The underwater wonders of Antarctica are usually reserved for a hardy few prepared to brave the difficult conditions, among them ocean temperatures barely climbing into double digits at the best of times. Now, guests aboard Scenic Eclipse are able to see what lies beneath. Scenic's ultra-luxury cruising yacht, launched in August, is now putting her very own submarine into the waters she travels, including those of Antarctica.
Scenic Neptune is a snazzy six-passenger, custom built U-Boat Worx Cruise Submarine. The craft can dive to 300 metres and has acrylic spheres constructed from a material that has the same refraction index as seawater, which means the barrier visually disappears underwater. Internal climate control and surround sound meet comfort, legroom and headroom in the stylish vessel.
Even ease of getting in and out has been engineered into the submarine as well as strong spotlights for taking in the surrounding seascape.
Scenic Eclipse is the first ocean-going vessel for long-time river cruising operator Scenic.
The six-star, 228-guest "discovery yacht" has 114 verandah suites and 10 dining options, plus 550-square-metre spa and a gym with a separate yoga and Pilates studio.
Tech includes stabiliser fins that are 50 per cent bigger than usual and and a GPS system allows for stationary positioning without anchor, reducing environmental impact.
And as well as her lovely submarine, Scenic Eclipse carries two helicopters.
Scenic Neptune adventures ar on offer during the 12-day Antarctica In Depth itinerary, with various dates in February and March available. Priced from $18,580 a person. They are also available on the 20-day Antarctica, South Georgia and Falkland Islands journey. Priced from $30,740 a person.