Scenic Eclipse - A first look at this new luxury expedition yacht

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Scenic Eclipse - A first look at this new luxury expedition yacht

The Scenic Eclipse, from Scenic Ocean Cruises, is the first in a new generation of expedition new-builds that have been announced during the last few years, and having been at the press launch a while ago I was very keen to see if she looked as good in real life as in the artist impressions. I can safely say she looks even better! Her sleek profile is more akin to a luxury super yacht that you would see moored in Monaco or St Tropez with sleek smooth lines, and to complete the yacht look, a helicopter perched on her stern! Inside, work was still being completed on her interiors, but I got a great idea of what she is going to look like once finished, with her maiden voyage leaving Reykjavik 15 Aug. View all Scenic Eclipse cruise itineraries.

Scott in Rotterdam with Scenic Eclipse

Scott in Rotterdam with Scenic Eclipse

You embark Scenic Ecplise on Deck 4, and turning right there's the lovely main dining area called Elements featuring curved banquette seating furnished in creams with statement turquoise panelling, along with a Cheese Corner that’s going to feature 100 types of cheese that get matched with a wine pairing. Also here is The Chefs Table, located in a secluded room, dominated by an impressive solid marble table that can accommodate 10 guests. Other dining areas on this deck include the Teppanyaki @ Kokos dining room that offers lovely sea views, Kokos itself that serves Shabu-shabu hot pots, and a Sushi bar too! Other dining areas include the Azure Cafe and Terrace on Deck 5 located next to the Epicure cooking school, where the chefs even grow their own herbs! In Luminaire, the French restaurant and Champagne Bar, the carpets are woven with silk thread for that added luxury touch, and diners can see into the galley for interaction with the chefs.

Elements restaurant on Scenic Eclipse

Elements restaurant on Scenic Eclipse

Also on Deck 4 is the reception and excursion centre, which flows naturally into the Scenic Lounge and I think this will be the hub and heart of the ship, with natural plants and spacious comfy seating throughout. There is a crystal quartz back-lit whiskey bar here that features up to 100 special whiskies and a self-playing piano! This in turn leads to the innovative circular theater with very comfy reclining seats and huge wall-mounted LCD screens. The ship's charismatic captain James Griffiths gave us a talk, and it was good to learn he was integral in the design of many aspects of the ship too.

There are lots of natural earth tones used throughout the Scenic Eclipse with grand polished gloss surfaces reflecting the light beautifully. High ceilings and wide corridors add to the sense of space on board – she accommodates just 228 guests.

What I really loved was the forward deck area outside the Observation lounge and library on Deck 5. An expansive deck space that allows guest to get right up above the tip of the bow, and with the added handrails, perfect for spotting orcas or to just watch the passing scenery, in polar or warm water cruising. Looking at the space I think at least half the guests could be out in this area at any one time, possibly more!

Captain James Griffiths, Scenic Eclipse

Captain James Griffiths

Scenic have spared no expense in the finish and the quality on board and that’s reflected in the hardware, engines and bridge systems which are the most modern on any cruise ship. The bow thrusters alone output 50% more power than their standard cruise ship counterparts. Captain James Griffiths also told us that Scenic Eclipse has an open bridge policy, which is so important for expedition cruising clients, and that the vessel is the largest category 2 expedition ship currently sailing. The zero speed stabilisers mean that even when the ship is stationary, it will not rock in choppy seas. The 12 zodiacs are launched from the mid-ship area, so that the ship provides protection for embarking and disembarking guests.

Scenic Eclipse Helicopter, Scenic Ocean Cruises

Scenic Eclipse Helicopter, Scenic Ocean Cruises (c) Scott Anderson

There are also two helicopters and a six-passenger submarine! We saw one of the helicopters on the landing area and it sure was impressive! They are housed in two hangers either side of the take-off zone and can accommodate six guests each. Prices range from $475 to $695 depending on duration and region. The submarine can accommodate six guests and will offer up to eight dives a day. Fares range from $250 to $475 for up to 40 minutes and can dive up to 300 metres deep!

There is a small gift shop selling designer glasses, watches and handbags with some polar wear, I’m just not sure how busy that will be on a polar expedition but we’ll see. The expansive spa area has a well-equipped gym and male and female relaxation areas with plunge pools, heated beds, thermal lounges, saunas and plunge pools, with a yoga and Pilates studio too. The products used will include all natural Susanne Kaufmann lotions and potions along with the ESPA skincare range.

Around the Scenic Eclipse are large state-of-the-art LCD screens offering information and smaller screens in the guest corridors. We didn’t get a chance to see any of the suites unfortunately.

Another innovative area of the ship is the Yacht Club on Deck 7 Aft, with its unique stainless steel indoor and outdoor pools and casual relaxation area which is also available to use for breakfast and lunch, located under the helicopter launch pad.

Scenic Eclipse

Scenic Eclipse (c) Scott Anderson

Summary

Overall even though we had a short visit and there was still work going on, Scenic Eclipse is going to set the bar high for all the new generation of luxury expedition vessels entering the market, not only with its stunning good looking profile but also the on board amenities. This is luxury expedition cruising at its best....until the next ship is launched maybe!

Related Scenic Eclipse Articles

View the Scenic Eclipse Helicopters


Scenic Eclipse Facts

  • 114 all-verandah suites
  • 10 dining options – from Asian Fusion to French fine dining to a chef’s table to a poolside buffet
  • A 5,920 ft² spa with a well-equipped gym and separate yoga and Pilates studio
  • Two six-guest helicopters and one six-guest submarine capable of depths of nearly 1,000 feet -- to allow for explorations far beyond any done on expedition ships to date
  • A 240-seat theatre for entertainment and lectures
  • Indoor and outdoor plunge pools
  • Butler service for all guests and an almost 1:1 guest-to-staff ratio
  • Innovative zero-speed stabilizer fins, 50% larger than standard to provide greater stability
  • The highest passenger ship ice class rating – Polar Class 6
  • Redundancies in propulsion, navigation, safety systems and food refrigeration
  • State-of-the-art bridge systems
  • A GPS dynamic positioning system allowing for stationary positioning without an anchor, reducing any environmental effect in sensitive regions


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