MIAMI BEACH_There are a lot of ships showcasing the wonders of Antarctica, but only one giving guests a look at what’s under the ice.
Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, whose ocean-going super yachts feature helicopters and submarines, was here at Seatrade Cruise Global to provide an update on their business and a look at what’s coming up.
Established in 1987, Scenic and its sister brand, Emerald Cruises, operate a fleet of 26 ships, both river and ocean-going, built in the owner’s two shipyards. Maggie Carbonell, VP Marketing for Scenic Group USA, met with All Things Cruise to give a company update.
Looking back on the pandemic, she said one result was an increased focus on the U.S. market.
“The pandemic re-energized the US market,” she said. “We transferred a lot of the funding and resources here in 2021, and started sailing in August.” Since then, “slowly but surely things opened up.”
In Europe, she said the situation was more complicated since the European Union let each country decide its own policies. “One standard policy for all countries would have made it easier to operate,” she said. Currently, Scenic guests need to be vaccinated but aren’t required to wear masks on board.
Like other cruised lines, the war in Ukraine also has affected their operation, particularly since Scenic has a ship stationed in Russia on the Volga River. Those cruises have been canceled.
Regardless, Ms. Carbonell cited the pent-up demand from “people who want to go from a bigger line to a smaller, more immersive product like a river cruise.”
Of course, it doesn’t get more immersive than taking a trip under the sea in a Scenic submarine. Scenic Eclipse II, now under construction, will feature an eight-person sub built by Triton Submarines, based in Vero Beach, FL. The existing submarine on Eclipse I accommodates six people.
The Triton 660/9 AVA will take eight persons and the pilot to depths up to 660 feet. But even better, since the Triton sub is built in the United States, it can be deployed on sailings in U.S. waters.
In line with one of the main themes at the conference, Scenic has long been a proponent for sustainability. “It’s part of our brand DNA,” Ms. Carbonell said. “We have to make sure the places we go are there for generations to come.”
In other news, the recently-launched Emerald Azure offers a luxury river experience on Portugal’s Douro River, with a second ship coming early next year. In July, there’s a naming ceremony set in Amsterdam for Emerald Luna, whose godmother is Vanessa McGovern, a travel industry advocate.
Ms. Carbonell said the company is working on the evolution of the next class of ships, which are in the final design stages. “But we aren’t ready to talk about that.”
We can’t wait to learn how they’ll top helicopters and submarines.
Cover photo: Scenic Eclipse, Outer Hebrides, Courtesy Scenic
Ed. Note — See sailings here: Scenic Cruises (cruisecompete.com)