Sailing around the world on a luxurious super-yacht – with a helicopter and a submarine ready and waiting – is the stuff of dreams for most of us.
And can you imagine such a holiday accompanied by your own “personal butler” to bring whatever your heart desires straight to your cabin.
These are just some of the “luxury wonders” on offer for guests boarding the discovery super-yacht Scenic Eclipse II, which docked at Aberdeen on Friday.
It’s one of dozens of cruise ships arriving at the city’s port this summer, bringing thousands of tourists from across the globe.
After cruising the Mediterranean, Iceland and Greenland, another 200 guests hopped off Scenic Eclipse II to take in the delights of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.
And while they were busy exploring the north-east, I jumped on board to see what life is like on board.
What is Scenic Eclipse II all about?
From paddle boarding in the Caribbean to mingling with penguins in Antarctica, Scenic Eclipse II boasts about offering a voyage of a lifetime across all seven continents.
But we were more interested in what it’s like inside the vessel.
Sales operator William Young told us all about it on a whistlestop tour this morning.
‘Food galore’ across the world with 10 different dining areas
Our first destination is one of the 10 restaurants on board, where chefs from 15 different countries provide guests with the finest fare.
Myself and a group of travel agents (visiting on a scouting trip) are led through the yacht’s main lounge, equipped with a whisky bar featuring 34 high-end brands.
Before we know it, we are introduced into Element – an Italian-themed dining room with an extensive choice of wines and dishes.
Chef Tom Gotter, who is in charge of all the cooking for the company, welcomes us at the door before showing us into a special room for private dining.
He explains that he prefers to shop from the “small guys” so most of his meals are prepared with local ingredients from the place they have docked at.
As the image of his scrumptious dishes begin to take shape in our minds, we are quickly whisked off to another corner of the world at Koko’s.
This is the yacht’s very own Japanese restaurant, decorated with authentic features transcending you to far-away Asia.
As we walk around the tables – taking loads of photos by default – one of my dazzled comrades whispers from behind me: “We are up for food galore here.”
A rather fitting comment, as we are next shown around a French restaurant, called Lumiere.
Spot the whales and dolphins from the observation area
Next up is a treat for wildlife fanatics.
A spacious observation area offers everyone a quiet corner, where you can spend hours reading a book or gazing out at the vast ocean.
The best part for me, however, was the open deck for dolphin and whale-spotting.
To my disappointment, those were not in abundance at Aberdeen’s South Harbour, despite the proximity to Greyhope Bay.
William explains it like this.
He says: “Imagine the David Attenborough show – but on a yacht and right before your eyes.”
Balcony-equipped cabins with personalised mini-bars
After almost an hour of wandering around the yacht’s restaurant, William finally reveals the guests’ cabins – all fitted with a balcony and personalised mini-bar.
Upon arrival, everyone is provided with a “pillow menu” to choose what type of bedtime accessory they would prefer – and their own set of binoculars to explore the surrounding wildlife in solitude.
A very special feature offers guests a butler, who is on hand at the press of a button!
Time to relax…but maybe on a helicopter?
One floor up and we enter the spa area.
The scent of oils fills your nostrils immediately as you step into the world of “relaxation” , fitted with a hair salon, a sauna, and a special “salt therapy” room.
Time for some fun aboard Scenic Eclipse before it leaves Aberdeen
And while the next part of our tour wasn’t exactly showcasing the wonders of the boat, it appeared to be the most popular among all of us.
Our group was let into Captain Erwan Le Rouzic’s cabin – with everyone rushing to snap the chance to sit into his seat. Myself included, of course.
The excitement intensified as the helicopter appeared in front of us.
And yes, we took loads of photos in the helicopter as well.
This was one of two that offer guests private tours above the horizon, while a submarine – which sadly we didn’t see – takes them below to see all hidden gems of the ocean.
And just before we know it, our dazzling tour came to an end.
As all of us were still trying to get our heads around the luxurious lifestyle we were given a glimpse into, William calmly turned around and said: “It’s pretty low key”.
I must admit, I beg to differ.
Learn more about the yacht here.
Read more on Aberdeen’s tourism-boosting cruise ship bonanza:
- A day in the life of a cruise ship visitor seeing Old Aberdeen for the first time
- What do tourists REALLY think of Aberdeen city centre?
- Fears problem drinkers could scare off Aberdeen cruise visitors