It’s full steam ahead for Australian river company, Evergreen, with the line saying that they will be pushing ahead with their latest ship, set to debut in Europe for the 2021 season.
The Emerald Luna, which is bound for the Rhine, Main and Danube, will be launching in May 2021, was designed to meet the increasing demand from the Australian market.
“We haven’t mothballed the plans for the ship, given the current climate. We are going to keep pushing forward with our plans and we are hoping to launch ahead of next year’s wave season,” said Angus Crichton, Evergreen’s Director of Sales, Marketing & Product.
“People still want to travel in the future. It’s now a need in the lives of Australians. The exciting thing is that Luna is on track with her build, and we don’t intend to stop. And we needed the ship to fulfil the demand because we have seen a massive increase in bookings and interest for that particular region.”
Mr Crichton said that historically, Evergreen had been seeing a steady growth in Australian cruisers. Pre-coronavirus, 2020 was set to see double digit growth figures of Aussie passengers.
“While there might be reports of the longer cruises decreasing in popularity, we’re actually finding that the 15-day cruises have been selling like hotcakes. But I think the most appealing factor to the Australian market is the price point, the value and the flexibility of the Evergreen brand.
“People want better value for money and the concept of our brand is rather than the all-inclusive holiday, people are not tied to paying extra for things like shore excursions and drinks. They have more freedom and flexibility, but they get to travel in style and comfort.”
The Emerald Luna will accommodate 180 passengers and will be built in Evergreen’s Star Ship design, featuring five-star dining onboard, sun deck, wellness centres as well as a swimming pool.
Emerald Luna will be the ninth ship in Emerald Waterways fleet after Emerald Harmony commenced cruising the Mekong in August 2019. She will join Emerald Sky, Star, Sun, Dawn and Destiny cruising the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers from May 2021. Emerald Liberté, sailing on the Rhône River and Emerald Radiance, sailing on the Douro River complete the fleet.
And the ship showcases the increasing popularity of the Evergreen brand not just among Australians, but British and American cruisers.
“We are also seeing the same type of growth in both markets, which is extremely encouraging,” said Mr Crichton.
“And though 2021 is difficult to get a gauge on, we are seeing that a considerable number of people are looking at our website for itineraries, brochures, virtual tours, which is extremely reassuring during this difficult time. People will still want to cruise.”