars and lounges. #luxurycruises
Entrance to Scenic Eclipse Spa
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Guest Capacity on the Yacht Cruise Ship Emerald Azzurra Compared to the Scenic Eclipse

The Scenic Eclipse can hold more than double the guest count of the Emerald Azzurra. This makes sense given it has over double the count of rooms and it’s a larger ship.

Emerald Azzurra

There is a 100 guest maximum on the Azzurra. Guest to crew ratio is a little better than 2:1, because there’s 64 crew members.

Scenic Eclipse

The Eclipse has a 228 guest maximum and 200 in Antarctica. 16 extra crew members are onboard the Scenic Eclipse for the season when it sails to Antarctica. Guest to crew ration is 1:1, with a butler assigned to each suite.

According to the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO), only 100 passengers can be ashore at a time, with a ratio of staff to visitors at 1:20. (One guide to every 20 guests on Antarctica.) The guest count of 200 on a Scenic Eclipse sailing makes it easy to divide the ship into two groups that can both visit at the same time. IAATO also regulates how many ships visit per day. Overall, only ships with 500 passengers or less are allowed to make landings in Antarctica. And ships with 200 guests or less can land multiple times per day.

That’s not a concern for the Scenic Eclipse but still interesting to learn. Due to their maximum passenger count of 200 people in Antarctica, all passengers can go ashore on the continent at once, in groups of 100 per group.

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Yacht Cruise Stateroom Options and Suite Sizes 

Emerald Azzurra has 50 rooms across 4 decks, versus the Scenic Eclipse’s 114 rooms across 5 decks. However, the Scenic Eclipse suites start at almost double the size of Emerald Azzurra’s smallest room.

Additionally, all the rooms on the Scenic Eclipse have a sizable balcony, while 88% of the rooms on Emerald Azzurra have one.

Emerald Azzurra

There are staterooms and suites ranging in size from 182 to 1,192 ft² on the Azzurra. The only option without a balcony is an Oceanview room.

Here are the Emerald Azzurra staterooms, listed in order from smallest to largest:

  • Oceanview:
    • Size: 182-204ft²
    • Deck 3, bow/front
    • Total onboard: 6
  • Balcony Stateroom:
    • Size: 285-306ft² (103-102ft² larger than the Oceanview)
    • Decks 4 and 5, Panorama and Observation decks
    • Total onboard: 36
  • Deluxe Balcony Stateroom:
    • Size: 382-403ft², each with their own private balcony (7-97ft² larger than the Balcony Stateroom)
    • Deck 6, Pool deck
    • Total onboard: 2
  • Terrace Suite:
    • Size: 648-669ft² including outdoor balcony (266ft² difference from the Deluxe Balcony Stateroom)
    • Deck 5, Panorama deck, stern/back
    • Total onboard: 2
  • Yacht Suite:
    • Size: 700-721ft² including balcony (52ft² larger than the Terrace Suite)
    • Deck 4, Observation deck, stern/back
    • Total onboard: 2
  • Owner’s Suite:
    • Size: 1,162-1,192ft² including balcony, separate bedroom and lounge areas (462-471ft² larger than the Yacht Suite)
    • Deck 6, Pool deck
    • Total onboard: 2
Emerald Waterways Yacht Cruises compared to Scenic Eclipse Discovery Yacht. These two luxury cruises are operating under the same company, Scenic Group. It's an Australian based company but the ships sail in other oceans. Scenic Eclipse in Polar Regions including Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Antarctica. Emerald Azzurra in the Aegean and Red Seas. For as many differences there are some similarities. From submarine excursions, to guided tours, restaurants, spas, bars and lounges. #luxurycruises
Emerald Azzurra Deluxe Balcony Stateroom

Scenic Eclipse

The suites range in size from 344 to nearly 2,640ft². All include a balcony.

Here are the Scenic Eclipse suites, listed from smallest to largest:

  • Verandah Suite:
    • Size: 344-366ft²
    • Decks 5 and 6, midship (Deck 5: some restaurants and observation areas; Deck 6: spa)
    • Total onboard: 8 (4 per deck)
  • Deluxe Verandah Suite:
    • Size: same dimensions as the Verandah Suite, simply in different locations that make it “deluxe”
    • Decks 5 and 6, mostly midship
    • Total onboard: 32
  • Grand Deluxe Verandah Suite:
    • Size: 409-430ft² (65ft² larger than the Verandah and Deluxe Verandah Suites)
    • Decks 5 and 6, bow/front
    • Total onboard: 20 (14 on Deck 5, 6 on Deck 6)
  • Spa Suite:
    • Size: 495-538ft² (86-108ft² larger than the Grand Deluxe Verandah Suite)
    • Deck 8, Helicopter deck, bow/front
    • Total onboard: 4
  • Grand Panorama Suite:
    • Size: 1,130ft² with a curved balcony (approx. 613ft² larger than the Spa Suite)
    • Deck 6, Spa deck, bow/front
    • Total onboard: 2
  • Panorama Suite:
    • Size1,184ft² with a curved balcony (54ft² larger than the Grand Panorama Suite)
    • Deck 8, Helicopter deck, bow/front
    • Total onboard: 2
  • Owner’s Penthouse Suite:
    • Size: 2,099ft² (915ft² larger than the Panorama Suite)
    • Deck 9, bow/front (Deck 9 is all suites, no guest amenities or common areas)
    • Total onboard: 2
  • Two-bedroom Penthouse Suite:
    • Size: 2,637ft², private Jacuzzi – combination of an Owner’s Penthouse Suite and Spa Suite, with extra amenities (538ft² larger than the Owner’s Penthouse, since a Spa Suite is being added to the Owner’s Penthouse Suite by an adjoining door)
    • Deck 9, bow/front
    • Total onboard: 1 or 2, depending on how it’s booked as two rooms conjoin to become this two-bedroom penthouse when booked
Emerald Waterways Yacht Cruises compared to Scenic Eclipse Discovery Yacht. These two luxury cruises are operating under the same company, Scenic Group. It's an Australian based company but the ships sail in other oceans. Scenic Eclipse in Polar Regions including Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Antarctica. Emerald Azzurra in the Aegean and Red Seas. For as many differences there are some similarities. From submarine excursions, to guided tours, restaurants, spas, bars and lounges. #luxurycruises
Scenic Eclipse Verandah Suite
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Onboard Amenities

The Emerald Azzurra provides less amenities onboard. However, the Scenic Eclipse sails for longer periods of time. Which means guests are looking for more to do onboard the Eclipse. Thus, it’s nice it has extra amenities for them to enjoy.

Emerald Azzurra

The Azzurra has a wellness center with a spa and gym. There are also three tenders and two Zodiac boats for guests to get ashore for unique experiences. A marina platform makes it easier for guests to gracefully enter the water for snorkeling and paddle boarding.

A main lounge area makes it easy to relax indoors, free from the elements. And an indoor/outdoor observation terrace area gives guests prime viewing over the bow of the ship as they sail.

We love that there’s a Jacuzzi on the Sky Deck! Sail into the French Riviera from the top deck, in a swimsuit, holding a cocktail. Just how we envision sailing to Nice, France in our dreams!

Scenic Eclipse

We said it before and we’ll say it again: this ship was built for L-U-X-U-R-Y. It has a spa just shy of 6,000ft². A “sanctuary,” if you will, complete with its own pool. Like yoga? There’s a room dedicated to that. Cooking? Cooking classes are available to guests. There’s a fitness area to work off those calories from their 10 restaurants, too! There’s also a beautiful observation area with a library, comfy chairs and scopes for viewing the scenery closer up (like we needed in Yellowstone National Park). There’s an outdoor observation area too if you want to feel the wind on your face with the scenery.

There are Zodiacs onboard to take guests ashore, and a submarine. A SUBMARINE, people! How cool? If the water isn’t what a guest is craving maybe the air is. So guests can hop aboard one of their two helicopters. (Helicopter and submarine excursions incur an additional fee.)

Guests can shop in a pretty swanky looking boutique that’s sure to make them want to take home a few Scenic Eclipse branded souvenirs. Then they can wear them to the beautiful indoor theater too!

Emerald Waterways Yacht Cruises compared to Scenic Eclipse Discovery Yacht. These two luxury cruises are operating under the same company, Scenic Group. It's an Australian based company but the ships sail in other oceans. Scenic Eclipse in Polar Regions including Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Antarctica. Emerald Azzurra in the Aegean and Red Seas. For as many differences there are some similarities. From submarine excursions, to guided tours, restaurants, spas, bars and lounges. #luxurycruises
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Excursion Offerings

The Azzurra and Eclipse sail to different parts of the world right now so comparing excursions is like comparing an apple to an orange. Notwithstanding, they both have stellar options for excursions included in the cost of the cruise. Both also have opportunities for upgrades.

Emerald Azzurra

Guests will enjoy included EmeraldPLUS cultural experiences and a range of included EmeraldACTIVE excursions. They can book additional DiscoverMORE excursions if they choose when available. One thing to note, that’s a bit different from Emerald Waterways River Cruises, is that less tours are included. This is purposely designed to allow guests more free time to roam the ports they visit.

Scenic Eclipse

Tours are included on the Scenic Eclipse. There’s often multiple options in a port for a “choose your own adventure of sorts,” for a “Discovery” tour or a “Freechoice” tour. There’s also a third option to “Enrich,” sometimes, that are mostly to attend intimate concerts or performances.

The Scenic Eclipse has a submarine, the Scenic Neptune, onboard. It can dive to 980 feet deep, with room for 6 guests plus the pilot. As we mentioned, there is also two helicopters onboard. Both experiences are available for an extra cost.

Emerald Waterways Yacht Cruises compared to Scenic Eclipse Discovery Yacht. These two luxury cruises are operating under the same company, Scenic Group. It's an Australian based company but the ships sail in other oceans. Scenic Eclipse in Polar Regions including Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Antarctica. Emerald Azzurra in the Aegean and Red Seas. For as many differences there are some similarities. From submarine excursions, to guided tours, restaurants, spas, bars and lounges. #luxurycruises
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Dining and Beverages for the Scenic Eclipse and Emerald Azzurra Yacht Cruises

The dining options of the Emerald Azzurra feel much more like a traditional river cruise as opposed to the Scenic Eclipse, which has created myriad, distinct dining experiences.

Emerald Azzurra

Reflections Restaurant is the main dining area onboard where all meals are served. Horizons bar and lounge is the common area where guests can enjoy snacks, cocktails, tea and coffee. You can’t make reservations so it’s nice they aren’t necessary anyway. There’s also a pool cafe that has food offered between meals, available for purchase.

Beverages:

  • Beer and wine is included with lunch and dinner.
  • State-of-the-art Coffee machines and tea stations are available 24/7 (which we very much enjoyed on our Emerald sailing).
  • Extra: Liquor and any drinks outside meals. Available on an individual basis or as a drinks package upgrade.
Emerald Waterways Yacht Cruises compared to Scenic Eclipse Discovery Yacht. These two luxury cruises are operating under the same company, Scenic Group. It's an Australian based company but the ships sail in other oceans. Scenic Eclipse in Polar Regions including Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Antarctica. Emerald Azzurra in the Aegean and Red Seas. For as many differences there are some similarities. From submarine excursions, to guided tours, restaurants, spas, bars and lounges. #luxurycruises
Emerald Azzurra Reflections Restaurant
Emerald Waterways Yacht Cruises compared to Scenic Eclipse Discovery Yacht. These two luxury cruises are operating under the same company, Scenic Group. It's an Australian based company but the ships sail in other oceans. Scenic Eclipse in Polar Regions including Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Antarctica. Emerald Azzurra in the Aegean and Red Seas. For as many differences there are some similarities. From submarine excursions, to guided tours, restaurants, spas, bars and lounges. #luxurycruises
Emerald Azzurra Horizons Bar & Lounge

Scenic Eclipse

Eight dining options are available on the Eclipse, including Asian fusion, French and Italian cuisines. Reservations are recommended for each restaurant with the exception of Elements, where you can just show up.

Food: 

  • Elements: Italian, including steak and seafood
  • Koko’s: Asian fusion restaurant and sake bar
  • Sushi @ Koko’s: authentic Japanese experience
  • Sushi @ Koko’s: private dining with a teppanyaki grill
  • Azure Bar & Cafe: open all day (and Azure Bar & Cafe: dedicated cooking school)
  • Yacht Club: poolside grill, buffet and bar
  • Lumière: contemporary French fine dining and champagne bar
  • *Chef’s Table @ Elements: invitation only degustation dining
  • There’s also Room Service available 24 hours

Koko’s is considered three different dining experiences. Koko’s and the part of Sushi @ Koko’s that doesn’t serve teppanyaki are next to each other. Guests can order sushi at either. Teppanyaki, though right next to the other two Koko’s, is a different experience with its own menu.

*So how do you get invited to the Chef’s Table @ Elements? Guests are invited depending on how full the cruise is. And the longer the cruise the better the odds are all guests will be invited during some point of the sailing. The priority of invitation goes to guests who booked higher category suites.

Beverages:

  • Eight spacious bars and lounges are found on the Scenic Eclipse, some of which overlap with the restaurants. While we don’t have a list of each one, we know there’s a dedicated whiskey bar in the lounge, a bar inside Elements, another inside Lumière focused on champagne. There is one in Azure Cafe as well.
Emerald Waterways Yacht Cruises compared to Scenic Eclipse Discovery Yacht. These two luxury cruises are operating under the same company, Scenic Group. It's an Australian based company but the ships sail in other oceans. Scenic Eclipse in Polar Regions including Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Antarctica. Emerald Azzurra in the Aegean and Red Seas. For as many differences there are some similarities. From submarine excursions, to guided tours, restaurants, spas, bars and lounges. #luxurycruises
Scenic Eclipse Lumèire Restaurant
Emerald Waterways Yacht Cruises compared to Scenic Eclipse Discovery Yacht. These two luxury cruises are operating under the same company, Scenic Group. It's an Australian based company but the ships sail in other oceans. Scenic Eclipse in Polar Regions including Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Antarctica. Emerald Azzurra in the Aegean and Red Seas. For as many differences there are some similarities. From submarine excursions, to guided tours, restaurants, spas, bars and lounges. #luxurycruises
Scenic Eclipse Koko’s Restaurant
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Vibe and Decor of the Ships

They’re both modern and lux in design but you can tell simply from looking that there’s an extra, upscale touch of luxury on the Scenic Eclipse.

Emerald Azzurra

While the ship’s still being built and we only have renderings, all the imagery suggests a contemporary design on the Emerald Azzurra. It appears that its color palette will be neutral tones, leaning towards brown, white, grey and black. We know that the same interior designer of the Eclipse, Karen Moroney, who is also co-owner of the Scenic Group, will handpick items for the ship. And she takes care with all design choices, including furniture and art.

Emerald Waterways Yacht Cruises compared to Scenic Eclipse Discovery Yacht. These two luxury cruises are operating under the same company, Scenic Group. It's an Australian based company but the ships sail in other oceans. Scenic Eclipse in Polar Regions including Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Antarctica. Emerald Azzurra in the Aegean and Red Seas. For as many differences there are some similarities. From submarine excursions, to guided tours, restaurants, spas, bars and lounges. #luxurycruises
Emerald Azzurra Observation area

Scenic Eclipse

The Eclipse is ultra modern and contemporary, with lush finishings from carpets to windows. It seems like no expense was spared on the furniture and wall treatments. The color palette of the Scenic Eclipse is earth tones, with greys, tans and black tones. (And pops of color here and there.)

Emerald Waterways Yacht Cruises compared to Scenic Eclipse Discovery Yacht. These two luxury cruises are operating under the same company, Scenic Group. It's an Australian based company but the ships sail in other oceans. Scenic Eclipse in Polar Regions including Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Antarctica. Emerald Azzurra in the Aegean and Red Seas. For as many differences there are some similarities. From submarine excursions, to guided tours, restaurants, spas, bars and lounges. #luxurycruises
Scenic Eclipse Observation area

The Scenic Eclipse has three custom art installations from the famed British Graffiti Artist, Carl Hush. They were installed while the ship was in Rotterdam. Though Hush usually takes three weeks to finish a piece he had just two days onboard in port to do so. And the results are stunning.

Three original Mitch Gobel paintings are onboard; he’s a native Australian artist, which is also the mother country of the Scenic Group. The three locations of his original paintings are the Spa Suite Lounge, Owner’s Penthouse and Scenic {whiskey} Bar. There are 124 of Gobel’s prints in the guest suites. His creations are very colorful and inspired by organic shapes, which invoke a sense of nature.

Emerald Waterways Yacht Cruises compared to Scenic Eclipse Discovery Yacht. These two luxury cruises are operating under the same company, Scenic Group. It's an Australian based company but the ships sail in other oceans. Scenic Eclipse in Polar Regions including Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Antarctica. Emerald Azzurra in the Aegean and Red Seas. For as many differences there are some similarities. From submarine excursions, to guided tours, restaurants, spas, bars and lounges. #luxurycruises
Carl Hush’s artwork in Koko’s Restaurant
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Environment and Technology of the Yacht Cruise Options

As the cruise industry grows, so does the concern for the environmental impact of ships on ours oceans. We already knew the Scenic Group was environmentally conscious but it became even more apparent during the Australia brushfires. This Australian based company donated $345,000 USD to the continent’s relief efforts. That being said, building ships with the environment on their mind is increasingly important as their fleet grows.

Emerald Azzurra

There’s not a lot that’s been released thus far about Azzurra’s technology. But we suspect it will have stabilizers like the Eclipse, which helps provide for a smoother ride even in rough seas. They will also use a lot of the same water treatment technology the Eclipse has and discourage single use plastic. This is something the Emerald Harmony river cruise ship in Asia has championed, complete with refillable water bottle stations.

Scenic Eclipse

This ship was designed as a powerhouse for the Arctic. It navigates freezing cold waters filled with glaciers, for Pete’s sake! There’s so much to admire about the technological advancements of the Scenic Eclipse. Not just for the environment but also for the advancement of the cruise community, as a whole.

It has the highest ice class rating a passenger ship can receive. (Polar Class 6 if that means anything to you – it doesn’t for us but we know it sounds great!) It also has stabilizer fins that are 50% larger than standard for greater ship stability. That, combined with its GPS system, allows for stationary positioning without dropping an anchor. And seriously, what if polar bears were under the water by an anchor when it was dropping? Oy vey! We’re grateful this technology exists so the Scenic Eclipse can be anchor free when necessary.

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Price and What’s Included with the Yacht Cruise Ship Emerald Azzurra and the Scenic Eclipse

There’s a huge difference in price, which we acknowledged at the start of this post. Yet we left this topic for last because as the Cruise Critics Awards go, Emerald has again produced an incredible value for the investment. And Scenic has impressed with an award-winning luxury ship in the Eclipse. The Scenic Eclipse cost comes in at about twice the cost of the Emerald Azzurra per day.

Mostly everything is included on both ships. The main difference is the Scenic Eclipse includes premium spirits, while the Emerald Azzurra includes beer and wine during meals unless a couple upgrades.

Both include taxes, port charges, gratuities, and WiFi. (And we always travel with our Skyroam Hotspot for offshore WiFi access when we’re on excursions in port.) Spa treatments are extra.

There’s also opportunities to save money with Early Bird Booking Specials on both brands’ sites. And often, flights and transfers are included too so be sure to sign up for their emails to catch a good promo. Because no matter how much or how little money you have, everyone loves a good deal!

Emerald Azzurra

By our calculations, you can expect to spend between $400 to $500 on average, per day. This makes an 8 day sailing approximately $3,200 to $4,000 total, depending on the itinerary and current promotions. There are also occasional “DiscoverMORE” offerings on Emerald that are a slight up-charge.

Scenic Eclipse

It seems most itineraries, whether 9 or 13 days, come in at about $1,000 per day. For example, there are two 13 day cruise options, one for $12,100 and another for $15,000. The difference in price is due to the destinations they go to. A longer itinerary is for a 20 day cruise, which is approximately $17,000. There’s also a 38 day cruise for just under $32,600. (So there’s a bit of a savings on longer itineraries for the increase in days!) Submarine and helicopter excursions are available for an additional cost.

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Final Thoughts

The future of these yacht cruise lines is bright. They offer really unique opportunities for guests to be “yachters” even if only for a sailing. (Or a few if you love it enough to sail again.) And how many people can say they’ve sailed aboard yachts if you’re not Warren Buffett? Or Jimmy Buffett, for that matter.

Their destinations are inspiring. And amenities and services guest-focused. While the Emerald Eclipse is wonderful for sailing warm waters and going to climates with higher temperatures and palm trees, there’s real appeal in the Scenic Eclipse which sails to destinations most people only dream about exploring. So if your bank account and dream travels list favors the Scenic Eclipse it may be worth checking out a shorter sailing to see if you like it. And if you do, committing to a longer cruise for the future.

When the Scenic Eclipse was announced, founder Glen Moroney mentioned there’s plans to build a second ship. And if Emerald Waterways’ success is any indication of the future of Emerald Yacht Cruises, we anticipate more ships will be announced for the future too.

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post, which means we may earn a small commission if you click the link and proceed with a purchase. We only recommend products or services we personally use and recommend. All photos courtesy of Scenic Group.
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