Australian travel company Scenic, which built its reputation on luxury river cruises, will double its exposure to “six-star” expedition cruising, commissioning  a second Scenic Eclipse following what company founder Glen Moroney described as “extraordinary global interest” in Scenic Eclipse I, which is due to debut on August 31.

Construction of Scenic Eclipse II will start next year Pula, Croatia, in the same shipyard Scenic Eclipse is currently under construction, ready for its first voyage in 2020.

“Since we first announced our foray into ocean cruising we have had unprecedented interest in Scenic Eclipse, from guests keen to experience our unique blend of 6-star luxury meets expedition cruising,” Mr Moroney said.

“The debut of Scenic Eclipse II will allow us to expand our offering and pioneer new destinations, such as the Russian Arctic.”

He said the ships are of similar design with features including 114 all-verandah suites, nine restaurants, eight lounges and bars,spa, fitness areas and plunge pools plus a marina deck, helicopters and a submarine.

Planned itineraries include remote regions such as Russia’s White Sea, the Northwest Passage, Southern Greenland, and Alaska to Russia across the Bering Sea.

The ship will have a rating of Ice Class 1A (Polar Class 6), the highest of any luxury vessel, and “Safe Return to Port” capabilities, guaranteeing essential systems remain operational in emergency situations.

Meanwhile, Scenic Eclipse I celebrated its float out from the ship yard and with the exterior construction almost complete, the ship is ready to begin the fit out process.

Scenic Eclipse is on target for its debut on 31 August 2018. See below for time-lapse video of its construction so far,

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