Ever wonder what it’s like to captain a luxury expedition ship? In this week’s Take 5, we sit down with Erwan Le Rouzic, Captain of the Scenic Eclipse, referred to by Scenic as the ‘World’s First Discovery Yacht,’ who tells us about the many wonders of life onboard the ship and the incredible destinations it visits.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your career as a Captain?
“I have been Captain of luxury expedition ships since spring 2006. Almost 10 years ago, I was Captain of a luxury expedition ship chartered by Scenic for a season in Antarctica. It was been, to date, one of my best memories of cruising that region of the world. It was a well-organized cruise with a very friendly atmosphere, and we offered an above-and-beyond experience to our Scenic guests. They loved it, and I loved it, too. So when the Scenic Eclipse was launched, I made sure to be one of her two Captains! I joined the Scenic Eclipse at the christening that took place with Dame Helen Mirren in September 2019 in New York, and since then I have been one of the two Captains at the helm of the ‘World’s First Discovery Yacht’.”
How does the Scenic Eclipse compare to other ships that you’ve helmed?
“Scenic Eclipse is unique – there is no other ship like her. It offers unbeatable diversity in dining experiences on such a small and intimate yacht, not to mention an ultra-luxury experience with butlers and a gigantic, beautiful ESpa. In addition to the exceptional service, we have 20 Discover staff and unique equipment that no other ship offers, like two helicopters and one submarine. We also have activities that no one else offers.
“In addition, Scenic Eclipse has an exceptional dynamic positioning system that allows her to explore remote and protected areas that are restricted to others. With our dynamic positioning, we don’t need to anchor so we can visit islands that have no anchorage due to their deep waters, or are protected areas where anchoring is not allowed. Combined with our zero speed stabilizers, we can safely disembark our guests with our dinghy, even if there is swell. We operate in some unique islands that I wouldn’t have been able to successfully offer if it was not with Scenic Eclipse.”
What are some of your favourite destinations that you’ve sailed to with the Scenic Eclipse?
“Every one of our journeys is curated to offer memorable experiences. Scenic Eclipse has so much equipment that we can offer incredible helicopter flights or submarine dives or many other activities like kayaking, paddleboarding, hiking and zodiac tours, everywhere around the world with our Discovery crew there to inform, enhance and enlighten every aspect of the journey.
“What stands out, of course, are the polar regions. The Scenic Eclipse has been purposely built for expeditions in the Arctic and the Antarctic, where we encounter unique wildlife like polar bears in the Arctic and penguins in the Antarctic. But we bring our concept of Discovery to other regions as well, including Alaska, Europe and Japan, where we’re able to provide activities that no one else can. Flying over feeding humpback whales, or soaring above a glacier in Alaska? It’s just a breathtaking experience.”
As a Scenic Captain, how would you describe the Scenic experience?
“We take pride in really offering a genuine and friendly experience to our guests. They are with us as if they’re onboard their own yacht. They feel at home, with one-on-one personalized and dedicated service. The Scenic Eclipse crew is praised by our guests for their exceptional and friendly service – they look after every detail of their cruise.
“We sincerely are altogether focused on the well-being of our guests and make sure they have a memorable experience at their own pace. It’s Ultra-Luxury combined with Discovery. It’s everyone’s will to mix both to their own preference. I am really proud of the connection between the crew and guests that makes each of our journeys so valuable and unforgettable.”
How would you convince a non-cruiser to finally book their first cruise?
“What’s fantastic about sailing is that you can combine different locations, different countries, different destinations and experiences in various countries in a relatively short time. You unpack your bags once and then you travel and enjoy your vacation at the same time. We take care of everything related to logistics. In addition, with Scenic Eclipse you can combine visiting remote places that you can only discover by sea, with encountering wildlife that would be difficult to approach any other way. Whales sail by the yacht, polar bears in the Arctic, bears in Alaska, penguins and seals in Antarctica…it’s simply unique and unforgettable.”
For more information about the Scenic Eclipse go to www.scenic.ca.