Scenic Eclipse II now calls Australia home

Two expedition ships is enough for Scenic, says Founder Glen Moroney

Scenic Founder and Chairman, Glen Moroney was clearly chuffed having his ultra-luxury six-star Discovery Yacht, Scenic Eclipse II, take pride of place in Sydney Harbour last weekend.

During its weekend static display at the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay, hundreds of Australian travel advisors and trade partners had the opportunity to tour the luxury US$230 million superyacht.

Scenic Eclipse II is the first ship Scenic ship to ever operate in Australian waters, and the vessel is now based in the Oceania and South Pacific region for the next 12 months. The polar-class ship is operating a Chairman’s Cruise from Newcastle to Cairns (currently underway), before its deployment in the Kimberley, operating 12 one-way journeys between Darwin and Broome from May to late August, followed by a 13-night sailing to Indonesia, then returning to Darwin before embarking on a series of sailings through the South Pacific (Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji) and around New Zealand until the end of the year.

Scenic Eclipse II's arrival at the OPT, Circular Quay, Sydney on 19 April 2024

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The luxury yacht will then embark on expeditions to Antarctica and the Ross Sea from Milford Sound, Hobart and Dunedin in late December through to late January, an additional Kiwi voyage, cruising the South Pacific, Indonesia and onto Taiwan and Japan for the next Chairman’s Voyage, from Keelung to Tokyo, and a series of itineraries around Japan until July 2025.

Scenic Eclipse II will then return to the Kimberley, via Indonesia, where it will operate a smaller series of Kimberley sailings (compared to the upcoming 2024 season) before charting a course along the Western Australia coastline from Broome to Fremantle.

“When I started this business 38 years ago, I never dreamt that I’d be sitting here in Sydney Harbour.”

“It’s been an amazing journey. We’ve turned out over that time to be a very unusual, very unique and very, very capable company,” Moroney told a group of media and partners aboard the ship.

A render of Scenic Eclipse at Prince Frederick Harbour in the Kimberley

“Unlike anybody else I know of in the cruise industry, we come up with the concept, we design the ship, we build the ship, we own it and we operate it,” Moroney boasted.

“We don’t outsource anything other than the shop and the helicopter roles – both of which are very specialised.”

“After 38 years having started with running bus tours down to Warrnambool, and now owning a fleet of four oceangoing ships and one coming, and I’m sure in the future, there will be more coming as well,” he eluded.

Speaking with LATTE aboard Scenic Eclipse II, Moroney said he was thrilled to finally have a ship in local waters for travel advisors who have not seen the product firsthand to get a taste of what the vessel has to offer, including its twin Airbus H130-T2 helicopters and brand-new Triton submarine, which he says is the next level up from the U-Boat Worx submersibles on sister-ship, Scenic Eclipse.

While the current Chairman’s Cruise is now underway, Moroney said next year’s version around Japan has sold out in record time, given demand for the destination, and unique product.

Sydney Sailaway sunset celebration on Sunday afternoon, with a rendition of Peter Allen's 'I Still Call Australia Home' by Cruise Director, Natalie Sexton, from the helipad.

Scenic Eclipse II also features a number of other enhancements from the original vessel, including the Sky Bar and Sky Deck with Vitality Pool on Deck 10, which Moroney says has been a hit with guests during the ‘sail away’ at the start of a voyage. Those facilities are currently being retro-fitted to Scenic Eclipse which is currently in drydock.

Moroney said bookings for the Oceania deployment had picked up in the last two weeks, likely to be a result of enhanced media coverage that included live crosses for the weather segment on Channel Nine’s Today breakfast TV program. While the Kimberley sailings have been popular, LATTE understands that there is still limited availability on departures for clients still keen to get onboard this season.

Along with hundreds of travel advisors given the opportunity to tour the vessel last weekend, Scenic hosted a  scaled down version of its ‘Night of Stars’ gala aboard Scenic Eclipse II on Saturday night, with dozens of top-performing Scenic travel partners onboard for the event and recognitions.

Pictured centre are Scenic's Anthony Laver, General Manager for Sales and Marketing and Emma Davie, Director of Trade Sales & Commercial Partnerships ANZ, with itravel's Josh Gordon (left), Head of Commercial and Steve Labroski (right), Chief Executive Officer.

Quizzed by LATTE if Scenic has plans to revive its immensely popular ‘Night of Stars’ for the Australian market — after the event was paused due to the pandemic, and relaunched with a US version late last year — Moroney said it was on the cards.

On Sunday a number of Scenic’s VIP travel partners from the likes of Flight Centre Travel Group and Helloworld, including Graham ‘Scroo’ Turner and Cinzia Burnes, were guests of the travel company on the overnight cruise from Sydney to Newcastle.

Moroney said a highlight of the local deployment would be the arrival into Scenic’s hometown of Newcastle (on Monday), and cruising past Nobbys Beach. A series of festivities were planned, while guests also had the opportunity to take a helicopter flight (three are two Airbus choppers onboard) to a Hunter Valley vineyard.

Scenic Eclipse II's twin Airbus helicopters visited the vineyards of the Hunter Valley | Credit: Scenic/Facebook

Newcastle’s Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes was also onboard for an official plaque ceremony to welcome Scenic Eclipse II to Mulubinba.

Asked if Scenic Eclipse III was in the pipeline, Moroney was adamant Scenic would not be constructing any further “expedition ships”. He said two expedition vessels were enough for the luxury travel company. Another ocean product is in the wings, Moroney confirmed to LATTE, capitalising on Scenic’s investment in shipbuilding where it has a sub-concession agreement for MKM Yachts at the Maj 3 Shipyard in Rijeka, Croatia.

View more of LATTE‘s exclusive photos from onboard Scenic Eclipse II on Facebook here.

Lead image by LATTE: Glen Moroney, Scenic Founder and Chairman, with Amanda Todd (left), Senior Business Development Manager, Scenic; Emma Davie, Director, Trade Sales & Commercial Partnerships ANZ, Scenic and Jade Burns, Manager, Specialist Sales & Service – Scenic Group.

More from Scenic and aboard Scenic Eclipse II this week in LATTE.

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