1. What does it take to be the Captain of a luxury ocean vessel like Scenic Eclipse
It takes around 10 years to get the licences required to command a ship the size of the Scenic Eclipse. Working in polar areas requires a very special set of skills, both my second-in-command and I hold advanced polar water certification and have racked up hundreds of days in high polar latitudes in North and South. I have now spent nearly 20 years in the industry, worked on 12 different ships, commanded six of them and visited over 105 countries. Scenic Eclipse will be a truly demanding ship to operate, the complexity of the helicopters, submarine, Zodiacs, and kayaks coupled with her highly advanced technology and the need to offer the ultimate 6-star service means that I and everyone else involved in the project must be passionate about delivering it.
2. What do you think sets Scenic Eclipse apart from other ships?
Scenic Eclipse is setting an entirely new standard in the Cruise and Expedition industry. We are the first cruise ship to house our own helicopters and submarine and will be the first expedition ship in service to comply with the latest ‘Safe Return to Port’ regulations that necessitate two independent engine rooms, two independent bridges and multi-redundancy in provision areas, galleys and power distribution, as well as Polar Class 6, which puts the ship’s ice strength above 1A Super – the highest of the Swedish Ice Classes before you become an ice breaker.
The ship is also fitted with a ‘Dynamic Positioning’ system, this allows us to maintain an exact position and heading automatically by making use of the ship’s oversized bow thrusters and Azipods. This means that we will be able to avoid anchoring and reduce damage to the sea bed, while ensuring the safest possible approach for our helicopters and Zodiac fleet. To give you an idea of how powerful the Scenic Eclipse bow thrusters are, a normal cruise ship would have around 10-20% of total propulsive power assigned to the bow thrusters, Scenic Eclipse has 50%.