Scenic Group Canada operates two renowned brands Emerald Cruises and Scenic Luxury Cruises, and has been supplying Canadian travellers with award-winning ocean and river cruises since 2008. This holiday season, you can enjoy all-inclusive, five-star river cruises aboard Emerald Cruises’ custom-built Star-Ships as well as Scenic's Space-Ships sailing on two of the most popular European rivers, the Rhine and the Danube.
If ocean cruising is more your style, join Emerald’s two 100-guest superyachts, Emerald Azzurra and her sister Emerald Sakara, for an in-depth exploration of ports in the warm waters of the Caribbean. From airport transfers to delicious onboard dining with complimentary drinks with lunch and dinner, included excursions, gratuities and onboard Wi-Fi, Emerald Cruises has included everything you need to get the most out of your cruise.
Included excursions were specially designed for guests seeking a more in-depth experience in each destination visited. Guided walks, hikes and bike tours are on the daily menu for you to choose from. In addition to traditional shore visits, Emerald Cruises offers EmeraldACTIVE tours designed for guests who like things to move at a slightly faster pace, and EmeraldPLUS experiences that allow you to immerse yourself in the heart of local life, consisting of once-in-a-lifetime events, guided tours, and in-depth interactions with local communities, experiencing authentic local life from a different point of view. Many options are available and the choice is always yours.
Looking for an adventure of a lifetime this Christmas or New Year? Scenic’s Discovery Yachts, Scenic Eclipse, and her sister Scenic Eclipse II, will show you and your 200 fellow guests, the beauty of Antarctica . Both yachts feature a Polar Class 6 rating, a strengthened hull and customized stabilizers which ensure the vessels can explore polar regions with ease. To enhance the destination experience, guests have the opportunity to go above, beyond and below the horizon, with two on board helicopters and a custom-built submarine. After a day filled with exciting explorations, Zodiac landings and wildlife viewing, indulge in the on board Senses Spa, a 550-square-metre oasis offering total relaxation and rejuvenation. Later on, take a culinary journey in up to ten on board dining venues, ranging from casual to fine dining experiences. Or simply unwind in your luxuriously appointed veranda suite as you sail by the world’s most majestic landscapes.
There are many cruise options to enjoy this holiday season. Explore some of them below:
Christmas Cruising Opportunities:
Sun & Fun in the Caribbean: The islands of the Caribbean, with their pristine beaches and European flair, beckon Canadian guests looking to escape our colder climate. On December 23, 2023, Emerald Sakara sails round trip out of St. John’s, Antigua, on an eight-day Eastern Caribbean & Grenadines itinerary, while Emerald Azzurra will sail from Barbados to St. Martin, on the Eastern Caribbean with St. Barts itinerary. Both call on intimate ports like Soufrière, St. Lucia, situated in the crater of a dormant volcano; and Terre-de-Haut in Îles de Saintes, Guadeloupe with its South-of-France vibe and stunning white sand beaches. Beautifully decorated trees onboard help set the mood while special Christmas Eve and Christmas dinners featuring fresh seafood, Christmas turkey, glazed ham, roasted duck, veal tenderloin, vegetarian selections and more are followed by holiday themed cocktails. Guests can also join the crew for caroling on the Sky Deck.
Penguins, penguins, everywhere: Scenic’s ultra-luxury Discovery Yacht, Scenic Eclipse, is taking a more expeditionary approach to the holidays. Festooned with holiday trimmings, she departs December 13th on a 16-day Antarctica & the Weddell Sea sailing in search of the elusive Emperor Penguin. The tallest (up to 4.3 feet) and heaviest (51 lbs) of the penguin species, Emperor Penguins are found along the ice-chocked Weddell Sea, well past the Antarctica Peninsula. Guests can take the optional helicopter excursion to see them in their natural habitat and learn how they survive the -55⁰C winters.
River Cruises beckon: On the rivers, both Emerald Cruises and Scenic Luxury Cruises excel at the holidays, offering their guests a chance to step back in time with visits to the European Christmas Markets. Scenic’s 15-day Christmas & New Years sailing from Amsterdam to Budapest (departing on December 19, 2023) along two of Europe’s most popular rivers – the Rhine and Danube – where the bulk of the oldest and most traditional Christmas Markets take place. Guests can explore Christmas Markets in Cologne and Miltenberg, attend a traditional Christmas Mass in Würzburg, celebrate Christmas onboard, enjoy an exclusive performance of “Best of The Sound of Music and Salzburg Show” in Salzburg, Austria the location of the true story, and ring in the New Year in one of Europe’s most musical of cities – Budapest. Not to be missed!
Emerald Cruises’ 15-day Christmas Markets of Europe takes place before the holidays and departs on December 2nd with Christmas Market visits nearly daily – from Regensburg’s Thurn und Taxis Palace Christmas market, where rows of quaint wooden stalls are adorned by row-upon-row of twinkling lights, to any of Cologne’s seven different Christmas Markets showcasing handcrafted souvenirs and Christmas treats. Just in time for your Christmas shopping. Eight-day Christmas Market sailings are also available on both the Rhine and Danube rivers.
New Year’s Cruising Opportunities:
White sand and colourful fireworks: Those looking for true romantic gestures can ring in New Year’s on board luxury yacht, Emerald Sakara, with an eight-day Hidden Charms of the Caribbean itinerary from St. John’s, Antigua to San Juan, Puerto Rico on December 30th. This sailing calls on Gustavia, St. Barts, 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. 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. Emerald Azzurra will repeat its Christmas Eastern Caribbean with St. Barts itinerary for guests looking to escape for a more intimate New Year’s celebration.
Paddleboarding amidst the icebergs: Scenic Eclipse and Scenic Eclipse II are both taking New Year’s guests on an adventure of a lifetime with their 13-day Antarctica in Depth: New Year Wishes, departing Ushuaia, Argentina on December 27th and 28th, respectively. Due to the speed of the yachts and their oversized stabilizers, guests spend more than six full days exploring the Antarctic Peninsula. Highlights include traversing the stunning seven-mile Lemaire Channel, where you can take in the ample wildlife – seals, penguins and whales in their natural habitat. Along the way there are visits to the remnants of a derelict whaling station, climbs to the rim of a volcanic crater, paddleboarding, kayaking, Zodiac tours, and so much more.