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Ultra-luxury yacht Scenic Eclipse II christened – we went onboard to explore

Scenic Eclipse II – the newest ultra-luxury Discovery Yacht to join the Scenic Group fleet was christened in June – this is what you can expect onboard.

Words by Harriet Mallinson

Scenic Eclipse II – one of the world’s most technologically advanced ultra-luxury yachts – was christened on June 3 by NASA Astronaut and godmother Dr Kathryn Sullivan in Málaga, Spain.

The ship’s first maiden voyage took place on April 13 (from Lisbon to Barcelona) but it’s now officially part of the fleet following the naming ceremony which Sailawaze was lucky enough to attend.

As guests lined up on the ship’s deck, Dr Sullivan unleashed the ceremonial bottle of champagne onto the vessel’s side – and with a bang and a splash, Scenic Eclipse II was formally welcomed as the crowds cheered.

“I was so honored to be asked to be Godmother of Scenic Eclipse II as it was not something I ever expected,” the American geologist, oceanographer and former NASA astronaut said of her new title.

Dr. Sullivan [below, left] is not only the first American woman to walk in space (and a veteran of three shuttle missions) but she is also the first woman to visit the deepest spot in the oceans, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, seven miles below the surface of the Pacific Ocean – making her incredibly qualified for her role with Scenic.

Scenic Eclipse II’s new godmother is also the holder of three Guinness World Records: the first woman to reach the Challenger Deep, the first person to visit space and the deepest point on Earth, and the greatest vertical extent traveled by an individual (within Earth’s exosphere) – granting her the rather extraordinary title of the “World’s Most Vertical Person.”

Of course, it’s extraordinary that all-inclusive line Scenic is striving for with the new ship which is set to travel to every corner of the planet on expedition voyages.

The new vessel boasts ultra-luxury spaces, new culinary experiences and unmatched opportunities for exploration thanks to two helicopters onboard and its custom-built Scenic Neptune submarine.

The latter will “transform your sense of the ocean,” Dr Sullivan told assembled media ahead of the christening ceremony. Guests can “explore the third dimension” of the ocean in a “marvellous magical experience.”

As for the chance to ride in the ship’s onboard helicopters, a Scenic pilot told Sailawaze that the views in Antarctica never fail to astound guests. “I’ve had customers in tears multiple times just because of the sheer beauty and scale of it all.”

We’re also told it “offers a very smooth and quiet ride” (unlike older, noisier helicopters) which serves to further enhance the majesty of the experience. It doesn’t come cheap though – a half-hour flight in the Antarctic is around $795!

Although anyone who has sailed on Scenic Eclipse will recognise much of its newer sister ship, there are still enhancements to be spotted onboard the second yacht.

Newly named Chef’s Garden @ Epicure [below, right] is an immersive dining experience and presentation area that can accommodate up to 14 standing or seven seated guests. Here guests can enjoy immersive culinary masterclasses, learn how to make chocolate and sip a ‘dram’ or two in the onboard whisky-tasting sessions.

Another highlight is the expansive onboard Senses Spa which features therapy rooms, saunas, a steam room, temperature-controlled plunge pools, relaxation lounges, a manicure/pedicure studio and an outdoor terrace.

The steam room on Scenic Eclipse II has been expanded to accommodate aromatherapy, an integrated ice fountain and experience showers onboard. A new custom salt therapy lounge with heated beds and aromatherapy scents from spa design leaders, KLAFS, has also been added to benefit the mind, body and soul.

A perk of the spa is that guests can attend without an appointment and it’s also separated for men and women (which could arguably be a pro or con!). When Sailawaze explores the ship we’re told hot stone massages prove the most popular treatment during polar cruises – and it’s not hard to see why! The infrared sauna rooms look pretty tempting, too.

What’s more, there’s a new, large, oval-shaped Vitality Pool on the Sky Deck which now features swim jets allowing guests to swim ‘laps’. Also up here is the brand-new Sky Bar [below] on the Sky Deck with indoor and outdoor seating, including six private cabanas. We’re told Scenic has plans to implement hot stone massages on the day beds so passengers can be pampered as they admire passing glaciers. Sign us up!

As for accommodation onboard, significant enhancements for the Owner’s Penthouse Suites comprise a redesigned walk-in wardrobe and completely transformed bathrooms with a private mini spa with a steam room, spa baths and two KLAFS infrared seats.

The bathrooms in the Spa Suites have also been upgraded to feature a spacious, circular spa bath, double sink and separate shower with the latest jet technology – with a view of course!

No matter what room you stay in though, you’re guaranteed spacious all-verandah six-star luxury suite accommodation, with butler service for every guest and an almost 1:1 staff-to-guest ratio.

As with its sister ship, Scenic Eclipse II – which has capacity for 220 guests (200 in polar regions) – offers a truly all-inclusive experience.

Your cruise fare includes up to 10 dining experiences, from casual to fine dining (although Chef’s Table is invite only) – with new menus created each day drawing from more than 3,000 recipes – and the finest selection of included premium branded beverages, with a choice of over 100 whiskys. We can personally vouch for the delicious (but potent!) old fashioneds in the lounge bar…

Travelers will also benefit from an engaging lecture and education program with onboard experts, Swarovski Telescopes and in-suite binoculars, complimentary Wi-Fi, return airport transfers and all tipping on board and onshore.

Set sail

Arctic in Depth with Scenic

Duration: 11 nights

Where: Oslo, Norway | Longyearbyen, Norway | Svalbard Archipelago, Norway | Longyearbyen, Norway | Oslo, Norway

Ship: Scenic Eclipse II

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Published 06.05.23