Credit: Emerald Cruises

Emerald Azzurra’s Captain gives a glimpse into sea life - from seeing new places to weddings onboard

Author: Laura Ellsessar

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Have you ever wondered what life is like for a cruise ship captain? Hear about daily life and superyachts from the Captain of Emerald Azzurra.

Jonathan Edwards, Captain of Emerald Azzurra, gave World of Cruising an inside look into his journey to becoming a captain and his life aboard a luxury cruise ship.

Edwards’ love for the sea began with his stepfather who worked as a Marina manager. Growing up with dyslexia, Edwards apprenticed within the merchant navy which gave him a mix of both physical and written work to best suit his skills. For years, Edwards worked his way up through schooling and cruise ship ranks to become a ship captain.

Edwards described: “In June 2021, I joined the Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours and Emerald Cruises families, taking on the role of Captain for Emerald Azzurra.”

He expressed that sailing on Emerald Azzurra “feels like a true superyacht,” with its essence of luxury and smaller size of only 100 guests.

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While onboard Emerald Azzurra, make sure to take advantage of the incredible activities and excursions offered. Edwards loves the variety of things to do both on and off the ship: “from the fantastic itineraries and outstanding, immersive on-shore experiences to the onboard comforts, such as the infinity pool, jacuzzi and high-end bar outlets.”

Just like his passengers, Captain Edwards loves the thrill of travelling to new places and commented how: “there is nothing better than visiting a new port and receiving a warm welcome as the ship slides into position.”

If you’re looking for your next cruising destination, Edwards recommends the Mediterranean, “as there are so many amazing countries at your fingertips, all within a small area and each offering something truly unique.”

- READ MORE: Your guide to the Mediterranean - which destination is best for you? -

He also recommends Australia and New Zealand for the adventurous activities available onshore and the incredible “warmth and hospitality of the locals.”

As a passenger, the life of a ship captain may seem elusive. What is their schedule like? How do they balance their lives with so much time spent at sea?

Edwards expressed his love for his family and his gratitude for a balanced schedule with “two months on and two months off, allowing me to spend plenty of quality time with my family.” The crew also relies heavily on one another and as Edwards describes, “are like an extended family, supporting each other while we’re away from our homes.”

Take part in the amazing excursions Emerald Azzurra offers. Credit: Emerald Cruises

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Guests may also wonder what romances play out onboard between the crew. While Edwards himself has a wife and two children, he did explain that “the size of the cruise ship does not matter – there is always romance afoot.”

Edwards explained that while he does not perform weddings, he has “performed wedding renewals in the past. It’s been great to see the happiness on the couples’ faces during the ceremony.”

Just like any place in the world, life doesn’t stop moving on a cruise ship.

- READ MORE: Douro delights: Experience a river cruise with wine and wildlife -

Edwards’ love and respect for his community were evident when he described how a ship “functions like a small town, with so many different nationalities onboard working in different departments. In this way, cruise ships are a model to the world on how people can interact and work together.”

While passengers may assume a captain’s schedule is pretty routine, the crew always needs to be prepared for any emergencies and bad weather the ship may experience. Edwards comments that: “no day at sea is ever the same, however I take great pride in going above and beyond to ensure our guest’s and crew’s safety remains the number one priority.”

Captain Edwards takes pride in ensuring the safety of all passengers and crew. Credit: Emerald Cruises

Have you ever thought about what a captain’s cabin is like? Edwards says his cabin has “all the same fixings as our guest suites, but with a slightly bigger living room which doubles as my office.” Here Edwards can relax after a long day with a tv show or a good book.

Next time you’re onboard a cruise, don’t be shy about approaching your captain for a quick chat if you see them on board. One of Edwards’ favourite parts about the Emerald Azzurra is its manageable size that helps to create a community.

- READ MORE: Cunard's first female captain on new Queen Anne ship and equality -

The Captain described: “The ability to socialise with our guests due to the yacht’s small size is much more rewarding, as you have many more opportunities for that one-on-one contact and to really get to know the guests on a personal level.”

No matter the size of the ship you're on, don't be afraid to become a part of the community and even introduce yourself to the captain!

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