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Inside the Scenic Eclipse, the world's first polar 'discovery yacht'

Posted by in Travel on Wednesday, March 9, 2016

An artist's rendering of the Scenic Eclipse, a ship billed as the world's first 'discovery yacht' purpose-built for polar touring. (Photo courtesy: Gillies Zaiser PR)

As Arctic sea ice disappears, mariners dream of being among the first to explore the newly opened waters.

Enter Australian-based international tour company Scenic, which recently unveiled plans for Eclipse, the world’s first “discovery yacht” purpose-built to explore the planet’s polar reaches, with technology and refinements previously found only on privately owned luxury super-yachts.

The 168-metre long ship will launch Aug. 31, 2018 and is pre-registering now for 33 first-year voyages that will take it to Europe and the Mediterranean, the Americas, Antarctica and the Arctic.

Eclipse’s only Canadian-stop itinerary will see it travel from Reykjavik, Iceland to Quebec City along the Labrador coast.

The ship is capable of hosting 228 guests in 114 luxurious suites (all with verandas), ranging in size from 32 square metres to the 232-square-metre penthouse. It also boasts six dining options (including French, Pan-Asian, Italian and steak), a 464-square metre spa, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis and plunge pools, a gym, a yoga studio and a 240-seat theatre.

Its hallmark attributes, however, are features that provide guests with superior comfort and exploration opportunities. Eclipse will have the highest passenger ship ice-class rating (Polar Class 6, Ice Class 1A Super), and, to provide superior stability, it features zero-speed stabilizer fins that are 50 per cent larger than standard and normally only found on the largest private super yachts.

In addition to a fleet of Zodiacs, the ship will have two on-board twin-engine helicopters and a custom-built, seven-seat submarine to help guests explore even further afield.

“Our goal with Scenic Eclipse was to open up the private discovery yacht experience so that our guests could discover regions previously only visited by a fortunate few," says Scenic chairman Glen Moroney.

Check out the photos below to take a virtual tour of Scenic Eclipse, or watch this short video.

The suites

Basic verandah suite aboard the Scenic Eclipse. (Photo courtesy: Gillies Zaiser PR)

Deluxe verandah suite aboard the Scenic Eclipse. (Photo courtesy: Gillies Zaiser PR)

The 232-square metre penthouse suite aboard the Scenic Eclipse. (Photo courtesy: Gillies Zaiser PR)

The penthouse suite's private terrace. (Photo courtesy: Gillies Zaiser PR)

Food and drink

By night, the lobby of the Scenic Eclipse transforms into a chill bar and lounge. (Photo courtesy: Gillies Zaiser PR)

The Italian and steak restaurant, one of several dining options on board the Scenic Eclipse. (Photo courtesy: Gillies Zaiser PR)

Guests can also opt to enjoy fine French dining. (Photo courtesy: Gillies Zaiser PR)

The amenities

The spa area. (Photo courtesy: Gillies Zaiser PR)

The pool area. (Photo courtesy: Gillies Zaiser PR)

The ship will have two on-board twin engine helicopters to transport guests on exploration adventures. (Photo courtesy: Gillies Zaiser PR)

Eclipse will also have a seven-seat submarine to help guests get up close and personal with marine life. (Photo courtesy: Gillies Zaiser PR)

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