Scenic Eclipse at its float out

(3 p.m. EST) -- Scenic's first Discovery Yacht, Scenic Eclipse, completed a major stage of its construction when it floated out for the first time at the Uljanik shipyard in Pula, Croatia. With much of the ship's exterior now completed, the fit-out process begins.

When it launches at the end of August 2018, the 228-passenger expedition yacht will boast two six-seat helicopters, a six-seat submarine, 10 dining options, eight bars and lounges, a 240-seat theater, a 5,900-square-foot spa (with separate yoga and Pilates studio) and 114 all-balcony cabins that range in size from 345 square feet to 2,660 square feet.

The ship begins sailing with a 15-night Mediterranean itinerary from Istanbul to Venice. In its first year, the ship will also visit Iceland, Canada, the Arctic, the British Isles, the Caribbean (including Cuba), the Chilean fjords and Antarctica. (Read more about the excursions that will be offered during its first season.)

Scenic recently announced that it will be building a second Discovery Yacht to launch in 2020.

--By Dori Saltzman, Senior Editor