Review: Scenic Eclipse
This ship could well redefine high-end sailing, says Amie Keeley
Location: Across this year and next, Scenic Eclipse will sail ‘discovery’ voyages to the Americas, Antarctica, Europe and the Mediterranean, as well as the Arctic and Norwegian fjords.
First impressions: If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to sail on a billionaire’s yacht, wonder no more. Eclipse has tried, and succeeded, to emulate everything a luxury yacht enjoyed by the likes of Jay-Z and Roman Abramovich could entail. From the sleek arch of the decks and its pointed bow, to the B&B Italia furnishings inside, this is a big departure from traditional cruise ships. Sleek tones of grey, cream and black dominate the vessel’s interiors, with marble features dotted throughout from the lounge bar to the stairs. For some, it may be too modern, too cold even; but this ship could well redefine high-end sailing and attract a younger cruiser.
The facts: Eclipse can carry 228 passengers, or 200 in polar regions. There are four suite categories, all of which have balconies, with the top suite being the huge 2,658sq ft two-bedroom Penthouse Suite. In my opinion, the entry‑level 344sq ft Verandah Suites offer the best value for money when compared with other luxury lines. The ship has been designed with its destinations in mind, with panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows in the Yacht Club and the stunning Observatory Lounge. Looking out at the dramatic blue and white of the polar regions must be particularly special in these spaces. The choice of nine dining options is seriously impressive for a ship of this size. Speciality dining venues include modern French at Lumiàre, teppanyaki and sushi at Koko’s and the Chef’s Table, an exclusive, invitation‑only degustation dining experience. Another gastronomic highlight is Epicure, a cooking school at which guests can make five-star cuisine under the supervision of a chef.
Wow: If ever a cruise ship was inspired by James Bond, it’s this one. Eclipse is the first ship to carry two helicopters and a submarine, and taking off from the ship’s helipad in one of the all‑black helicopters really makes you feel like you’re in an 007 film. Guests travelling with Scenic can book a ride on the helicopter and submarines at extra cost. Other cruise lines are catching on: Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Endeavor will launch next year with a pair of helicopters and a submarine, while Seabourn has ordered two expedition ships that will also feature submarines.
Book it: Prices for Scenic Eclipse’s West Coast USA Adventure sailing from Vancouver on September 17 start from £7,720 including flights.
Amie is news editor of Travel Weekly. She has worked at the company for two years and has previously held news reporting roles at the East Anglian Daily Times, Ham&High, Islington Gazette and the Daily Mail.