Glen Moroney, the ship-building owner of the Australian cruising icon Scenic, doesn’t like the limelight much.  He spends most of his time in Switzerland or at one of the yards building his unique vessels.

But the man who created the Spaceship on Europe’s rivers and the stunning discovery yacht Scenic Eclipse has lost none of his revolutionary zeal. And Australians had their first look at his latest creation this week: the superyacht, Emerald Azzurra.

Mr Moroney has been a design leader for decades.  He built river ships with cabins when Europeans said it couldn’t be done.  He built Asian river ships in Vietnam, and his first and second luxury discovery yachts Eclipse and Eclipse II  in Croatia at a yard he now owns a stake in.

And while much of the cruise industry is turning out mega ships with thousands of passengers today, he is building small superyachts  with room for just 100 and sailing them to unique locations where only this type of vessel can go.

At the launch in Sydney last week, the audience was greeted by Mr Moroney in a rare Smartphone appearance.

He reported that during Assurra’s sea trials “Emerald Azzurra really is a very special superyacht, and will undoubtedly deliver a fantastic experience for our guests.”

Scenic Group General Manager, Sales and Marketing Anthony Laver said innovation was in the line’s blood and it was moving to smaller ships and very unique experiences.  He cited the launch of a second discovery yacht and Azzurra’s sister ship.  “We’ve been investing a lot,” he said.

The verdict? She’s stunning –  perfect for cruising the Mediterranean, Adriatic and Red Seas in style.

Emerald Azzurra has a contemporary vibe with designer Missoni towels, Italian-designed Paola Lenti chairs and a Sky Bar on the top deck where guests can sip martini cocktails as the sun sets or simply luxuriate in the spa pool.

“Emerald Cruises represents the ultimate in small ship cruising to provide guests with intimate and unique experiences – creating a new class of luxury yacht cruising,” said Mr Laver.

Emerald Cruises Emerald Azzurra Pool 2
Emerald Azzurra pool

Besides a restaurant, pool and a pool café, guests can indulge in early morning yoga lessons on the observation deck with spectacular ocean views. In the evening, the multi-functional area turns into an outdoor theatre for passengers to enjoy movies under the stars. There is also an observation lounge with a Swarovski telescope and library.

Emerald Cruises Emerald Azzurra Reflections Restaurant
Emerald Azzurra’s Reflections Restaurant

The superyacht will have a marina platform with kayaks, paddleboards, sea bobs and a water trampoline.

Emerald Azzurra recently completed sea trials in Ha Long Bay in Vietnam where the keel for the second superyacht, Emerald Sakara was laid.

Emerald Cruises Emerald Azzurra The Sky Bar 2
Emerald Azzurra’s Sky Bar

Emerald Azzurra will cruise the Med, Adriatic and Red Seas early next year while Emerald Sakara will debut in the Black Sea and Indian Ocean in 2023.

Guests will enjoy complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks at lunch and dinner, complimentary WiFi, excursions with a local guide, airport transfers to and from the yacht.

And could an Emerald superyacht sail in Australian waters?

“Australia is certainly a great location for small ships such as this,” said Mr Laver, recalling that Scenic had tried to bring the Eclipse to Kimberley earlier this year.

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