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Scenic Eclipse Review

5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
29 reviews
1 Award

An Amazing Trip to Antarctica on an Even More Amazing Ship!

Review for Scenic Eclipse to South America
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txberardo
2-5 Cruises • Age 60s

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Additional details

Sail Date: Feb 2022
Cabin:
The Scenic Eclipse as seen from a daily landing site with one of the many Adelie Penguins.
Just some of the incredible daily scenery of Antarctica
An Orca seen from our balcony room.
A spectacular duck entree with potato croquettes and lovely fruit based sauce from Lumiere.

A luxury cruise to Antarctica is expensive, so I thoroughly researched ships and pricing. Since we were still in the times of COVID, I was very lucky to find some amazing pricing on the relatively new and specially hulled Scenic Eclipse that left about 4 months out. The ship looked amazing, and more importantly offered all passengers zodiac excursions off the ship whenever weather and location permitted. The only differing factor between the high end suites and the regular suites (our level) was dining reservations, which considering where we were headed, was a lower consideration for us.

From the moment we landed in Buenos Aires, I knew this was a well oiled machine. We and the other 124 passengers on this cruise were looked after beautifully. The next day we were off to Ushuaia, at the bottom of the Earth, and our home away from home for the next 11 days. The whole crew and captain were on hand to greet us at the dock, and the check-in procedure was so easy. We were handed champagne, shown to a comfortable sofa in the huge lounge/reception/bar. A member of the crew came over, greeted us, got any additional info needed and gave us our keys and any needed into. Our bags were arriving in the room as we got there, by our butler, who was more than happy to help as needed. (I quickly rushed to the 2 restaurants I needed reservations for and got them with no problem.) Then we went to one of the always available dining options, Koko's, as we arrived late afternoon. The name does not do this place justice. We had a table for 2, at the window, in this sophisticated dark and atmospheric Asian restaurant. The food was spectacular and I could have eaten here every night. The menu changed every few days and there were always veggie/vegan options. As we started cruising the Beagle Canal, with the setting sun out the window, we knew this was going to be spectacular.

To be honest, this was a brochure trip. The captain advised us that the weather across the Drake was smooth and calm, so we were going to break a speed record and go to the farthest point allowed below the Antarctic Circle. And we did! Smooth sailing and the most incredible sunny weather any of the exploration team had ever seen. When we arrived, it was the start of many zodiac excursions and landings. Usually 2 a day, with so much to see. The only day we didn't have a outing was when we spent the morning in the bridge watching the captain and crew traverse the Gullet. This area is usually too icy to fathom traversing and very narrow. But our weather was perfect, and the ice movable. The crew used the helicopter to fly it earlier that morning so they knew it was doable. And we did it! It was my husbands favorite day! Because once through, the captain found the perfect ice shelf and made an ice landing. In other words, no zodiac needed. We all walked off the ship to the bar (equipped with hot spiked cocoa, coffee, whisky and champagne) then played in the snow covered ice shelf with a lone seal curiously looking on.

Cabin Review

I had read earlier reviews, so came equipped with earplugs and a sleeping mask. Why! They have apparently fixed all issues, because from the minute we entered our lovely suite, we were bowled over. The bed was super comfy with adjustable head and foot settings. Our closet was large and easily fit all of our winter clothes and parka, as needed for polar travel. The suitcases fit under the bed. There is a black-out curtain between the bed and sofa that pulls across the room. This was perfect if one wants to stay up late reading or go out on the balcony to see the sky and not disturb the other. The TV was inset in the ceiling to floor black glass panel, and even in the Antarctic, great reception was had so we could keep abreast of current news.

The bathroom was modern and streamlined with plenty of storage, a good sized marble rain shower, and it must be soundproofed. The room was so quiet, we never heard any of our neighbors and people passing in the hallway. And the balcony, perfect! Easily accessible door that they must clean every day, as it was always clear to view the great outdoors. And you will use the balcony, even in the cold, when a pod of orcas is just outside, or to watch the seals on the sea ice.

Port Reviews

This is a bucket list trip that was far better than ever imagined. The stillness of the water, the size of the mountains and the ice that goes on forever is something I will never forget. The penguins, seals, whales and birds were amazing and often quite close. The penguins were everywhere and always a delight to watch as were the seals sleeping the sea ice as we passed silently be in our quiet electric ship. We were able to zodiac to an area where Humpbacks were feeding, which was very imposing and exciting at the same time.

The icebergs were so unexpected in color, dimension, and size that it was hard to grasp and ever put into words. One berg was easily the size of 4 city blocks and perfectly square. And the colors on the interior of these bergs ranged from vivid aqua to deep blue azure. Truly stunning and unexpected. I would go again in a minute!

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