Sailing past early delays in shipbuilding, the new Scenic Eclipse was christened on Manhattan’s Pier 88 this week — with prestigious star power. Ship Godmother Dame Helen Mirren swung the ceremonial champagne bottle to bestow good luck and safe travels for the vessel and those who sail with her.
Dame Mirren was joined by her husband, Academy Award-winning Director Taylor Hackford; and with the ship’s Co-owners Glen and Karen Moroney; as well as Captain James Griffiths, crew, ship designers, and special guests.
All gathered for first looks of the “World’s First Discovery Yacht” (a Scenic trademarked term), against a backdrop of Midtown Manhattan’s skyscrapers. NYC Ports General Manager Ken Winkler presented the ship’s First-Visit Plaque to Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours Chairman and Founder Glen Moroney.
Speaking about the Eclipse and Scenic team, Dame Mirren said: “It’s quite incredible. I’m just so excited to be a very small part of it. There’s so much work, and thought, and design, and passion, and vision, and investment. And I just come along at the very end and smash a bottle of champagne on it.”
Setting sail on her maiden voyage from Reykjavík, Iceland, Scenic Eclipse made a splash on this inaugural New York City visit. The vessel takes inspiration from luxury yachts with adventure capabilities, and is designed to broaden ocean cruising for travelers seeking a “six-star” trip-of-a-lifetime experience for 228 guests (200 in polar regions).
Dame Mirren admitted to having never cruised before, though she grew up sailing aboard small vessels in a small English town on the Thames River. Now, having christened the Eclipse, she is keen to voyage to the Arctic or Antarctica, especially aboard such an environmentally sound vessel.
Glen Moroney, Dame Helen Mirren, and Karen Moroney onboard Eclipse this week.
“It’s a very, very green ship,” she said. “I don’t think I would have wanted to be involved if it hadn’t been. It’s one of the greenest ships out there. That’s a very important element.”
Among its cutting-edge and energy-efficient technology are: innovative zero-speed stabilizer fins, 50% larger than standard to provide greater stability, cutting roll by more than 85% ; the highest passenger ship ice-class rating, Polar Class 6; redundancies in propulsion, navigation, safety systems, and food refrigeration; and state-of-the-art bridge systems that offer greater maneuverability.
The ship also is outfitted with a GPS dynamic-positioning system, allowing for stationary positioning without an anchor — reducing environmental impact and enhancing safety during Zodiac operations.
Passengers will enjoy modern comforts and design in common spaces, as well as lodging among the ship’s 114 spacious, all-verandah suites across five decks. Butler service is provided for all guests, along with in-suite dining services, separate in-room sleep and lounge areas, and an almost 1:1 guest-to-staff ratio.
Onboard are 10 all-inclusive dining options, such as Asian fusion, French fine dining, Chef’s Table, a poolside buffet, champagne bar, and more. Among its “wellness spaces” are the 6,000-square-foot Senses Spa with a fully equipped gym, indoor and outdoor plunge pools, and separate yoga and Pilates studio. Passengers also can learn about their voyages through lectures in the ship’s state-of-the-art theater, which doubles as an entertainment venue.
From the stern’s helipad, passengers can journey aboard two six-guest helicopters and one six-guest observation submarine, the Scenic Neptune, capable of depths of nearly 984 feet.
Eclipse's Chef's Table.
Voyage planning and Scenic benefits
Scenic Eclipse’s 2019-2020 voyage calendar shows a busy year ahead for the vessel’s global discoveries. It will travel from the north to south Atlantic via the Caribbean through late 2019, with several months in Antarctica before cruising northward to the Mediterranean (through late spring), then on to the Arctic and fjords in summer 2020. In August 2020, the Eclipse will journey through the Northwest Passage for 21 days, before venturing southward on the Pacific Ocean starting in fall 2020.
Passengers can take advantage of Scenic’s free membership rewards program. Meanwhile, commercial partners can learn about the Eclipse and the entire fleet at the Scenic Agent Portal, and the online Agent Academy. Early booking discounted rates are now available on voyages through 2022.
Travel agents can earn special bonus commissions of $250 for Scenic Eclipse bookings made by Feb. 28, 2020 ($125 per passenger) by using code ECLIPSEBC. (Learn more at www.sceniceclipse.com and the Agent Portal.)
Dame Mirren made a point of praising the advantage of travel agents during her remarks. “Our travel agent is an absolutely essential part of our lives — especially if you’re in my sort of world where you have to travel a lot,” she said. “I’m not saying this because there are travel agents here. But honestly, a really good travel agent is an incredibly valuable thing to have. It’s made my husband’s and my life much easier.”