Scenic Eclipse is the first foray into ocean cruising for Australian company Scenic, long known for luxury tours and river ships. And, wow, does this ship make a splash. Developed to offer adventure cruising in an upscale atmosphere, the ship looks and feels more like a luxury yacht than a cruise ship -- that's by design. The company took its cue from yachts, aiming to provide passengers a personal luxury experience. The result is a ship that feels like a boutique hotel, with large spaces for entertainment and intimate spaces to steal away for some private moments.
While expedition cruising has long meant roughing it onboard, Scenic Eclipse has turned that notion on its head. The ship is designed to allow passengers to comfortably challenge themselves during the day, with hiking, kayaking or stand-up paddle-boarding available, and then return to the lap of luxury at night. It also offers over-the-top features, like two helicopters and a submarine, which will further connect passengers to the regions the ship visits, including the Arctic and Antarctica.
The ship shines when it comes to dining, offering eight restaurants onboard with top-notch cuisine that is innovative yet approachable. You'll swoon over the options, unique on a ship of only 228 passengers (and 200 when it sails to the polar regions of the world).
Where it misses is connecting people to the outdoors while onboard the ship. Scenic Eclipse lacks sufficient outdoor space, and sightlines inside are pretty restricted, even in the ship's Observation Lounge.
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Still, Scenic Eclipse offers spacious suites, friendly service and a dedicated Discovery expedition team. It's the perfect ship for people who have long considered adventure travel but don't want to sacrifice comfort onboard.
Passengers sailing on Scenic Eclipse tend to be well-traveled retirees who have a sense of adventure and are used to luxury travel, whether at land or at sea. Because the company is based in Australia, you can expect a large percentage of Aussies on any given sailing, as well as North Americans and Brits. English is the language onboard, as most passengers speak English as a first language.
Daytime: During the day, passengers dress casually. If they're in port, they're likely wearing layers and clothing that is weather appropriate. Poolside, bathing suits are fully acceptable. Women wear stylish sundresses or cover-ups, while men will wear collared shirts and swim shorts. Exercise attire is the norm for classes and in the wellness areas. Scenic provides a parka for each passenger for its polar sailings -- yours to keep as a memento.
Evening: Scenic recommends elegant casual for most restaurants. For women, that means a dress, skirt or slacks with a blouse or sweater. For men, that means collared shirts and trousers. There are no formal nights onboard. That said, some passengers wear nice jeans to dinner, and no eyebrows are raised.
Not Permitted: Casual wear in restaurants is frowned on, so no shorts or beat-up blue jeans. You might feel out of place wearing those items in the evening.
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