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Scenic orders luxury yacht cruise ship at Uljanik in Croatia

Scenic, the Australian river cruise specialist, says it is entering the ocean cruise market with the launch of ultra-luxury Scenic Eclipse in August 2018.

The 16,000 gross ton vessel that will be built at the Uljanik shipyard in Croatia, will be 165 metres in length. It will have two main engine rooms in two separate fire zones and the same arrangement is repeated it vital functions, such as food storage and preparation and navigation.

The all-suite ship, which looks more like a billionaire's yacht than a cruise ship, will have an ice-strengthened hull, twin helicopters, an aft marina with a fleet of Zodiacs and a seven-person submarine. The cabins will range in size from 32 sqm to an owner suite of 233 sqm, the company said in a video presentation.

Scenic has an option on a second sister vessel, which would launch in June 2019.

Scenic is describing the vessel as the "world's first discovery yacht;" it will have the highest ice-class rating -- 1A Super -- allowing it to operate deep into the Arctic and Antarctica, where it will spend three months of the year.

The passenger numbers will be limited to 200 during polar expeditions, allowing several landings per day for passengers. The helicopters, which will carry an extra charge to hire, will allow passengers to get closer to the wildlife than by boat. The same with the submarine, which will also carry an additional charge. Otherwise, the vessel will be all-inclusive of tips, shore excursions, all dining venues, scuba diving and snorkeling, all drinks and Wi-Fi, CruiseCritic reports.

The ship will have an almost 1:1 staff to passenger-to-crew ratio and each suite will have a butler. Other features include:

  • six restaurants, including pan-Asian, French Italian and a steakhouse
  • four bars and lounges;
  • a 240-seat theater;
  • a heated pool with a retractable roof;
  • a 450 sqm spa with indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis and plunge pools;
  • a gym with separate yoga and Pilates studio;

The ship will also have "zero speed stabiliser fins," which are 50% larger than typical on a ship of this size, which allow it to navigate in rougher conditions than other ships of its size and which will also work when the ship is stationary. Such stabilisers are only fitted in the largest megayachts, the company said in a video presentation.

Karen Moroney, the wife of the owner of the line, Glen Moroney, will design the interiors.Scenic Eclipse's maiden voyage begins 31 August, 2018, from Istanbul to Venice. Then it sails to Canada via Iceland and onto the Arctic, before heading to the British Isles, across the Atlantic to the Caribbean, including Cuba, then down the Chilean fjords and onto Antarctica, CruiseCritic reports on its website.