Scenic has announced a second ocean ship, Scenic Eclipse II, will soon follow Scenic Eclipse. So, how do these sister ships compare to the similar vessel already launched by Crystal Yacht Cruises?
Scenic and Crystal both claim their yachts are world-firsts. Taking ocean cruising to the next level, Scenic Eclipse and Crystal Esprit marry luxury, discovery and safety. If you are having trouble choosing between them, let us help distinguish between these two new ships.
Launching in the Mediterranean on August 31, 2018, Scenic Eclipse is the first ocean cruise ship from the Australian travel company Scenic. Carrying 228 passengers (182 in Polar Regions) and 172 crew, it's 168 metres long with eight decks and a gross tonnage of 17,000.
Launched in 2017, the smaller, 62-passenger and 91-crew Crystal Esprit is 269 feet long (82 metres), has five decks and a gross tonnage of 3,264.
The opulent interiors were designed by Scenic's co-owner Karen Moroney, who derived inspiration from some of the world's leading luxury hotels. Each suite has been handcrafted to feature the finest in design and fittings, and the public spaces offer an elegant environment to dine and relax. A wealth of public space comprises six onboard dining options, several bars and lounges, a 240-seat theatre and a 450-square-metre spa retreat. With an almost 1-to-1 passenger-to-staff ratio, Scenic Eclipse is the epitome of six-star luxury.
Crystal Esprit's interiors and inviting social areas were designed to meet Crystal's trademark 'All Exclusive' standards of service, space, quality and choice. While the ambiance on board is characterised by Crystal's understanding of luxury, the ultimate indulgence lies in the yacht's unregimented pace.
Choose Scenic Eclipse if: You love the ultimate in luxury and opulence with high-quality service.
Choose Crystal Esprit if: You want the luxury and indulgence at a relaxed pace.
Scenic Eclipse has 114 balcony suites, from the spacious 32-square-metre Verandah Suite to the 233 square-metre, two-bedroom Owner's Penthouse Suite. The Verandah Suites are spacious and comfortable with the finest appointments and amenities including a private balcony, bedroom with a king-size bed, ensuite bathroom and separate lounge area. Butler service is available in all suites.
Each suite has a custom-designed bathroom featuring high-end finishes and modern technology, a tranquil master bedroom and separate lounge area.
Choose Scenic Eclipse if: You like large balconies and butler service, or want an exceptionally spacious top-end suite.
Choose Crystal Esprit if: You appreciate high-end finishes and modern technology.
A choice of 10 venues will range from casual to fine-dining. Passengers can enjoy contemporary French cuisine in Lumiere, sushi and sake at Koko's, a low-key meal in the Azure Bar & Cafe or Yacht Club poolside grill, or a steak in the elegant Elements main restaurant. For those seeking a more personal dining experience, there are smaller venues such as the Chef's Table, which features a degustation for eight passengers, or Teppanyaki @ Koko's with seating for 10 people. In-suite dining is also accessible 24 hours a day, while chef-prepared picnics are available during shore excursions.
Four options include the Yacht Club Restaurant, which serves contemporary and classic specialties as well as innovative tasting menus created by award-winning chefs, all using the freshest local ingredients available. Open for breakfast and lunch, the Terrace and Patio Cafe offers regionally inspired presentations of small plates, creative salads, charcuterie, cheeses and pastries. The Grill has a menu of burgers, wraps and "global street food" served tapas-style to reflect the destinations visited. The Pantry, a self-service bistro and wine bar open 24 hours a day, has a selection of drinks and light snacks.
Choose Scenic Eclipse if: You like a variety of foodie experiences.
Choose Crystal Esprit if: You like a more formal setting.
Scenic Eclipse's 550-square-metre Spa Sanctuary has indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis, a Scandinavian-style plunge pool and a well-equipped gym with separate yoga and Pilates studio. The Central Spa area includes a Vitality Lounge, hair salon and treatment rooms.
The feng shui-inspired Crystal Spa embodies a tranquil environment with ocean views and a canopied relaxation area on the aft deck. Along with the usual beauty treatments and hair services for men and women, highlights include manicure and pedicure areas with sunken foot bowls.
Choose Scenic Eclipse if: You like plunge pools and quiet areas.
Choose Crystal Esprit if: You're a fan of feng shui.
Scenic includes everything from arrival and departure transfers, tips, drinks -- including your own mini-bar -- shore excursions on Zodiacs, kayaks and e-bikes, and all gratuities onboard and ashore.
At least one tour in every port is complimentary, and drinks are included in cruise fares. Gratuities are also included, with the exception of an 18 percent tip that is automatically added to all spa treatments.
Choose Scenic Eclipse if: You want to pay one upfront price that includes everything.
Choose Crystal Esprit if: You are happy with the one free shore excursion and tipping in the spa.