The launch of Scenic Eclipse II last week opens the door for Scenic to expand its six-star ocean program to new destinations and tap deeper into the high-net-worth individual (HNWI) market.
Speaking exclusively with LATTE last month, Group General Manager of Sales & Marketing, Asia Pacific Anthony Laver, said the development of the innovative Scenic Eclipse luxury ‘Discovery Yacht’ product seven years ago by Scenic Founder, Glen Moroney, was the catalyst of a new category of ocean cruising.
“Since its launch a number of our competitors have pivoted around the wording that we use in our ads, such as ‘discovery’ and ‘ultra luxury’, Laver said. “We’ve created a new category that aligns with the high net worth individual.”
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Laver said, in Australia, and with the Eclipse product, “we own Antarctica.”
“It’s the preferred product and we sell out our season,” he said with confidence. “We sold out the season just passed and forward bookings are extremely strong because everyone that experiences it says it was amazing. The word of mouth amongst the cohort of high-net-worth individuals is that it was amazing, you’ve got to go, and they just keep ringing up to book,” Laver told LATTE.
Scenic’s formula for success with its Discovery Yachts has been the two-pronged marketing focus, with advertising creating awareness of the product, backed up with “word of mouth and what we do with Getaway — that is where we see this validation – people look at it and think, that could be me, which is really intense.”
The demand for the Eclipse polar experience – both Arctic and Antarctic – is such that Scenic is selling two seasons in advance, now into 2025.
“We’re really delighted where we are because we’re not trying to sell 10,000 passengers per departure.” Scenic Eclipse and Scenic Eclipse II have a capacity of 228 passengers.
“We have this very intimate experience. We’re seeing a lot of groups come on, and multi-generational.
“Now people who have done Antarctica, who’ve done the Arctic, who’ve done the Caribbean, are asking what’s next? And that whole transient market — I want to go somewhere where no one else is going — is creating FOMO. [The] FOMO market is actually quite strong for us,” he explained.
Those new destinations that Scenic will explore with its ocean product in the future include the Kimberley, Japan and the Oceania region.
“We are building a new market because there is no comparative ultra-luxury product in this market. Our competitors have great products but there is nothing comparable in terms of what Scenic Eclipse will offer.”
“We’re building a new category, we’re building the destination, and when we start taking Scenic Eclipse II into Oceania it creates a whole new opportunity… going to the places we are heading to, where no one else goes.”
Speaking ahead of the maiden cruise last week of Scenic Eclipse II, Laver said there had been significant pent-up demand for the new product, with some clients holding back, waiting to see the ship actually launch. Their hesitancy was fuelled by the repeated delays of Scenic Eclipse‘s debut in 2019.
“We’re delighted with the way the inquiries and the bookings are coming through,” he said.
Those guests that waited are now finding their first and second preferred sailings are booked solid, creating a good problem for Scenic. “We struggle sometimes for certain departures to have the capacity,” he admits.
“That then creates more demand and people asking, well where can I go?”
Scenic will this week hold an event to mark the 12-month countdown until Scenic Eclipse II‘s arrival down under. The Australian-founded travel company will also unveil a new global media partnership. More in LATTE later this week.