Scenic has committed to returning to its planned Antarctica deployment of Scenic Eclipse, recommencing ultra-luxury expeditions to the White Continent from 8 January 2022.
Scenic Eclipse is currently on a five-month private charter in Saudi Arabia until early December. It has always been Scenic’s intention to redeploy the Discovery Yacht back to polar waters following the Red Sea sailings.
Scenic says its decision to resume its Antarctica 2022 season within four months is possible due to the resumption of international travel for residents of countries including the UK, USA and Canada – all key overseas source markets for the Australian-owned luxury travel company.
“Our team and the Scenic Eclipse crew are so delighted to be able to welcome guests back on board the world-class yacht, Scenic Eclipse,” said Rob Voss, Scenic Group Chief Operating Officer.
“Scenic is continuing to monitor closely the vaccination progress and the potential easing of travel restrictions for Australian guests,” Scenic noted.
Anthony Laver, Group General Manager Sales & Marketing Australasia said, “We are pleased to see selected international borders re-opening around the world and cruising operations recommencing.
“We are committed to providing regular updates to our guests for the 2022 Antarctica season, in line with the Federal and State Government’s National COVID-19 Response Plan to safely re-open our international borders,” Laver added.
Three early 2022 Antarctica itineraries are listed on Scenic’s website for the 228-capacity Eclipse with “limited” availability – the 13-day Antarctica in Depth, 16-day Into the Weddell Sea and 20-day Antarctica, South Georgia & Falkland Islands – all starting and finishing in Buenos Aires, with voyages embarking from Ushuaia.
According to Jason Flesher, Expedition Operations Manager of Scenic Eclipse, early 2022 will be unlike any other time in Antarctica.
“Antarctica is such a magnificent destination that provides endless experiences every day on every excursion. This season will be like no other, with only a few who will be operating this return season.
“As there will have been no tourists to have visited Antarctica for nearly two years, I am expecting unbelievable encounters and experiences with the wildlife. Early 2022 will be the season to go to Antarctica,” Fletcher said.
Scenic Group’s dedicated Health & Safety Steering Committee ensures all guests’ wellbeing and safety is taken care of to the highest standard. Protocols include:
- All guests and crew must be fully vaccinated.
- On embarkation, all guests are given a Rapid Antigen test at no additional cost, and temperature checks are ongoing throughout the duration of the voyage.
- Rapid response protocols to any COVID-19 positive test.
- State-of-the-art Heating, Ventilation & Air-Conditioning (HVAC) systems provide 100% fresh air through a three-stage air purification process to the spacious all-balcony suites and public areas.
- Guests will be looked after throughout their voyage with personalised service due to an almost 1:1 staff- to-guest ratio.
- Social distancing and use of face masks when moving around public indoor areas.
- A range of up to 10 dining experiences and nine bars and lounges ensures variety, flexibility and space for all guests.
Voss added; “Besides the opportunity to be one of the first cruise lines to return to Antarctica after nearly two years of no visitors, we are also excited to showcase several enhancements onboard Scenic Eclipse – a number of which were driven by our guests’ feedback.”
Those enhancements include a reimagined design for the Yacht Club and enhanced dining experiences.
Lead image: Detaille Island, Antarctica | Credit: Niko Paulin