Luxury expedition news: Scenic Eclipse, Crystal and more...

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For many people, travelling way off the beaten track to places which are virtually inaccessible to the vast majority is a luxury in itself.

Historically, the vessels making these adventurous voyages have in most cases fallen into the 'basic' category: hefty icebreakers, often with tiny bunk bedded cabins and not much in the way of creature comforts - but still with a substantial price tag.

A handful of vessels have fallen into the four and five star categories of expedition, but the whole concept of a luxury expedition yacht is something very new, and we are going to see quite a few of these join the expedition fleet over the next few years.

Scenic Eclipse in Antarctica

One of the first of these will be Scenic Eclipse, currently under construction in Croatia and scheduled to launch at the end of January 2019. With a successful reputation as a quality river cruise operator, this is Scenic's first foray into the ocean market where, as they say, luxury and discovery combine. The ship will feature a wealth of world-class facilities and amenities, as well as a helicopter and 7-seat submarine, with all-inclusive fly-cruise packages which mean that all your expenses are taken care of up front.

Scenic Eclipse submarine in Antarctica

Accommodation is spacious, with a verandah and butler service, and the almost 1:1 guest-to-staff ratio ensures you will be cared for throughout the ship. Facilities on board will include the Spa Sanctuary, indoor and outdoor swimming and plunge pools, expert Discovery Leaders, complimentary WiFi and a daily entertainment and education programme.

Scenic Eclipse - Deluxe Verandah Suite

A choice of 10 dining experiences, ranging from casual to fine dining, fits with the whole theme of choice throughout the ship. Eight spacious bars and lounges as well as small and intimate venues ensure that those who are accustomed to high standards of luxury and attention to detail will be happy, whilst true adventurers for whom it is all about the time ashore will also enjoy the expert guides and lecturers. This really is a 'no compromise' product.

Scenic Eclipse - Azure Bar & Cafe

Sales for the first ship have been so strong that Scenic have announced that they are building a second sister ship, which will be ready in August 2019. Prepare to sail way off the radar in the polar regions, and on unusual itineraries in more conventional destinations.

Scenic Eclipse - Zodiac in Antarctica

Ponant is about to launch the first of a series of an amazing six new yachts, the Ponant Explorers, even more suited to expedition than the existing fleet: a limited guest capacity, sleek design, cutting-edge technology, and respect for the environment are key to the Ponant style, and we are all particularly looking forward to seeing the Blue Eye.

Ponant - Le Lapérouse

This multisensory underwater space will feature integrated digital screens projecting images filmed live by three underwater cameras, an immersive sound experience which can be felt in the Body Listening sofas, which discreetly vibrate in unison, and non-intrusive underwater projectors to observe the seabed and photo-luminescent organisms.

Ponant Explorers - Blue Eye Lounge

Award winning classic cruise operator Crystal Cruises will launch its first expedition yacht, Crystal Endeavor, in 2020, with stylish décor and levels of service totally in keeping with the existing fleet, combined with the opportunity to explore further afield and away from the crowds.

Crystal Endeavor

Meanwhile both Silversea and Seabourn offer 'luxury meets discovery' programmes, combining their fine classic cruise style with the opportunity to explore more locations in regions where the tourism infrastructure is very limited.

Silversea Expeditions - Silver Cloud in Antarctica

Exploring without compromising on your creature comforts has never been more accessible, so now is the time to seize the opportunity to discover our amazing planet in more depth than ever before.

Edwina Lonsdale
Meet the author

Edwina Lonsdale is Managing Director and, together with husband Matthew, owner of Mundy Adventures.

More about Edwina

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