Not content with a fleet of 64 small ships on the world’s great rivers, Viking Cruises spread its wings last year by launching the company’s first ocean ship, the 930-passenger Viking Star. Viking Sea followed this year, and Viking Sky launches next year, with more ships in the pipeline for coming years.
Crystal Cruises, which has Crystal Symphony, Crystal Serenity and the Crystal Esprit in its luxury ocean fleet, has made its début on the river scene with Crystal Mozart making her maiden voyage from Vienna this year. She sails on the Danube, Main and Rhine Rivers, and four new river ship are planned by Crystal in coming years.
australiancruisingnews.com notes that the latest move comes from Scenic, already a major cruise player with a fleet of 21 river cruise ships throughout Europe, Russia and South East Asia.
As it celebrates its 30th year in the tourist industry, Scenic has announced plans for an ocean ship called Scenic Eclipse, which will marry luxury with discovery. Guests will be taken to places previously thought inaccessible with the new ship’s two on board helicopters and seven-seat submarine.
Scenic’s chairman Glen Maroney says “Our goal with Scenic Eclipse is to open up the private yacht experience so that guests can discover regions previously only visited by a fortunate few.”
He adds, “In many cases only the supremely wealthy or explorers and adventurers, could travel to the Antarctic hinterland or ventured below the surface to witness Polar wildlife in its natural habitat. We plan to make these experiences accessible to our guests while they travel in the utmost luxury and safety.”
Scenic Eclipse, carrying 228 guests, will be launched in the Mediterranean in August 2018, and her maiden voyage season will include The Americas, Antarctica, Europe and the Mediterranean, as well as the Arctic and the Scandinavian fjords.