Scenic vs Emerald Ocean Cruises: What’s the Difference?

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Two of the biggest river cruise lines in the world – Scenic and Emerald – have now made waves in the world of ocean cruises. Their modern ships are perfect for a luxury ocean cruise, but what separates these brands?

Emerald vs Scenic

In this guest post, Jenny from TravelCounsellors explains what makes each cruise line unique.

Choosing Between Scenic and Emerald

Scenic Luxury Ocean Cruises and Emerald Cruises are sister brands owned by the Scenic Group. In my first Scenic and Emerald blog, I compared their river cruise brands

In this article, we’ll look at the similarities and differences between their cruise brands, to help you make an informed choice for your next adventure. See the comparison table below.

Scenic vs Emerald: Comparison Table

This table shows some of the similarities and differences between the brands:

FeaturesScenic (Ultra-Luxury)Emerald (Luxury)
ShipsScenic Eclipse and Scenic Eclipse IIEmerald Azzurra and Emerald Sakara
Years built2018 / 20232022 / 2023
Guests228 / 232100
ItinerariesAntarctica, Arctic & Northern Europe, Americas & the Caribbean, Europe & the Mediterranean, Australia, New Zealand & the South PacificMediterranean & Adriatic Sea, Caribbean & Central America, Red Sea & Indian Ocean
Butler serviceYes, for every guestNo, but 76 crew to 100 guests means service is highly personal
MealsAll onboard meals included. Up to 10 culinary experiences from casual to fine diningAll on-board meals are included in 3 dining areas: La Cucina Dining, La Cucina Terrace and Aqua Pool Café
DrinksComplimentary beverages all day (select rare and vintage options not included)Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner. Additional drinks package available.
ExcursionsAll includedMany included – optional in-depth guides available at extra cost
EquipmentOnboard Swarovski telescopes and in-suite binoculars. Watersports equipment including kayaks, paddleboards, Tiwal sailing boat and water skiingMarina Platform and water toys including stand-up paddleboards, kayaks and SEABOBs
Fitness and wellnessScandinavian-inspired outdoor Vitality Pools and cabanas. Large, oval-shaped Vitality Pool with swim jets allowing guests to swim ‘laps’ (Eclipse II) Indulgent Senses Spa (extra cost). Gym, yoga and pilates studio Infinity pool, Elements Spa and Wellness Centre (extra cost).
State-of-the-art infrared sauna. Well-equipped gym. Yoga and pilates on the Observation Deck
Bicycles onboardComplimentary e-bikes 10 award-winning Gocycle electric bicycles
GratuitiesAll gratuities includedAll gratuities included
Wi-FiComplimentary Wi-FiComplimentary Wi-Fi
All the information is correct to the best of my knowledge (November 2023). Please get in touch if you would like me to check any specific details.
Discovery Ultra Luxury Yacht vs Luxury Yacht 

I spoke to Glen Moroney, the owner of Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours

Scenic and Emerald offer quite different cruise options to travellers, though they are both owned by the same company – Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours.

I asked the owner of the company, Glen, to explain his thoughts about the two brands. He said:

Scenic redefines all-inclusive luxury, while Scenic Eclipse marries 6-star ultra-luxury with unparalleled global navigation and discovery, with two onboard helicopters and a 6-seater submersible for unrivalled exploration. With all Scenic voyages, guests can leave their wallet at home as the luxuries you’d expect to pay extra for, are included. Enjoy exceptional service, the finest dining experiences, and travel in style to all five continents of the globe in truly all-inclusive luxury. 

Scenic Eclipse
Scenic Eclipse

The Emerald Cruises brand offers guests contemporary luxury and independence with the freedom to explore off the beaten path. Our brand new yachts – Azzurra and Sakkara allow our guests to enjoy a small ship experience, where they can embrace the yacht lifestyle, enjoying incredible onboard dining and wellness, with no more than 100 guests to destinations including the Caribbean, the Red Sea and the Seychelles.”  

Emerald Azzura in the Caribbean
Emerald Azzura in the Caribbean

Discovery Luxury Yachts Vs Ultra-Luxury Yachts 

Both Scenic and Emerald yachts are stunning, five-star ships. Scenic offers an ultra-luxury, all-inclusive option while Emerald offers a luxury experience with slightly less included.

Scenic Eclipse and Eclipse II have a Polar Class 6 rating with a strengthened hull and customised stabilisers, ensuring they can sail into polar regions with ease. Their ships have been designed with discovery in mind.

Guests have the opportunity to see above and below the horizon, with two onboard helicopters, and a custom-built submarine, available on both vessels (at extra cost).

The small size of Emerald’s yachts means that they can explore coastal areas and ports that larger yachts and ocean ships are too big to reach. Their focus is on providing an incredible, luxury, small yacht experience. They don’t sail to the Polar regions.

Emerald Yacht Sky Deck
Emerald Yacht Sky Deck

Emerald’s yachts offer some incredible experiences, but Scenic is a step up – with even more impressive service and almost everything onboard included in your fare.


Both Scenic and Emerald Yachts have all the amenities of a world-class hotel and provide a haven of relaxation and innovation.

With both brands, you’ll experience fantastic service and attention to detail. In the words of owner, Glen Moroney: 

The guest experience is at the heart of everything we do, and our inspiration is always to offer our guests unforgettable experiences, incredible service and lead the way in delivering innovative and sustainable cruising programmes and building ships that set the benchmark in luxury ocean cruising”. 

Scenic Eclipse Deluxe Verandah Suite
Scenic Eclipse Deluxe Verandah Suite

Find your perfect cruise:

Jenny can help you find the perfect cruise including the Scenic and Emerald Yachts.

Please get in touch with her here: or by email: [email protected]. You can also find her at Jentravelinspiration on Instagram.

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