Scenic Eclipse – one of the northernmost maritime indulgence ever navigated
It was what Titanic sought out to be: a luxury cruise for the elites, affording them the comfort of their own palatial homes into glorious decks and cabins. The merriment of fine feasting, the joy of good company, and all that, minus the fear of slamming into an iceberg. Sailors have learned their lesson now; and while there may be new Jacks and Roses sauntering down the halls in their own romantic notion, fear is not part of the experience. Only comfort. And yes, there are still icebergs along the coast.
The Scenic Eclipse launches from its port and sets its sail across the frosty Reykjavik, Iceland, to the spring-seasoned Quebec, Canada—a 13-day inaugural journey that would make a mark in one’s memory. People call it the “discovery yacht,” a luxury expedition ship that marries comfort and curiosity, admonition and adventure. Larger than a yacht, yet smaller than a ship, the Eclipse had itself fully decked with veranda suites, all catered to accommodate—and please—more than 200 guests at a time. A stay is like a holiday in a beach resort; there’s the sight of the blue sea from the sliding doors, one can freely open to inhale the fresh scent of the sea. The interiors are decadent; plush couches, marble tables, curtained post beds with ambient lighting, with some suites boasting of a jacuzzi in their private verandas. But perhaps the real extravagance are the penthouse suites, with staterooms spanning up to 2,650 sq. ft, readily indulging one with sublime comfort and privacy.
When there are swanky guests aboard, there are, of course, butlers. Every suite is armed with one, who also works as “discovery guides,” personal assistants who offer on-the-shore excursions, tours in the ship, and a response to everyone’s requests. While there are many water sport activities provided onboard, the ship has embellished itself with indoor amusements, including indoor pools, an expansive spa, a yoga studio and a lavish gym. One shouldn’t miss their workouts, even on voyage.
For the hungry, The Scenic Eclipse is not content to provide one or two options. There are nine restaurants onboard, each brimming with their own cultural delicacies, spanning over Asian fusion, the internationally beloved French fine dining, a chef’s private table, and for those who couldn’t be separated from the pool, a nearby buffet.
There is an obvious posh to its atmosphere, but the true luxury of the ship comes from its entire built–one created to ensure all the refined celebrities lodged inside are taken safely from one shore to another without breaking a sweat. Onboard its decks is a technological innovation armed with the latest maritime advancement: zero-speed stabilizer fins crafted 50% larger than standard. The ship is equipped with a GPS dynamic positioning system, especially on its stationary mode. Polar Class 6, the most superior ice class rating, has been awarded to the Scenic Eclipse, equipped with a full arsenal on safety systems, navigation, propulsion, and weather-adapting refrigeration. Thus, breaking the ice, one might literally say, is a breeze.
But the extraordinary extravagance is experienced somewhere else—up in the air, where the clouds push away to give one the most unobstructed sight of the polar caps, of the mountain vales, of the lush green rainforests. This is made possible by the two 6-seater H130 helicopters sitting prettily atop the ship’s hangar. Beholding the Earth from above is a privilege.
After a successful voyage into the icy waters of Reykjavik, the Scenic Eclipse has exclusive journeys through the sun-kissed seas of the Mediterranean, the mythical mountains of the Baltics, the spirited Caribbean, the frosty Arctic and the culturally rich backdrop of the Americas. www.scenic.com.au ◼
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© This article was first published online in Sept 2019 – World Travel Magazine.