Mar 11, 2019

Launching into the Future


Cruise like a movie star onboard Scenic’s ultra-luxe yachts. Reviewed by travel writer, Louise Goldsbury.

An on board submarine, two helicopters (only in Antarctica) and dynamic positioning technology that allows stopping without dropping anchor – it sounds like the ship of the future, but Scenic Eclipse is coming very soon.

The World’s First Discovery Yachts is the brainchild of Scenic’s Founder and Chairman Glen Moroney, who had a vision several years ago to build ultra luxurious, 228 passenger, technologically advanced and environmentally sensitive, expedition vessels.

Its global popularity was enhanced with news that the 6-star vessel would be joined by a sister-ship, making Scenic’s fleet the most advanced in luxury and technology in the world.

Lisa Bolton, Scenic’s General Manager of Product, said the timing for Scenic Eclipse’s launch was absolutely right.

“The industry has been looking for something different – a ship that’s not too big, not too small, luxurious, greener, faster, smoother,” she said. “There hasn’t been anything this exciting in many years but there’s a buzz about Scenic Eclipse.”

Shifting from river to ocean is a significant step for the Australian company, Ms Bolton added. “It’s a new frontier but a natural progression for a business that started in Newcastle with buses going up and down the Great Ocean Road,” she said.

In the Polar Regions, where passenger numbers are limited to 200, the power and prowess of Scenic Eclipse really shines. It’s a far cry from the decades-old Russian scientific research vessels chartered by some companies, but it also stands apart from other luxury ships. Scenic Eclipse features spacious suites, all with balconies and separate living area, up to ten dining experiences, and a 550sqm wellness complex with a day spa, two pools, jacuzzi, hair salon and gym.

The ship’s expedition credentials also include larger stabilisers that drastically reduce the motion of the ocean, and equipment for kayaking and snorkelling. Excluding the pilots, the helicopters carry six passengers and the submarine takes six people on once-in-a-lifetime excursions.

For Ms Bolton, the underwater features are among the ship’s best distinctions.

“One of the greatest benefits is you don’t have to put an anchor down. The ship can stay on point using the stabilisers and propulsion so it doesn’t disturb the sea bed,” she said. “It’s important to protect the pristine environments that we explore.”

Designers behind the lavish fit out have focused on every detail including handcrafted marble used in the bathrooms, a change room and even an onboard marina. A few destination highlights include the Northwest Passage, Cuba and the Caribbean. Remote and unspoiled regions will also be explored such as Southern Greenland and the depths of the European Arctic.

The second ship in the fleet will be a similar design to its sister-ship with 114 all-verandah suites, eight lounges and bars, nine restaurants and multiple health and wellness areas to take luxury travel to the next level.