Authentic experiences are becoming an increasingly important factor in the luxury travel industry, and this includes yachting. Many UHNW clients demand trips to extraordinary destinations and want to discover exciting areas with family and friends. Ocean Independence, one of the world’s leading yacht brokers with headquarters in Küsnacht, Switzerland, takes this trend into account. Their charter portfolio now includes the 168-metre-long SCENIC ECLIPSE, considered the world’s largest discovery yacht. Offering a boutique cruise experience in remote areas around the globe such as Antarctica, the yacht is now also available for private charter for up to 200 guests. Peter Hürzeler, Managing Partner of Ocean Independence, says: “We are very pleased to be able to offer this ship to the yachting industry and our direct customers. If you are looking for a vessel with yacht standard for larger groups or families, you won’t find anything better than SCENIC ECLIPSE”.
The hotel-like layout of the yacht, which was built in 2018, includes 114 suites, each with its own terrace, separate sleeping and lounge area and floor areas between 32 and 195 square metres. The king-size beds are electrically adjustable, the air cleaning system is state-of-the-art and the sound insulation is extremely well worked out. In-suite dining and a butler service are also available.
However, it’s when you leave your suite that the yacht truly stands out. A highlight of SCENIC ECLIPSE is her restaurants, of which there are nine in total: the three-part Koko’s offers pan-Asian cuisine, sushi and a teppanyaki grill, while top-class French cuisine is served at Lumiére. Italian-Mediterranean dishes are available at Elements, light cuisine in the Azure Café and Grill, international cuisine at the Yacht Club and a nine-course menu can be enjoyed at the Chef’s Table.
Head chef is the German Tom Götter, who is known from TV’s “Top Chef Germany”, among other accolades. Before Götter was engaged on SCENIC ECLIPSE, he cooked in numerous restaurants around the world and also gained comprehensive maritime experience. He says: “The cuisine on SCENIC ECLIPSE is very diverse – from Mediterranean to traditional teppanyaki, sushi and classic French. In theory, you have to spend three months on board before you have eaten every dish”. And the dining options don’t stop there. As with any luxury yachting experience, a fully customised menu can be created based on guest preferences.
Before or after dinner, a visit to the whiskey bar is a good idea. Much like the elegant bar of a luxury hotel, this lounge can be described as the social centre of the ship. The bar staff serve an incredible range of 110 different whiskeys, as well as any other drink imaginable.
If you want to withdraw in complete silence, read a book or enjoy the scenery in peace and quiet, you can visit the Observation Lounge on Deck 5. Be aware, however, that when SCENIC ECLIPSE cruises through a region where breaching whales or looming icebergs are to be seen, this area is more likely to become a hotspot. From here, you also have access to the large teak-covered bow area.
Although the routes of SCENIC ECLIPSE provide more than enough natural entertainment, there is also a high-tech theatre on board for immersive performances and educational presentations. Arranged in a circular fashion, it offers space for up to 112 guests, who can enjoy the respective offerings in leather armchairs with electrically adjustable backrests and footrests.
Of course, guests who enjoy a daily sports and spa program will also get their money’s worth on board the large-volume yacht. At 17085 Gross Tons and 168 metres, SCENIC ECLIPSE houses a gym with numerous workout stations, a yoga and Pilates studio, and a 550-square-metre spa and wellness centre offering treatments, saunas and steam baths.
While this impressive yacht offers a wealth of onboard amenities, the real highlight of the charter experience starts when you step into the breath-taking surroundings. In addition to eight kayaks and 14 Zodiacs, an Airbus helicopter (H130) and a Cruise Submarine 7 from the Dutch manufacturer U-Boat Worx are available as tenders, allowing guests to explore unique regions from land, air and sea. In addition, a full Discovery Team of expert guides are on hand to lead a series of expeditions, from visits to scientific research stations to getting up close and personal with local wildlife.
Built in Pula, Croatia, SCENIC ECLIPSE is powered by four diesel engines, each 3184 kilowatts strong; two ABB Azipods, each with an output of 3000 kilowatts, operate under the hull. With this configuration, a maximum speed of 31 knots is possible and the cruising speed is 17 knots. SKF’s Zero Speed Stabilizers reduce any rolling motion and powerful thrusters (1200 kW each) assist in manoeuvring.
Travelling in ecologically sensitive areas, SCENIC ECLIPSE has been equipped with a dynamic positioning system that keeps her in place without the need to anchor. An exhaust gas purification system also filters most of the nitrogen oxides, so that the yacht complies with the NOx limit according to Tier III of the IMO’s Marpol regulations. To reduce fuel consumption, SCENIC ECLIPSE uses waste heat recovery; ballast water is treated with UV light for both uptake and discharge to prevent the transfer of microorganisms to other regions of the oceans.
As health and privacy become ever-increasing priorities, SCENIC ECLIPSE is now available for completely private charter bookings. Various routes to the Antarctic are being planned for this winter (10 to 21 days); from 2021, the discovery yacht will also be heading for warmer climates. Marina Meier, the charter manager responsible for SCENIC ECLIPSE at Ocean Independence, says: “The quality and capacity of the vessel are unparalleled on the market. Anyone who would like to experience the Antarctic on the level of a very high-quality private yacht should consider SCENIC ECLIPSE”.
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