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Scenic Eclipse Review

5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
23 reviews
3 Awards
Scenic Eclipse (Photo: Scenic Cruises)
Editor Rating
5.0
Excellent
Colleen McDaniel
Cruise Critic Editor-In-Chief

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).

Upon its launch, it received a degree of criticism (it wasn't quite ready), mainly leveled at the indoor/outdoor pool in the Yacht Club, the main buffet. This was addressed during lockdown, with the pool taken out and the buffet expanded into a beautiful, light space. The downside: No pool, just a spa pool and a hot tub. (This will be addressed on Scenic Eclipse II, a near-identical ship set to launch in mid-2023.)

Where Scenic Eclipse misses is connecting people to the outdoors while onboard the ship. The ship lacks sufficient outdoor space, Deck 10 is largely forgotten (another oversight the company says will be fixed on the next iteration) and sightlines inside are mostly restricted, even in the ship's Observation Lounge.

Still, Scenic Eclipse offers spacious, ultra-modern suites, astonishing service levels, outstanding food 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.

Best for

Explorers who want a high quality of luxury, service and food, and enjoy their adventure toys

Not for

Traditional cruisers, young families, those who want lots of onboard activities and entertainment

Bottom Line

Scenic Eclipse is a one-of-a-kind, a beautiful ship that presents as a yacht and will take you to the ends of the world in luxury

Health & Safety

The line works closely with Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and local and international Government Health agencies and has Health & Safety Steering Committee oversees all health and safety policies and training with Scenic.

Before boarding

  • Proof of a full vaccination by approved companies, such as Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
  • Pre-departure medical health evaluation form.
  • Contact free check-in
  • Phased embarkation
  • Temperature checks
  • Pre-boarding antigen test for each passenger

Onboard

  • Enhanced cleaning
  • Sanitizing stations
  • Table service in all venues
  • Enhanced air circulation systems
  • Crew regularly tested
  • Mandatory briefings and screenings
  • Face masks required when moving through the ship, where social distancing is not possible. Face masks will be available in suites and reception.
  • Social distancing encouraged.

On shore

  • Smaller groups and social distancing encouraged
  • Social distancing on transport
  • All vehicles will have sanitizing stations

Pros

Beautifully designed ship with big toys and small surprises.

Cons

Limited outdoor space for activities and wildlife viewing.

Bottom Line

A dramatic ship that ups the luxury expedition cruise experience.

About

Passengers : 228
Crew : 172
Passenger to Crew : 1.33:1
Launched : 2019
Shore Excursions : 0

Fellow Passengers

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.

Scenic Eclipse Dress Code

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.

Scenic Eclipse Inclusions

Included with your cruise fare:

  • Dining at all restaurants onboard
  • Unlimited beverages
  • Butler service
  • Spa Sanctuary access
  • Gym, yoga and Pilates studio access
  • Expeditions and excursions
  • Gratuities for crew, porters (one bag per person), drivers and excursion guides
  • Daily entertainment and discovery presentations
  • Self-service laundry
  • Wi-Fi
  • Return airport transfers
  • Use of electric-assist bikes
  • Personal refillable water bottles
  • Chef-prepared picnics
  • Airfare (U.K. only)

Not included with your cruise fare:

  • Tours in the ship's submarine
  • Tours in the ship's helicopters
  • Spa treatments

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