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Emerald Sakara Review

4.5 / 5.0
3 reviews
See all photos
Editor Rating
4.5
Very Good
Overall
Jorge Oliver
Editor

Following the debut of Emerald Azzurra in 2021, Emerald Yacht Cruises doubles down on its ocean offerings with the new superyacht, Emerald Sakara. Identical to its sister ship, the 361-foot-long, 100-passenger Emerald Sakara was custom-built in Vietnam’s Ha Long shipyard in 2023. The vessel looks and feels like a luxurious private yacht, evidenced by its sleek and stylish exterior design boasting an elongated bow, clean lines and terraced aft.

Inside, you’ll find mirrors galore and chrome surfaces tones reminiscent of the cruise line’s fleet of river ships. On Emerald Sakara, however, colorful pop art accents are sprinkled throughout – handpicked by Karen Moroney, wife of Emerald Cruises president Glen Moroney – adding a playful element to the otherwise monochromatic style.

With its glamorous aesthetic, it’s safe to say that Emerald Sakara punches above its weight. The cruise line is known for offering great value at a price point below luxury lines, which is why you won’t find butlers onboard nor free-flowing champagne and caviar.

Emerald Sakara’s nimble size means it can fit into many nooks and crannies in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. In the former region, the ship will often dock in port while in the Caribbean, tenders to shore are the norm. With its well-proportioned balance of indoor and outdoor space, the ship is ready-made for warmer weather.

To immerse passengers in the ship’s destinations, Emerald Sakara offers three types of excursion options (though not all three will be available in every port). EmeraldPLUS and EmeraldACTIVE tours are included in the fare, with the former offering comprehensive but relaxed excursions to main highlights of the port in question, while the latter kicks into higher gears with guided hikes, bike rides, watersports and other vigorous activities. DiscoverMORE tours, on the other hand, are available for an extra fee and provide in-depth experiences that may include wine tastings, snorkeling or kayaking tours and other premium activities.

The Emerald Sakara Deck Plan Offers Cozy and Stylish Spaces

With only seven decks to navigate, getting around Emerald Sakara is a breeze.

The heart of the ship is Deck 3, where you’ll find the reception desk, the onboard boutique and the ship’s two main public areas: La Cucina Restaurant (which takes up about half of the real estate on Deck 3) and Amici Lounge & Bar. This deck also houses Emerald Sakara’s entry-level oceanview cabins, tucked away behind Amici Lounge in the forward end of the ship.

The rest of the ship’s cabins are spread out across decks 4-6, with the top-category suites occupying the highest deck.

On Deck 4 you’ll also find a cleverly concealed Observation Lounge that’s accessible through a stairwell located behind the Amici Lounge bar. The bow-shaped indoor portion of the Observation Lounge faces an outdoor seating area as well as a generously proportioned foredeck that, outside of early morning yoga and stretching sessions, goes largely unused.

On Deck 6 you’ll find the Aqua Pool Café and the ship’s inviting infinity pool. The uppermost deck is home to the Sky Bar and the jacuzzi.

Down below, Deck 2 houses to Emerald Sakara’s compact but resourceful spa, where you’ll find a couple of treatment rooms, a salon and an infrared sauna. The ship’s small gym is also located here, as well as the marina platform and the tender embarkation area.

Emerald Sakara’s Cabins are Roomy and Comfortable; Most Have Balconies

Emerald Sakara offers a total of 50 cabins in eight distinct categories. All cabins, with the exception of the six Oceanview Staterooms on Deck 3, have balconies.

The top cabin category is the Owner’s Suite, consisting of two units located forward on Deck 6. These cabins offer a whopping 1,192 square feet, including a vast private terrace. The other three suite categories include the Yacht Suite, the Terrace Suite and the Deluxe Balcony Suite, coming in at 700, 669 and 403 square feet, respectively.

Contrary to what the category name suggests, the Balcony Suites aren’t true suites, but rather cabins with balconies that make up the bulk of Emerald Sakara’s accommodations at 36 units.

Six Oceanview Staterooms, all located on Deck 3, round up the ship’s cabin options. Two of these rooms are slightly smaller than the other four, and are therefore the cabins to avoid on Emerald Sakara.

Food on Emerald Sakara Offers Variety in Two Main Venues

Onboard Emerald Sakara, you’ll find two places to dine. The main venue is La Cucina, offering indoor and outdoor seating for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A more casual option ambiance is found in the poolside Aqua Pool Café, where you can enjoy breakfast and lunch.

The menu options emphasize global cuisine, with a slight preference for Mediterranean fare (you’ll see pastas and risottos featured practically on a daily basis). The ship also strives to offer dishes inspired by the destinations visited in your itinerary, although sometimes this can slightly miss the mark by being too generic.

Breakfast and lunch are served buffet-style, with a few a la carte options always available. Dinner is a drawn-out affair and where Emerald Sakara’s best culinary chops are on display. Portions are sensible, perhaps even small for North American standards, but courses are plentiful and ordering more than one entrée is absolutely fine.

Pros

Yacht-like vessel with upscale atmosphere; intimate size allows ship to visit off-the-beaten-path destinations.

Cons

Enrichment opportunities onboard are limited; added cost shore excursions can add up quickly.

Bottom Line

Emerald Sakara offers a taste of a private yacht experience without the extravagant price tag.

About

Passengers: 100
Crew: 76
Passenger to Crew: 1.31:1
Launched: 2023
Shore Excursions: 574

Inclusions

Included with your cruise fare:

  • All meals

  • Red, white or rose wine or beer poured with lunch and dinner (Starting in April 2024, the drinks package will be included in the fare)

  • Specialty coffee

  • Filtered Water

  • Shore excursions, except DiscoverMORE

  • Self-service laundry, steam and ironing

  • Yoga, stretch and Pilates classes

  • Infrared sauna

  • Use of water toys in the ship’s marina

  • Use of e-bikes ashore

  • Gratuities

  • Wi-Fi

Not included with your cruise fare:

  • Spa treatments

  • Personal training and one on one yoga, pilates, meditation

  • Items from the onboard boutique

  • Cocktails (Starting in April 2024, the drinks package will be included in the fare)

  • DiscoverMORE shore excursions

  • Laundry service

Fellow Passengers

Emerald Sakara attracts a diverse crowd, with most passengers in the 40-60 and 65+ age brackets. It’s not uncommon to see younger cruisers, either traveling as couples or as part of larger multigenerational groups. Passengers also hail from diverse nationalities. About half of the cruisers on our Caribbean sailing were from North America, with smaller numbers of from the UK, Australia, Germany and other European countries. The ship, much like the cruise line, is LGBTQ+ friendly.

Families with young children are rare in Emerald Sakara’s itineraries, as the ship doesn’t quite cater to the youngest cruisers. Similarly, the ship’s public areas like the shallow infinity pool or the jacuzzi, aren’t suitable for children. Older teenagers traveling with multigenerational groups, however, can find the ship and its itineraries interesting, particularly in nature-rich destinations like the Caribbean.

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Where does Emerald Sakara sail from?

Emerald Sakara departs from Piraeus, Piraeus, Laviron, Rome, Civitavecchia, Dubrovnik, Nice, Barcelona, Lisbon, Tenerife, and Malta (Valletta)

How much does it cost to go on Emerald Sakara?

Cruises on Emerald Sakara start from per person.
Emerald Sakara Cruiser Reviews

Beautiful experience, can't wait to book another!

We were very well looked after and are really looking forward to our next cruise with Emerald.Read More
Montys-mum105

2-5 Cruises

Age 66s

The best balcony in cruise world

Even though it’s been a mild winter we were ready for some real sun;our preferred departure point in the Caribbean is Puerto Rico; the available Yacht Cabin on the Emerald Sakara sealed the deal.Read More
sandbag7

10+ Cruises

Age 73s

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