The Sun newspaper in London has already dubbed it “the world’s poshest ship”. Next Thursday, Scenic Eclipse will pick up her first paying passengers for a maiden voyage from Reykjavik, Iceland to Quebec, Canada.
Some will have paid $2,175 or more a day for the 12-night voyage aboard the new-style expedition ship, which features two helicopters and a six-seat submarine.
Next month, there will be a glittering New York launch party featuring British actress Dame Helen Mirren as the ship’s godmother.
It’s all a long way from the year of hell for Australian Scenic boss Glen Moroney, who created the Space Ship for European rivers and has now produced his dream project: the world’s first discovery yacht.
The Croatian yard she was built at teetered on the brink of bankruptcy, the work force went on strike and the ship’s launch was twice delayed.
But all of that will be forgotten as she sails for the Americas, Antarctica, Europe, the Mediterranean, the Arctic and Fjords.
“I’m very proud to say the Scenic Eclipse has been successfully certified for passenger ship operations, has been officially registered, and we are now in the final stages of preparations for our inaugural voyage,” said Mr Moroney, who has personally spent months overseeing the build and says he now plans five more similar ships.
Yesterday, there were still plenty of cabins available, including space on decks A, B, C and D. Deluxe on D Deck was available at $17,650, while a spa suite was on offer at $26,095. You will need to pay in full within 24 hours and, because Scenic Eclipse is an expedition ship, you will need a doctor’s certificate.
So what’s all the fuss about?
The 168-metre vessel with 114 suites features an almost 1:1 crew to guest ratio and lays claim to being “six star” in comfort but “ice class”, with a hull able to go deep into the Arctic ice.
Her amenities and amazing technology certainly puts her up there: ten restaurants and bars, two helicopters, a submarine, a spa, two pools and huge space for just 228 guests (200 in the Arctic and Antarctica).
There is even a penthouse suite on the ninth deck at the bow of the yacht, with 125m² of indoor space and a 60m² terrace.
There is a 55 square metre Spa Sanctuary, a gym, yoga and pilates studio, plus indoor and outdoor swimming and plunge pools.
Food will be prepared from the different regions that the ship sails through.
A theatre will host lectures by an onboard discovery team, which will inform guests about the areas they will be visiting.
Here, according to Scenic, is what you get aboard the world’s poshest ship:
The Scenic Eclipse fleet has 114 luxurious suites across five decks. Each suite is incredibly spacious with stylish amenities, opening onto a private verandah or terrace.
From the 32 square metre Verandah Suites to the 247 square metre two-bedroom Penthouse Suite, featuring elegant furnishings, a separate sleep zone and lounge area, butler service and more, it’s a retreat after a day of activities. The finest toiletries, Egyptian cotton linen and all the top amenities you would expect from a luxury hotel including our Scenic Slumber Beds with pillow menu, a separate lounge area and your all-important ‘window to the world’, your private verandah.
Every guest will have a butler to help make the cruise a little more special. The butler will make ensure complimentary refreshments and a restocked mini-bar for whenever the fancy takes you.
From Lumière contemporary French fine dining to Elements main restaurant, or a casual meal in the Azure Bar & Café, there will always be something to tempt, delight and satisfy.
An impressive selection of cuisines and dining venues offer you a variety of choices. Our open galleys invite guests to see first-hand the passion and expertise that goes into preparing every meal. Each dining venue features a special of the day and menu choices will be refreshed throughout the cruise.
The U-Boat Worx Cruise Submarine 7 is capable of diving to a depth of 200 metres with seating for up to six guests. Custom-built for optimal sightseeing, an excursion into the wide blue sea will be truly unforgettable.
An exciting range of submarine excursions are available for an additional fee, taking you deep into the depths of the oceans from top of the world in the Arctic, to the bottom in Antarctica, from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean and the fjords of Norway to Greenland.
Witnessing wildlife in its natural habitat takes on a new dimension when you’re below the surface. In the crystal clear polar waters, gasp in awe at whales, penguins, seals, walruses and other marine life and their young.
The Scenic Eclipse fleet is equipped with state-of-the-art Airbus EC-130-T2 helicopters which seat up to six guests. You will feel like a pioneer explorer as you soar above places previouslythought inaccessible for a unique bird’s eye view.
From Antarctica to the Falkland Islands, the Caribbean to the Greek Islands, the fjords of Norway and Chile to Iceland and Greenland, for an additional fee you’ll have access to an exciting range of helicopter excursions that are yours to choose.
Imagine flying over the volcanic wonders of Italy, the sparkling coral cays of the Caribbean, or along the jungle coastline of Panama and Colombia.
Enjoy unparalleled access to some of nature’s most beautiful sites. Explore icy wonderlands, fly out across the pristine Lofoten Islands and Norwegian fjords, venture further than most on the Antarctic continent, experience the thrill of landing on the ice in Greenland, or soar above the volcanic peaks of Iceland.
Vote in this year’s special Readers’ Choice Awards
No doubt 2020 will go down in cruise history as the year of the pandemic – a once in a generation event. And this year’s Cruise Passenger Readers’ Choice Awards will reflect it.