The new battleline in cruising has been drawn – and it’s firmly in the luxury category.

Earlier this week Australian brand Scenic announced it was building what it describes as “the world’s first discovery yacht” to be called Scenic Eclipse.

Scenic claims the ultra luxe vessel will herald a new era of adventure cruising” when it launches in 2018.

And, to be fair, it probably will.  Scenic chair and designer Glen Maroney’s dream is to make a trip to the Arctic as easy as a cruise to the Med.  So he has added 50% bigger stabilisers, and piled on safety features to ensure his guests can be comfortable AND safe.

Of course, it has two helicopters and a seven-seat submarine. And its suites promise uncompromising luxury.

Which means it will join a list of other brands offering more premium wine, softer sheets, better butlers, bigger suites. We’re calling it the Luxe Olympics.

Here’s a run down of the competitors:

Scenic Eclipse

Launching: 2018

Cost to build: $250 million

Size: 165.7 metres / 16,500 tonnes

Passengers: 228

Restaurants/Bars: 6

Best suite: 233 square metre Penthouse Suite including a 60 square metre terrace, separate living area and bedroom, floor to ceiling windows and large spa bath.

Facilities: Indoor pool with retractable roof, plunge pools, gym, yoga and pilates studio, spa

Onboard gadgets: Two helicopters, seven person submarine, Zodiac fleet, kayaks, scuba and snorkelling gear


Crystal Esprit

Launched: December 2015

Cost to build: N/A (refurbished)

Size: 82 metres / 3,300 tonnes

Passengers: 62

Restaurants/Bars: 4

Best suite: 47.8 square metre Owner’s Suite with separate living area and bedroom, interactive iPad, butler service

Facilities: Swimming pool, sauna, spa, gym, casino

Onboard gadgets: Helicopter, two person submarine, 32-foot superyacht tender, jetskis, wakeboards, kayaks, scuba equipment


Seven Seas Explorer

Launching: July 2016

Cost to build: $450 million (most expensive luxury liner ever built)

Size: 224.1 metres / 54,000 tonnes

Passengers: 750

Restaurants/Bars: 12

Best suite: 360 metre Regent Suite including 89 square metre balcony, two bedrooms, 2.5 marble bathrooms, living and dining area, private vista garden and in-suite spa. Butler service, unlimited in-suite spa treatments, unlimited Wi-Fi, car and guide at port, luxury hotel accommodation pre and post cruise.

Facilities: Swimming pool, two whirlpools, Culinary Arts Kitchen cooking school, library, casino, theatre, Canyon Ranch Spa, fitness centre.

Onboard gadgets: None