Proving the luxury cruise landscape is ever evolving, Scenic has announced what it calls the world’s “First Discovery Yacht” – the Scenic Eclipse. A fantastic video previews what is to come as do further details below.
Scenic, known for all-inclusive luxury river cruises and tours across a 30-year history, will expand to ocean expedition cruising on Aug. 31, 2018 when it launches the new 228-guest mega-yacht. On this date, it will embark on an Istanbul-to-Venice maiden voyage followed by expeditions to The Americas, Antarctica, Europe and the Mediterranean, as well as the Arctic and Norwegian Fjords.
The all-veranda, all-suite ship has already been three years in development and will set out to offer six-star luxuries paired with state-of-the-art innovations in comfort and safety. Accommodations will range from a 344-square-foot Verandah Suite to a 2,500-square-foot, two-bedroom owner’s penthouse Suite. Interior design comes from Karen Moroney, inspired by leading luxury hotels, and the suites will be outfitted with fine fittings.
Other amenities will include a nearly 1:1 guest-to-staff ratio servicing elegant public spaces like an almost 5,000-square-foot spa, gymnasium with yoga and Pilates studio, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis and plunge pools, bars, lounges, a 240-seat theater and six unique dining rooms. Complimentary culinary options will feature a steakhouse, two al fresco venues and French, Pan Asian and Italian cuisine, and premium drinks will also be included throughout the day.
Additional inclusions, in keeping with the company’s existing program, will be butler service, Wi-Fi, tips and gratuities, onboard entertainment and lectures, local guides for off-board shore excursions, and a selection of Scenic FreeChoice activities and Scenic Enrich experiences – the line’s added-value special events.
Enhancing the discovery abilities of the ship and its expert Discovery Team will be two onboard twin-engine helicopters, a custom seven-seat submarine, a fleet of Zodiacs and kayaks, and scuba diving and snorkeling equipment.
Also aboard the Polar Class 6 (Ice Class 1A Super) – the highest passenger ship ice class rating – vessel will be impressive technologies and safety measures such as 50 percent larger than standard zero-speed stabilizer fins, that will ensure stability of the smaller ship in rough seas and while stationary.
Chairman Glen Moroney has said, “our goal with Scenic Eclipse was to open up the private Discovery Yacht experience so that our guests could discover regions previously only visited by a fortunate few. In many cases, only the supremely wealthy or explorers and adventurers could’ve travelled to the Antarctic hinterland or have ventured below the surface to witness polar wildlife in their natural habitat, but now we are making these experiences accessible to our guests while traveling in the utmost luxury and safety.”
Joining Scenic’s fleet of 21 riverboats, Scenic Eclipse was designed in collaboration with naval architects such as Foreship in Finland and is under construction by the Uljanik Group in Croatia. There is also an option for a second ship for delivery in June 2019. A brochure featuring the new ship and its 18 forthcoming itineraries will be available in February.
This news mirrors the similar expansion of Viking River Cruises to include its Viking Ocean Cruises brand of ships, but those are larger nearly 1000-guest vessels. The sleek Scenic Eclipse, architecturally reminiscent of PONANT’s yachts, is more suited to become a direct competitor to Crystal Cruises’ recently launched 62-guest Crystal Esprit which also has a submarine, albeit accommodating only two passengers.
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