Meet the Discovery Leader Creating Deep Connections Between Guests and Unique Wildlife

Wildlife veterinarian and Scenic Eclipse Discovery Leader Angel Grimaldi shares the importance of witnessing animals in the wild.

As a wildlife vet who has dedicated his life to conservation, Angel Grimaldi appreciates the unrivalled power that comes from connecting with wildlife better than most. The Discovery Leader spent three decades in the most remote regions of the planet protecting a diverse range of unique species. From the depths of a Central American jungle to ensure the resurgence of an endangered bird to the remote lands of Kazakhstan to gain a deeper understanding of nature.“When I started in this profession, I knew I was going to spend most of my life very close to wildlife in one way or another, trying to preserve them,” Angel explains. 

Angel admits that one of his most fulfilling achievements is his work on board 6-star ultra-luxury Discovery Yacht, Scenic Eclipse. The Discovery Leader is one of up to 20 members who are at the core of each Discovery and Expedition Voyage.   
As with each of the Discovery Team experts, the wildlife veterinarian from Spain was handpicked due to his extensive knowledge in both wild animals and wild places. It’s this he enjoys sharing with Scenic guests.  
“It’s very special. You are the facilitator, the link between someone who could have been for many years really disconnected from nature, and you try to introduce them to, say Antarctica, the most pristine environment on earth”, he explains.
“It’s such a privilege to see our guests become so curious. I've seen so many being emotional after their beautiful moments with wildlife, because it really touches your soul. You cannot separate yourself from the experience. It is just so powerful.” 
For Angel, it’s more than a connection. He believes that taking guests to the very heart of these remarkable regions, like the Arctic, Antarctica, South America and Alaska, ignites a feeling that is truly important for conservation.  

“Trying to create that connection is a huge responsibility,” says Angel. “But it’s also very important to me. I want to help every guest understand that every single creature has a vital part in the ecosystem, and it's very important role to keep the whole machinery working”.  

“In Antarctica, it’s everything from the krill to the big whales, to the glaciers, to the colonies of penguins. Everything is extremely interconnected and all of them are equally important. And this naturally makes you think about trying to have a less impact on the earth, and those who inhabit it.”  

It’s a message which is important every day, but carries even more weight as we mark World Wildlife Day on March 3. A day which was created to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants, with this year’s focus being on conservation. 

Responsible Wildlife Experiences 

Unscripted, breathtaking and spontaneous wildlife moments undoubtedly create lifelong memories. It is also something that has to be handled with care", explains Angel.  

Scenic staff and crew follows strict guidelines when it comes to wildlife encounters during Expedition and Discovery Voyages throughout the world. In Antarctica, for example, guests must always maintain a 100-metre distance from wildlife - this, doesn’t always count for many curious species who often want to get a closer look at our guests.  

“It’s then time to ensure our interaction doesn’t impact them so we try to keep an eye on the time. We don’t want to alter their behaviour,” Angel explains.  "The magic has been created, without any long-standing impact on the incredible wildlife in these remarkable regions."   

Why Choose a 6-Star Ultra-Luxury Voyage

At the core of Scenic Eclipse is innovation. The Discovery Yachts are designed to combine 6-star ultra-luxury with world-class technological advancements required for unrivalled discovery. 
With a Polar Class 6 rating, a strengthened hull and customised stabilisers, allows us to venture further and closer than any other ship of Scenic Eclipse’s size. When we reach these extraordinary regions, your experience is fully immersive.  
For an unrivalled exploration, you can choose to soar above, below and beyond the horizon on board two Airbus H130-T2 helicopters^ and our custom-built submarine, Scenic Neptune^, found on both Discovery Yachts. On the Scenic Eclipse Marina deck, Zodiacs, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and Tiwal sail boats wait for water-based activities.  Whilst on land, you can take out Scenic e-bike to explore at your own pace.  
Then back on board, indulge in 6-star ultra-luxury. Our truly all-inclusive philosophy ensures everything is covered, including meals in up to 10 dining experiences, nine bars and lounges, including an expansive whiskey bar with over 100 varieties of whiskey. Spend the afternoon relaxing in the indulgent Sense Spa, or let your butler bring you a cheese plate and a glass of Malbec to your luxuriously appointed suite. All you have to do is focus on creating memories that you will remember for a lifetime.
Imagery from @angelgrimaldiphotography 


^Flights on board two helicopters, helicopter experiences and submarine at additional cost, subject to regulatory approval, availability, weight restrictions, medical approval and weather and ice conditions. Helicopters are unable to operate in South Georgia, Svalbard and Russia. Submarine unable to operate in US waters and Svalbard.