QCOSTARICA – This week the super luxury yacht Scenic Eclipse, the first six-star cruise ship in the world – with two helicopters and a submarine – docked in Quepos, in Costa Rica’s Central Pacific.
The mega yacht inaugurated the luxury and expedition cruise season in Quepos, announced the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) – Costa Rica’s tourism board.
The mega-yacht, 168 meters long by 21.5 meters of beam, incorporates the latest developments in naval design and technology for exploring extreme environments, such as the Arctic and Antarctic coasts or the seabed. The 17,000-ton vessel had an estimated cost of US$250 million and her maiden voyage was in August 2018.
“Cruise passengers who travel on luxury and expedition ships stay longer in the country and tourists are usually professionals or businessmen with high purchasing power, with an annual income of between US$80,000 and US$120,000, with an average expenditure per passenger of US$3,000, which is why Costa Rica is focusing attraction strategies on this type of vessel so that they remain longer in the national territory, thus generating an economic boost to the tourism sector and port cities,” said Gustavo Alvarado, director of the ICT Tourism Management.
The Scenic Eclipse, of the Scenic Luxury Cruises company, with the Bahamas flag, visits more than 70 ports on its routes, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites and itineraries through the Antarctic, the Arctic, the Caribbean and America from the south. The design of this ship was subjected to the complex requirements to face the most demanding conditions of storms, extreme temperatures, large waves or the presence of ice.
It has 114 cabins ranging from 32 to 247 m2 and all suites have butler service. The spaces on the boat are complemented by an outdoor and indoor pool, a 550 m2 spa, a gym, a yoga and pilates studio, as well as a varied cuisine, that includes six restaurants offering French and Italian haute cuisine, among others, and prepared by renowned chefs. It also has a theater equipped with the latest technology for conferences and projections, since a team of experts travels on board, ranging from historians to marine biologists, geologists, ornithologists, naturalists and photographers.
The ship transports kayaks, electric bicycles, snowshoes, diving and snorkeling equipment, which will allow travelers to experience all the exploitation routes of each of the destinations.
The great jewels of the ship are two Scenic Neptune helicopters, with a capacity for six passengers that take off and land on the deck of the ship, as well as an expedition submarine that can submerge up to 305 meters deep and a fleet of zodiac boats. Its advanced eco-friendly GPS dynamic positioning system is designed to allow stationary maneuvers without the need to drop anchor, thus eliminating potential damage to coral reefs.
On this occasion, the ship docked in Costa Rica with 62 passengers and 189 crew members, making a 13-day trip from San Diego, California, with stops in ports in Mexico, and Guatemala and passing through Costa Rica.
“From INCOP we will continue with the necessary efforts to receive cruise passengers with open arms, we will also seek that our docks always offer the necessary infrastructure conditions so that their arrival is pleasant. With the arrival of the Scenic Eclipse cruise ship we kick off the Luxury and Expedition cruise season, these are generally smaller cruises with fewer people who stay longer in the country and spend more, that is, they it gives a direct benefit to the coastal communities,” said Widman Cruz, executive president of INCOP.
In Costa Rica, the Scenic Eclipse will be in Quepos, Papagayo and Puntarenas, as passengers will visit tourist attractions.
Here, the ship will take on new passengers and then heads for Panama, Ecuador and Peru. The nationalities of passengers on this cruise ship are mostly Americans and Canadians.