Sitting down to chat with Scenic’s Joe Maloney, v.p., U.S. sales and marketing, is a treat because he is over the moon about the launch of what’s being hailed as the world’s “First Discovery Yacht,” the 228-passenger Scenic Eclipse. “There’ll be a 5,000-sq.-ft. spa, cabins with verandahs, a 7-seat submarine, a 7-seater helicopter, six ways to dine, jet skis, kayaks…” The amenities are indeed plentiful on this ultra-luxury mega yacht, which will take her maiden voyage in August 2018.
The Scenic Eclipse will sail 7- to 18-night itineraries, journeying in the Americas; Antarctica; Europe and the Med; and the Arctic and the Norwegian Fjords. And if you think when it sails into the Polar regions it’s going to be roughing it, think again. “There’s no roughing it,” asserts Maloney. “No compromise. Our clients want to go ashore,” to explore, “but they also want to have elegant dinners.”
With this new discovery yacht, “we saw an opportunity,” points out Maloney, “because it hasn’t been done before. Our mission is to show a destination better than anyone else.” Speaking to that is the decision that on Arctic and Antarctica cruises, guest numbers will be limited to 200, enabling more landings per day for each guest (and the crew will be upped to 182 from the regular 172).
The aforementioned helicopter—there will be two on board—and submarine will also afford guests the opportunity to explore in-depth, taking them to places previously thought inaccessible. Imagine seeing whales, says Maloney, under the water from the submarine. Additionally, the onboard Discovery Team will assist guests in experiencing these remote regions, covering a range of subjects and interests during lectures and excursions, and of course, the fleet of Zodiacs and kayaks will offer yet another way to explore and get up-close to the regions’ unique offerings. “The Eclipse will offer a palate of choices at each shore,” says Maloney.
In designing the Scenic Eclipse, luxury matters, but, emphasizes Maloney, safety is of utmost importance as well. The Eclipse is being specifically designed to navigate challenging seas, utilizing innovative zero-speed stabilizer fins, 50 percent larger than standard to provide even greater stability. The stabilizers, normally found on the largest private super yachts, also work when the ship is stationary, adding further to guest comfort.
Guest comfort is also part of the package in the array of accommodation categories—from the Verandah Suite (66 in all) to the 2-bedroom Owner’s Suite. And then there are the indoor/outdoor pool; the gym, yoga and Pilates studio; the e-bikes; the varied onboard dining options, from French to Italian and steak; the 240-seat theater; the Jacuzzi; and the personal service with an almost 1:1 staff to guest ratio.
As Maloney says, “It’s luxury in keeping with Scenic.” Approximate rates for Arctic and Antarctica sailings start at $1,100 pp per day, and for Europe and the Americas (including Cuba), it’s $600 pp per day. For more information, visit scenicusa.com.