Emerald Kaia

Former name: hull EW03

Specifications of Emerald Kaia

Year of build2026 new ship
BuilderHalong Shipbuilding Company (Ha Long City, Vietnam)
ClassMega Yacht
Speed22 kn / 41 km/h / 25 mph
Length (LOA)120 m / 394 ft
Beam (width)16 m / 52 ft
Gross Tonnage5755 gt
Passengers128
Crew92
Decks7
Cabins64
Decks with cabins4
Sister-shipsEmerald Azzurra, Emerald Sakara
Former nameshull EW03
Christened bytba
OwnerScenic Group (Australia) via GMK Consulting Ltd (Malta)
OperatorEmerald Yacht Cruises

Emerald Kaia Review

Review of Emerald Kaia

The 2026-built Emerald Kaia cruise ship (currently under construction) is a superyacht with max passenger capacity 128. This is the third newbuild in the Emerald Cruises fleet, as well as the company's third ocean-going vessel - with sisterships Azzurra (2022) and Sakara (2023).

Like the sisterships Azzura and Sakara, Kaia ii Vietnam-built (by Halong Shipbuilding Company/HLS in Ha Long City). HLS was contracted to build the hull and install all the yacht's machinery, while the interior fit-out was managed by a separate project team.

The vessel (IMO number tba) wils be Bahamas-flagged (MMSI tba) and registered in Nassau.

To be inaugurated in May 2026, Kaia is Emerald Cruises' 12th boat, having as fleetmates 9x riverboats and the sisterships Azzurra and Sakara.

The superyacht Emerald Kaia has max passenger capacity 128 (plus 92 crew/staff).

The ship design is sleek (megayacht-like hull and superstructure), with premium accommodations (ultra-modern hotel amenities), spacious restaurants, a large wellness complex (gym, infrared sauna, spa, massage rooms), two tender boats (used for passenger debarkation and embarkation in tender ports / without docking facilities), two Zodiacs (large-capacity motorized boats for coastal and inland expeditions), aft Marina platform (for launching watersports activities - swimming, snorkeling, paddleboarding, kayaking, etc), a large Infinity Pool (Aqua Pool with a stern-facing glass front), a dedicated pool deck (aft location, oval-shaped spa pool, sunbathing area with padded loungers, open-air Bar).

Emerald Kaia also carries its own electronic bikes (Gocycle brand) from the premium manufacturer Karbon Kinetics Ltd (2002-founded by Richard Thorpe/McLaren Cars design engineer).

Emerald Kaia yacht cruise ship

Emerald Waterways is a new (2014-established) river cruise shipping company and brand owned by Scenic Group (Scenic Tours Australia). Emerald Waterways riverboats are well-known as some of the best on the market newbuild ships with premium facilities and superb services provided by professionally trained staff and crew.

On February 1, 2020, Emerald Waterways introduced the new brand "Emerald Yacht Cruises". It officially started operations in 2022 (February) with the inauguration of the Azzurra superyacht, which was initially planned for July 2021.

The yacht's name (Kaia) is of Scandinavian origin and means "pure". The word is also rooted in Hebrew, Greek, Japanese, and Hawaiian languages, having the same meaning.

Decks and Cabins

Of all Emerald Kaia staterooms (64 total), 88% (56) are with private, step-out balconies - excluding only Deck 3's Oceanviews (with windows).

Standard Balcony cabins are sized 32 m2 (345 ft2, including the veranda). The cabin balcony access is via floor-ceiling sliding glass doors. The veranda is furnished with two deckchairs and a small table.

The cruise ship's largest passenger accommodations are the two Owner Suites (on Pool Deck 6) each sized 131 m2 (1410 ft2, including a large terrace).

Next by size are all four aft-facing accommodations with wraparound balconies. Two Yacht Suites (aft on Observation Deck/4th floor) are sized 82 m2/880 ft2. Two Terrace Suites (aft on Panorama Deck/5th floor) are sized 77 m2 (830 ft2).

The smallest are the eight Oceanview cabins (forward on Deck 3) sized between 21-23 m2 (225-245 ft2).

The boat has 7 decks, of which 6 are passenger-accessible and 4 with cabins.

Two Lifts (midship Elevators) interconnect all decks.

All staterooms are with contemporary design, luxurious en-suite bathrooms (WC, shower, single-sink vanity, hairdryer, premium toiletries, bathrobes, slippers), twin beds (convertible to double / Queen-size, Egyptian cotton linens, quality pillows), bedside cabinets (with recessed lights), wardrobe, electronic safe box (in the closet), mirrored writing desk (dressing table with chair), sofa, coffee table with chaise lounge chairs, mini-bar (refrigerator), phone, smart HDTV (satellite reception, infotainment system / Internet, movies-on-demand), free Wi-Fi, individually controlled air-conditioning, bottled water (daily restocked), umbrella (used on land tours).

Bonus amenities (suite-only perks) include a walk-in closet, pillow menu, Welcome Gifts (bottle of champagne and fruit platter / upon arrival), mini-bar (daily restocked), coffee machine, tea-making facility, free laundry (2 items daily for Yacht Suites and Terrace, and 4 items daily for Owner Suites). Owner Suites and Terrace Suites additionally receive free room service (in-cabin dining) with served pre-dinner canapes and after-dinner sweets.

Shipboard facilities

The onboard food offering features local cuisine specialties (based on the visited ports along the current itinerary) and gourmet dishes (prepared with the freshest, locally sourced produce). The ship has 4 dining venues (La Cucina Dining, La Cucina Terrace, Night Market Grill, Aqua Cafe) and 3 bars/lounges (Aqua Cafe, Amici Lounge, Marina Lounge). Breakfast and lunch buffets and a-la-carte dinners are served at La Cucina Restaurant (full-capacity Dining Room aft on Deck 3).

Aft on Emerald Deck/3rd floor is the ship's main restaurant (La Cucina Dining Room). Adjacent is the La Cucina Terrace - an outdoor lounge (that doubles as an alfresco dining venue/weather permitting) and features an open kitchen (allowing guests to observe the chefs preparing their food). Midship is the Night Market Grill (portside/Asian cuisine private dining room with 8-seat capacity), the Boutique Shop, and the Lobby area (Reception Desk). Forward is the ship's main entertainment venue Amici Bar & Lounge.

Onboard dining is complimentary and inclusive of beverages - soft drinks, beer and wine (by the glass) are waiter-served and free at all lunches and dinners.

Emerald Sakara yacht pool deck

Amici Bar Lounge is the largest and serves as the main lounge. The Observation Lounge is a small indoor venue at the bow on Deck 4.

Aft on Pool Deck/6th floor is located Aqua Cafe (outdoor lounge served by its own bar).

Sky Bar on Sky Deck/7th floor/top deck is an outdoor poolside bar that serves beverages and light snacks to the sundeck area featuring comfortable padded outdoor furniture (sofas, chairs, sun loungers, low tables), a large Spa Pool (infinity-type) and 3x private cabanas for rent.

Emerald Sakara yacht sundeck pool

On Wellness Deck (deck 2) are located the Medical Center (Infirmary/ship's Hospital served by a resident physician and nurses on 24-hour duty), Beauty Salon (hairdresser studio), Elements Spa (3x rooms for massages), 3x Sauna Rooms (including an Infrared Sauna), and the Fitness (indoor/outdoor Gym with a large opening hull door and fitted with professional training equipment). Aft is the Marina Deck (sundeck with padded seating), the retractable Marina Platform (for launching watersports activities) and the Garage (for watercraft and equipment). Also aft are stored the yacht's Tender Boats (3x) and the Zodiacs (2x).

Zodiacs are large-capacity, high-speed RIBs (rigid inflatable boats) used for coastal cruising, navigation on inland waterways and expedition landings.

Two full-capacity Lifeboats are mounted starboard and portside midship on Panorama Deck/5th floor.

Emerald Yacht Cruises Emerald Kaia's prices are inclusive of return flights (economy-class, from London Heathrow Airport), transfers (airport, and to/from the ship), port fees, airport taxes, all onboard meals, select drinks, onboard tipping (gratuities), shore excursions, enrichment program (lectures, media presentations, live performances), watersports (equipment and activities).

Ashore, passengers enjoy the complimentary EmeraldPLUS cultural program (professionally guided tours) and EmeraldACTIVE program (guided bicycle tours). Additionally, Emerald Yacht Cruises customers can book optional shore excursions (by the company's DiscoverMORE program) which come at extra cost.

Emerald Yacht Cruises sells fly-cruise deals which are ATOL-protected (Air Travel Organiser's Licence) and ABTA-protected (directly booked flights with non-ATOL airlines).

In comparison to the sisterships Azzurra and Sakara, Kaia is ~10% larger (10 m/33 ft longer, with bigger capacity and volume/gross tonnage) which allowed the venues and facilities to be expanded and redesigned. The Sky Deck/7th floor was expanded (sized 510+ m2/5500+ ft2) and incorporates the Sky Bar (indoor/outdoor lounge), a sundeck with Spa Pool (infinity-style) and a sunbathing area (loungers, deckchairs, private cabanas). Passenger staterooms are more and ~10% larger.

Forward on Observation Deck/4th floor was added a sundeck area (on the bow). The bow-facing Observation Deck is accessed directly from the Observation Lounge. The Observation Sun Deck has a Spa Pool (large Jacuzzi/hot tub) and comfortable outdoor furniture (cushioned sofas, small round tables with chairs).

The Marina Deck was also enhanced with a sundeck zone (with luxury sun loungers) and the Marina Lounge (serving light snacks and beverages). The expanded Marina Deck also has an open-air Gym (aft-portside, with a large opening hull door) and offers more watersport activities launched from a retractable platform.

Itineraries

While certified for unrestricted passenger shipping operations in all regions (except polar), the yacht Emerald Kaia is custom-designed to navigate in warmer climates, like Southern Europe's Mediterranean (Adriatic Sea, Aegean Sea), Red Sea (Arabia) and Indian Ocean (Seychelles), offering a unique superyacht cruising experience. The boat's smaller size (and water draft) allows it to visit ports that larger ships can't access.

Emerald Cruises' yachts offer seasonally (in spring and fall) cheap Transatlantic crossings between the Caribbean and Europe (RepositionCruises.com). Emerald Yacht Cruises also offers full ship charters for corporate and private clients.

Kaia's inaugural season is currently scheduled to start with the Maiden Voyage on May 6, 2026. The 15-day Inaugural Cruise itinerary ("Discover the Best of the Croatian Coast") is a roundtrip from Dubrovnik Croatia. The voyage starts with an overnight stay in Dubrovnik and visits Split Croatia (Day 3-4/overnight), Zadar Croatia (Day 4), Opatija Croatia (Day 5), Piran Slovenia (Day 6), Venice Italy (Day 7-8/overnight), and Croatia's ports Rovinj (Day 9), Sibenik (Day 10), Trogir (Day 11), Vis (Day 12), Hvar (Day 12-13/overnight), and Korcula (Day 14), ending in Dubrovnik.

Emerald Kaia's schedule for 2026 was announced in April 2024 and listed a total of 8x voyages. They were opened for booking on April 10th (for past guests/loyalty program members) and on April 22nd (for general customers). The program is based entirely on the 14-night/15-day "Discover the Best of the Croatian Coast" itinerary. The voyages leave roundtrip from Dubrovnik's Port Gruz (departures May 2, Aug 8, Aug 22, Sep 26) and from Venice (departures Jun 20, Aug 1, Aug 15).

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In August 2020, Scenic Group (shipowner) contracted Viking Crew (part of the Dover UK-based Viking Maritime Group Ltd) as the vessel's crew managing company. Viking Crew is responsible for Scenic Cruises yachts' crew recruitment, management, deployment and placement, including officers and staff-crew from the onboard Engine, Hotel and Deck departments. Viking Crew was also contracted for the crew management of the superyachts Scenic Eclipse 1 (2019) and Scenic Eclipse 2 (2022).

The vessel has volume 5755 GT-tons and DWT-Deadweight 1230 tons. The registered shipowner and management company is GMK CONSULTING LTD (2019-incorporated, Naxxar Malta-registered).