You might think that luxury yachts or “superyachts” are only for the rich and famous but they might be more affordable than you think.
A luxury yacht cruise with Emerald Cruises is more attainable than you may realize. Guests can enjoy the perks of the luxuries of a private yacht for a reasonable price.
We’d previously enjoyed a scenic river cruise on the Danube River with Emerald Cruises and loved our experience. We were so excited to experience the Emerald Azzurra luxury yacht for our first time on a Mediterranean cruise.
The experience was a bucket list adventure and a dream come true to visit Greece and Italy.
We were guests of Emerald Cruises for review purposes. All opinions are my own. This article may contain affiliate links.
The 100-passenger Emerald Azzurra provides great customer service with an almost 1:1 ratio of guests to staff with 76 crew members.
You’ll also find plenty of areas on the luxury yacht to explore, spread out, and relax.
Emerald Azzurra Luxury Yacht Stats
The luxury yacht’s relatively small size allows it to go where larger ships can’t.
Both the Emerald Azzurra and the Emerald Sakara are 110 meters in length.
The Emerald Azzurra was built in 2022 and the Emerald Sakara was built in 2023.
Each luxury yacht has 50 cabins and a maximum guest number of 100 guests providing an abundance of space for guests to enjoy.
What’s Included With Your Emerald Cruise Luxury Yacht
There are a number of luxury inclusions on your Emerald Azzurra Cruise that make it an excellent value.
- Airport transfers to and from your yacht
- All meals on board
- Complimentary wine, beer, and soft drinks to accompany lunch and dinner
- State-of-the-art coffee machines and tea stations
- Complimentary water restocked daily
- First-class service from an English-speaking crew
- Knowledgeable local guides
- Free Wi-Fi
- All airport taxes and port charges
- All gratuities on board are included
Slow Down and Savor the Moments
I really appreciated the slow pace on the luxury yacht. I typically suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out) and want to try ALL the things, ALL the time.
I appreciated that our days weren’t overscheduled and that our itinerary really allowed us to relax and be “in the moment.”
Days at sea with a later port time arrival were also a great gift because you could ease into the day before starting an afternoon tour.
An Abundance of Space Throughout the Luxury Yacht
There are plenty of comfortable meeting spots throughout the luxury yacht.
Memorable Meals at La Cucina
There are four different areas for drinks or dining on the luxury yacht:
- La Cucina Dining
- La Cucina Terrace
- Aqua Pool Cafe
- Amici Bar & Lounge
You’ll enjoy the majority of your meals in the La Cucina dining room.
For breakfast and lunch, you can choose your own culinary adventure. There is a buffet in addition to menu items that you can order from the waitstaff.
Lunch AND dinner come with complimentary soft drinks, wine, or beer which is an added value.
Dinners each evening in the La Cucina main dining room were edible works of art. Every plate and glass was inspired by the local region and selected by expert chefs.
Guests still have the freedom of choosing special menu item options specifically for that evening or from the selections available each day.
I tend to lean toward the recommended menu items from the chef each evening. And always try to leave a little room for dessert…even if you only try a few bites.
Enjoy Stunning Views of the World’s Prettiest Ports
Each port that we visited had a unique landscape to appreciate.
The Emerald Azzurra and Emerald Sakara luxury yachts are intentionally designed to access smaller ports that can’t be accessed by larger ships.
We found that Naples was extremely accessible to walk to after we extended our time on the quest for local pizza following our Emerald walking tour.
Types of Suites and Staterooms on the Superyacht
There are 6 different suites and stateroom grades available on the luxury yacht for guests to choose from when it comes to their accommodations.
- Owner’s Suite – Between 1,162 – 1,192 sq ft (The oversized Owner’s Suites are the largest accommodation option available. The Owner’s Suites are located on the Pool Deck level and have a separate bedroom and lounge area, and also include their own large private terrace)
- Yacht Suite – Between 700 – 721 sq ft – (The Yacht Suites are located the aft of the Observation Deck, and include their own private terrace)
- Terrace Suite – Between 648 – 669 sq ft (The Spacious Terrace Suites are located at the back of the Panoramic Deck and include an outside terrace)
- Deluxe Balcony Suite – Between 382 – 403 sq ft (Deluxe Balcony Suites are located on the Pool Deck.)
- Balcony Suite – Between 285 – 306 sq ft (The Balcony Suites are located on both the Observation and Panorama Decks and have their own private balconies.)
- Oceanview Stateroom – Between 182 – 204 sq ft – (The Oceanview Staterooms are located on the Emerald Deck level and have an ocean-view window.)
Tour the Balcony Suite on the Emerald Azzurra
Our Balcony Suite had a king-size bed, dresser, small couch and chair, and a desk that can double as a vanity.
It’s easy to get comfortable and have a great night’s sleep in your stylish home-away-from-home.
Underneath the bed, there was extra space to store our luggage.
The bathroom in the Balcony Suite was larger than I anticipated and had additional storage for our toiletry items.
Toiletries were also provided which made it so that we didn’t have to bother packing shampoo, conditioner, body wash, or lotion.
We had our own private balcony with two chairs and a table outside.
I loved enjoying a cup of coffee while watching the sunrise in the mornings from our private balcony.
Room Amenities in the Balcony Suite
- Your own private outdoor balcony
- Queen-size or twin hotel-style beds with the finest Egyptian cotton linen
- Bathroom with shower, indulgent ESPA toiletries, and hairdryer
- Complimentary bathrobes and slippers
- Complimentary water restocked daily
- Flat screen HDTV and infotainment system
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Individual climate control
- Mini-bar restocked daily at an additional cost
- Personal safe
The Sky Deck has the Sky Bar and a large spa pool/ hot tub.
This a very popular spot on the yacht for obvious reasons. There is plenty of comfortable seating surrounding the perimeter to use if the bar seats or the hot tub is full.
If you prefer to swim laps or float, you will love the Aqua pool.
You can take in incredible coastal views while relaxing on the pool deck or enjoy taking a dip in the infinity-style pool.
One of my favorite sections to sit in was on the oversized cushions next to each side of the large infinity pool.
It also didn’t hurt that the Aqua Cafe with a coffee bar, ice cream, pizza, and sandwiches was only steps away.
Dessert on the deck? Yes, please!
This is another great spot to enjoy a morning coffee with a pastry.
The oversized lounge chairs are also perfect for lounging or a mid-day nap.
Guests can meet the captain on the navigational bridge of the Panorama Deck.
Come ready with questions for the captain, enjoy a different perspective and you’ll have a new appreciation for the behind-the-scenes logistics of the crew.
The Observation Lounge on the Observation Deck is a great spot to relax and read a book, work on a puzzle, or play a board game while enjoying panoramic ocean views.
There is a self-serve coffee machine as an added bonus in this area.
Challenge Yourself in a Class
I’ll admit that I only took advantage of one of the yoga classes during our sailing. There were more classes offered…I just didn’t take them.
I really enjoyed practicing yoga on the deck at the front of the yacht on the Observation Terrace. The views in the distance and the breeze are way more enjoyable than an indoor class.
The class was challenging in a good way and it had been a while since my last class.
Amici Bar and Lounge Area on the Emerald Deck
This is the area where you’ll enjoy evening entertainment including fun trivia nights.
Introverts will love that it’s easy to find a secluded spot to read in the lounge during the day.
There is plenty of comfortable seating that’s perfect for small groups and couples. The setup also makes it easy to strike up a conversation with fellow guests.
La Cucina Dining is on the same floor which makes it easy to transition from dinner to after-dinner entertainment and drinks.
I highly recommend enjoying lunch from La Cucina Terrace on a warm sunny day.
On the Wellness Deck, you’ll find an assortment of amenities including:
- Medical Centre
On the Wellness Deck, all guests also have free access to the infrared sauna in the Wellness Centre.
Some of the benefits of using an infrared sauna include improving circulation, flushing out toxins, weight loss, and pain relief.
You can book an appointment for a spa service or treatment in the salon for an additional fee.
The Marina Platform is also on the Wellness Deck.
We didn’t get to experience all of the amenities from the marina platform during our cruise because of the cooler weather.
Guests can enjoy snorkeling excursions, and access to kayaks and other marine toys on select days.
Terrific Tours Included With Your Yacht Cruise
Emerald Cruises includes several guided tours with your yacht cruise. We always try to take advantage of every tour they offer. We knew that we didn’t want to miss any of the included tours because of our previous experience on an Emerald River Cruise.
Honestly, if you skip their tours, you’re missing out because they are thoughtfully curated.
We found the guided tours included in our yacht cruise to be very informative and a great overview of the city you’re visiting.
Guided tours are also a great way to get a “lay of the land” if you have additional time to explore the city afterward.
The tours showcase the highlights of the destination and we’ve found that all of the local guides have been really passionate about the city they are showcasing.
As someone who typically does all of the research for trips, I find it so nice to not have to try to research all of the ports extensively before we go.
I know the guided tour will provide me with the best experience of the popular points of interest and hidden gems in the area.
DiscoverMore Tours Are Worth Adding On
Emerald Cruises also offers specialty excursions for an additional fee.
For our cruise, we added “The Godfather Tour” and a guided tour of “Pompei” both of which I would highly recommend.
On “The Godfather Tour” we experienced filming locations that were so picturesque including Bar Vitelli, where we enjoyed the granita di limone.
Confession: I’ve never watched a whole Godfather movie. I’ve seen bits and pieces from several of the films but I hadn’t watched any in their entirety prior to our cruise.
You don’t have to be a superfan of the movie to enjoy this tour, if you are it makes the tour even more special.
Another highlight was a visit to Castello Degli Schiavi in Fiumefreddo, Catania the villa used for the Godfather movie. We even got to sit in “the chair” that you see in the final scene of the final movie.
We watched a montage of clips that were filmed at the location which made the experience of being there even more surreal….and now I definitely need to watch the whole movie!
This type of excursion would have been too difficult to try to coordinate on our own. It was so nice to just let the driver and the guide do all of the logistics and coordinating…especially on those switchback roads!
Yacht Cruising Drink Packages on the Emerald Azzurra
If you want to enjoy drinks throughout the day outside of your mealtimes, I would suggest one of the drink packages.
- Non-Alcoholic Package- Unlimited access to a range of soft drinks, bottled juices, and mocktails.
- Platinum Package -Unlimited access to a range of soft drinks, bottled juices, and mocktails as well as cocktails, long drinks, premium wine from our wine list, Prosecco and Champagne by the glass as well as an international selection of draft/bottled beer.
Incredible Staff on the Emerald Azzurra
The staff on Emerald Cruises is top-notch. You have an opportunity to really get to know the 75 crew members that only have 100 fellow passengers on board to care for.
The smaller staff-to-guest ratio allows for more meaningful interactions with staff versus on a larger cruise ship. We’ve really enjoyed learning more about the staff, their travels, and their home countries.
Special Local Entertainment
During our cruise, we were treated to special music and dancing by the locals.
The folk dance show was a fun introduction to the tradition of the local culture.
Flexibility to Choose Your Own Adventure
Independent travelers will love the freedom of cruising on a luxury yacht. During your free time, you can enjoy a day of exploration on your own or with a guided tour.
Guests also have the freedom to go on bike rides while in port with complimentary loaner bikes available for guests to use.
Our group of friends used the additional time in port after our Emerald walking tour as an opportunity to try pizza in Naples at a local restaurant.
What Should You Wear on the Emerald Azzura?
The dress code for a cruise on the Emerald Azzura is “smart business casual.” There is no formal “Emerald Azzura dress code” which means that you can dress up as much or as little as you want.
My assumption was that everyone would be very dressed up but I found the general dress attire was very casual and laid back similar to a river cruise.
There is no need to feel pressure to buy a new wardrobe because you’re concerned that you need to have the latest trendy clothes…but it does give you an excuse to purchase a few pieces if you want to.
Men will feel comfortable in a golf-style polo shirt, short-sleeve, or long-sleeve dress shirt.
No need for suit jackets…unless you really want to get dressed up but you won’t find many others opting for that option.
Women would feel comfortable wearing pants, jeans with a dressy top, or a dress. I brought several dresses to wear because I found them easy to pack and more comfortable.
This was especially true with looser dresses later in the week after so many great meals.
Dress in Layers
Depending on the time of year, you may find it to be a little chilly. Our cruise was in late March/ early April and the temperatures were in the mid-60s for the majority of the trip.
Europe in general dresses up more than the United States. Women tend to wear dresses or skirts instead of shorts in the summer. Men will wear nice shirts and sometimes wear shorts.
Leave your casual/ patriotic t-shirts and cut-offs at home to blend in vs. stand out as a tourist when you visit the ports.
I also brought a light sweater on days that I wore a sleeveless top for when we toured holy sites that requested covering of the shoulders.
You Can Do Your Own Laundry…But Only If You Want To
One of the amenities on the luxury yacht that we appreciated was the laundry room available for guests to use. It was nice to go home with clean laundry in my suitcase.
Laundry service is also available by staff for an additional fee.
Where Does Emerald Azzurra Sail?
The Emerald Azzurra offers a diverse range of sailings on the Adriatic Coast, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, and Central America.
Destinations for Emerald Yacht Cruises
There is an assortment of luxury yacht cruises to choose from. The hardest part is narrowing down all of the great destinations that Emerald Yacht Cruises go to.
Caribbean and Central America
- Grenadines and Grenada
- Eastern Caribbean with St. Barths
- Costa Rico and Panama
Mediterranean and the Adriatic Sea
- French and Italian Rivieras with Corsica
- Ionian Sea Adventure
- Discover the Best of Italy and Southern France
- Discover Western Meditteranean and Morocco
- Extend Your Stay
- Epic Voyages
Special Themed Cruises
Emerald Cruises has bragging rights when it comes to its luxury yacht experience.
In fact, the first groundbreaking luxury yacht, Emerald Azzurra won the 2022 Cruise Critic Editors’ Pick “Best New Luxury Ship” award.
How Much is an Emerald Yacht Cruise?
The starting fare for an 8-day sailing on a yacht cruise in the Caribbean is $3,145 per person which is a great value when you consider all of the inclusions previously mentioned.
Extend Your Adventure
You can choose to extend your adventure before or after your cruise. Our original plan was to spend one night in Athens, Greece before our cruise…more about that in a moment.
We also spent two extra nights in Rome after our cruise. I would highly recommend staying an extra few days if you can.
We used booking.com for our 2-night stay at Hotel Le Petit. Our hotel included a great breakfast and was within walking distance of public transit and several points of interest around Rome.
How Many Days Should You Arrive Before Your Cruise?
I would recommend planning to arrive at your destination at LEAST 2 days prior to your cruise.
I say this because I’ve had flight cancellations that were out of our control due to weather and crew that happened on two separate cruises, two separate years in a row.
We missed all of the day tours on Day 1 because they had to reschedule our flight 24 hours later before our river cruise on the Danube River and we made it to the ship right before they departed.
For our Mediterranean cruise, our connecting flight from Atlanta was delayed and canceled for 30+ hours which made us miss all of our time exploring Athens and the tours that we had booked.
Thankfully we made it to the ship just in time directly from the airport.
Travel insurance is a MUST. I can’t say that strongly enough.
Ready to Book Your Dream Trip?
You can find more information on upcoming luxury yacht cruises on the Emerald Cruises website.