Top 5 Scenic Eclipse Helicopter Experiences (so far...)

With two custom-built Airbus H130 helicopters on board, Scenic Eclipse is leading the way in ultra-luxury discovery travel. What was once only a vision in Scenic’s continuing desire to push the boundaries of travel, taking to the skies to introduce guests to wonder moments from above is now very much a reality – setting the benchmark in expedition cruising.
On each Scenic Eclipse voyage across our maiden season, which commenced August 2019, guests have already been soaring beyond the horizon in one of our two six-seater helicopters, enabling them to marvel at their destination from a completely new perspective.

With a large wrap-around windscreen, Bose® noise cancelling headsets, custom-designed leather seats, an air-conditioned interior and cameras to record every moment in HD, iconic locations take on a whole new dimension when viewed from our state-of-the-art helicopters, for a travel experience quite unlike any other.

From looking down on snow-capped glaciers to birds-eye views of tropical islands punctuating the shimmering Caribbean ocean, here we take a look at just five of the standout experiences enjoyed by our guests so far across Scenic Eclipse’s incredible maiden season.

Bubble Feeding Humpback Whales, Antarctica

On five Scenic Eclipse voyages across Antarctica from December 2019 to March 2020 our guests were lucky enough to spot humpback whales ‘bubble net’ feeding from the helicopter.
This is a unique feeding behaviour in which a pod of humpbacks expel air underwater to form a vertical cylinder-ring of bubbles around krill (their main food source in Antarctica), capturing these crustaceans in the centre. The humpbacks then swim open-mouthed through the krill to feed, lunging from the water together as they go about their unique feeding techniques.
With the vantage point afforded to our guests from being on the helicopters, they had the perfect view of this wonderful display of nature and were able to witness the entire ‘dance’ performed by these impressive humpbacks. A truly magical experience.
“I am a nervous flyer and [the pilot] Brad was brilliant at explaining everything about the flight prior to booking. The flight itself was amazing!⁠ I have never enjoyed a flight so much and saw some amazing bubble fishing by the humpbacks – the highlight of my cruise. The helicopter was so comfortable and smooth and beautiful to look at.”

John H. Scenic Eclipse Guest

The Snowy Lemaire Channel, Antarctica

Sometimes, the sheer grandeur of a destination can only be truly appreciated from above. And the Lemaire Channel is one such destination.
Here, steep snow-covered cliffs, towering several hundred meters high, explode from the sea; icy landscapes reflect in the calm, mirror-like waters; and icebergs float weightlessly by in the narrow 1,600 meter channel’s currents. The Lemaire Channel is a photographers’ dream. And, not only were we able to take guests there for the first time, many were able to experience this wonder from high above in our helicopters, providing our guests with a birds-eye view unlike any other.

The Majestic Prins Christiansund, Greenland

Known for its magnificent glaciers, granite cliffs and soaring mountains, Prins Christiansund is a highlight from any angle when voyaging in and around majestic Greenland.
Back in August 2019, Scenic Eclipse guests were able to take this experience to the next level with the opportunity to soar above the region on one of our onboard helicopters. From the clear blue skies they viewed the weaving waterways, the ominous icebergs and the vast mountainous landscapes that revealed themselves below.
Being early on in our maiden season, Prins Christiansund Fjord was one of the very first helicopter flights undertaken by guests on Scenic Eclipse. Therefore, it was not just a standout moment for the guests, but for our Scenic Eclipse crew too. In fact, our helicopter pilot experienced a genuine career highlight, not only expertly landing the helicopter back on our Discovery Yacht, but landing whilst Scenic Eclipse was travelling backwards out of this narrow Greenlandic fjord.

Tropical Climes at San Blas Islands, Panama

The Scenic Eclipse helicopters don’t just come into their own in the frozen climes of the polar regions. They offer truly astounding views in tropical climes, too. Take Panama’s remote San Blas islands for instance – one of the most marvellous island archipelagos in the world. Taking flight high above the archipelago gave guests the opportunity to see the full scale of the layered beauty below.
Bathed in the Central American sun, guests witnessed the colours of the coral reefs come to life through the crystal clear Caribbean Sea, the verdant jungles rising from tiny islands, and the golden sands slowly drift off into the ocean in a gradient of sparkling blues. An ultra-luxury view of an ultra-tropical paradise.

Taking Off and Landing on a Yacht

Although we visit some truly extraordinary places, the sheer joy of taking a helicopter excursion with Scenic Eclipse is about more than just the location. The joy lies in simply taking the flight itself.
After all, few people can say that they’ve been able to fly on a helicopter that has taken off – and landed back on – the very yacht they are staying on… whilst moving at sea! Scenic Eclipse guests who have taken one of our helicopter flights can now tick this off their bucket list.
At Scenic we search far and wide for new experiences, to offer enriching, life-changing travel moments to guests. The feeling of lifting off your own yacht whilst on the ocean, exploring a new destination from above, seeing your ship waiting for you in the distance, and watching as your experienced pilot expertly lands you back on the yacht, is a feeling unlike any other.

A Travel Experience Unlike Any Other

We’ll leave you with the final words to one of our Scenic Sales Manager, Zena, who enjoyed a flight in a Scenic Eclipse helicopter soon after our maiden voyage, whilst in Lunenburg, Canada.
“Flying is something that feels natural to me because as a child, looking up, I would envy birds flying low, flying high, and I wanted that same feeling. Across all my years of travel, I’ve been lucky enough to experience numerous helicopter flightseeing trips, in places like the Big Apple, the Grand Canyon, Victoria Falls, and South America.
“But when you have the opportunity to fly on and off a luxury yacht, well, nothing you can imagine will ever be like it. I knew this was going to be an extraordinary moment from when we first met the pilots and undertook the most outstanding procedures and safety briefing I have experienced anywhere, in order to prepare for this flight.
“The way the crew and Discovery Leader communicated and delivered what we needed to know – and how they made us feel before the flight – was impeccable. Putting everyone completely at ease. To help define how rare the experience was, I’ll refer to the words of my fellow passenger at the time – a retired operations manager of an offshore oil rig. This truly gracious Texan gentleman said to me:
‘Well, you normally only get to do this if you work in my field, are a Naval Pilot on a Destroyer or are wealthy beyond all my and your imagination. Who else gets to fly off a ship?’
“The feeling when the Scenic Eclipse helicopter left the deck and swept upwards over the ship was one of being completely awestruck. Sometimes there are feelings in life that hit you for the very first time – and this was one of those times. What’s more, we didn’t need to drive to an airport or helipad, we just simply took off from Deck 10 of Scenic Eclipse.
“Soaring through the skies gave us a full-view perspective of the area, stitching together the entire picture of beautiful Lunenburg which we had, until then, seen only from land and sea. Now, flying over the landscape, it completed the story of this tiny port. Even better, we had the fantastic crew giving us their expert insights about the port as we flew above.
“Before landing safely back on Deck 10, we swooped and circled high over the beautiful Scenic Eclipse, reminding us once again just how unique and special this moment was. At this point, as our flight came to an end. My emotions were a mix of pure excitement, joy and deep satisfaction.”
Explore beyond the horizon with Scenic Eclipse, the World’s First Discovery Yacht. From close encounters of the extraordinary kind, to unforgettable moments such as a journey on our helicopters, Scenic Eclipse represents the most luxurious cruise experience available.

Discover our complete collection of Scenic Eclipse cruises.

Please note: helicopter flights are at an additional cost and subject to availability, regulatory approval, weight restrictions, medical approval, weather and ice conditions. Due to the unpredictability of nature and the natural world, each helicopter flight is different to the next and specific sightings or events cannot be guaranteed.