Scenic Eclipse I is a quite astonishing cruise ship!
And yet I have completely ignored her for almost a year- have you ever made an assumption about something that turned out to be completely wrong? Well I did, and I’m feeling a bit silly now…
I popped along to hear the latest updates from Scenic Cruises in London last week and had some preconceptions completely shattered! I first noticed the ocean cruise ship, Scenic 1, in the Mediterranean last year. She looked very sleek, but with a maximum capacity was only 228 guests, I wrote her off as ‘too small’ for me.
It turns out I couldn’t have been more wrong!
The Scenic Eclipse ships may only be 550 feet and 22498 gross tons but that space contains 114 butler serviced staterooms and suites, NINE a la carte restaurants, 4 stunning bars and lounges, 2 heated pools, a spa and fitness centre, a glamorous theatre, TWO helicopters and an entire watersports pontoon with its own mini submarine for 8 guests!
All of which totally underlines Scenic’s self description of offering ‘Ultra Luxury Cruising on a world class Discovery Yacht”. Eclipse 1, and her new sister ship Eclipse 2, turn out to be absolutely astonishing, with an incredible level of attention to detail, right down to the micro-herbs grown onboard.
Both ships were custom designed for the Exploration market and were built by Scenics own shipyard to a Polar Class 6 rating, the highest possible for a passenger ship, allowing the safe exploration of polar regions. Scenic had total control over every aspect of the build – a very unusual way of doing things – resulting in a ship delivered under budget and on time!
Scenic Eclipse 2 is to be christened on 3rd June in Malaga, Spain where her godmother will be NASA astronaut Dr Kathy Sullivan and then depart on maiden voyage which will bring her to the UK, arriving at the Isles of Scilly on 13th June. Her itinerary includes calls to Cowes, Plymouth, Dublin, Belfast and Scotland so keep an eye out! If you are lucky enough to see her, just don’t make my mistake of making assumptions on her size…
But it turns out that I wasn’t the only one in making assumptions !
A production team from Warner Brothers arrived to make an episode of Mighty Ships aboard but were so blown away by the ship that they decided to cancel that idea and give Scenic Eclipse 1 her very own, five episode, documentary series! ’Maritime Masters: Expedition Antarctica’ focuses on three main themes Technology, Discovery and the Culinary experience and uses CGI to take a ‘deep dive’ look into some of the incredible features on board. The series is an ‘access all areas’ look at life aboard the ship, as seen through the eyes of her crew. Unscripted and authentic, Scenic had no editorial input – although charismatic Scenic President Glen Moroney admitted at the screening that he would have felt a little more comfortable with some influence over the final cut!
I don’t think he need worry, from what I saw in the first episode his crew did an amazing job, demonstrating how they provided an exemplary service to passengers through painstaking preparations and professional reactions to the unexpected – all part of life at sea, as we know!! My favourite quote from the presentation was ‘Great stories are born of unforgettable moments’ – Scenic seem to be totally focused on providing just that and having seen the first episode of the documentary they are now firmly at the top of my bucket list!
See for yourself…
The first episode ’Maritime Masters: Expedition Antarctica’, will air globally on the Discovery+ Channel beginning May or June. The show seems to feature none of the false jeopardy and overacting that has spoilt many other series’ on Cruising and I highly recommend the show to you. It is unmissable viewing, the UK Premiere will air on June 4th and I for one will be glued to it!
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