Since 2008, Australian-owned Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours has been a major player in the deluxe, all-inclusive river cruise market.
In 2017, construction began on the line’s first ocean-going ship, the much-anticipated Scenic Eclipse. After many delays and the bankruptcy of the shipyard, the 17,085-gross-ton, 228-guest ship finally entered service in August 2019.
The Eclipse is the first in a new generation of game-changing expedition ships that feature their own helicopters (two in this case) and a submarine, in addition to the usual armada of zodiacs, kayaks and e-bikes.
With an exterior inspired by a famous mega yacht, the Scenic Eclipse proves that it is possible for a modern cruise ship to have sleek, seagoing lines. Its interiors were conceived by Karen Moroney, the owner’s wife, and exude a stark but stylish and contemporary elegance that is offset with fresh flowers and bold, colorful artwork.
The Eclipse has a Polar Class 6 rating, the highest of any luxury cruise vessel, which enables it to safely navigate regions other ships cannot. It is propelled by a pair of Azipods and bow thrusters that provide enhanced maneuverability while an environmentally friendly GPS dynamic positioning system allows the ship to remain in the same location without using a traditional anchor that can damage seabeds.
Some of the ship’s features, such as red “do not disturb” lights outside the cabin doors and Quietvox headphones for shore excursions have evolved from Scenic’s popular river cruise boats. Others, like a 5,920-square-foot spa and no less than 10 dining options are setting new standards for luxury expedition cruising.
Christened in New York on Sept. 10, 2019, by award-winning actress Helen Mirren, the Scenic Eclipse operates on globetrotting itineraries with an emphasis on polar cruising.