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Scenic River River Cruises

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Scenic River Cruises
  • Overview


Founded in 1986 by Glen Moroney, Scenic began by offering coach tours throughout Australia before focusing on expanding the brand on a global scale. Nowadays, the company has business centres in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, USA and Canada, and has taken to the rivers of Europe with its unique Space-Ships (so-called because of the larger than usual space ratio on the vessels). 

Cruise With Confidence With Scenic

In order to prioritise guest and crew wellbeing, Scenic have introduced improved health and safety protocols across their fleet. As well as requiring a health evaluation prior to the cruise, guests will also receive a health briefing before departure. Once onboard, food and drink service will adhere to rigorous protocols, while frequent handwashing is made easy through readily available hand sanitiser stations. High standards continue ashore with hand sanitiser, social distancing and shore excursions adhering to local regulations.


In 2008, Scenic launched its first exclusive Space-Ships – the innovative Sapphire and Emerald. By 2016, its fleet will be made up of 16 beautifully designed ships, which boast unrivalled space, luxurious amenities and offer the very best in passenger comfort. All of the Space-Ships have two full decks of Private Balcony Suites, with the option of a private butler service and a range of dining choices. The most recent additions to the fleet are the Rhine and Main-based Scenic Jasper and Opal, with Royal Suites that are amongst the largest on Europe’s rivers. There will be four more additions in 2016, including the Scenic Amber (sister ship to the Jasper and Opal) and the Scenic Azure, which introduces the fleet to Portugal’s Douro, as well as the Scenic Spirit (Mekong River) and the Scenic Aura (Irrawaddy River), which takes Scenic Tours’ exciting river cruises to Southeast Asia. 


You will rarely find any language other than English spoken on a Scenic river cruise, so there’s no need to worry about translation difficulties. Crew, staff and tour guides all speak English, and all announcements and lectures are in English, too. As an Australian company, Scenic targets older, well-travelled, well-educated, English-speaking travellers who are predominantly from Australia, the UK, the USA and Canada. The average capacity across the fleet is 153 passengers. Staff: guest ratios keep on getting better with Scenic; many offer 1:3, with newer ships offering 1:2 ratios (e.g. the Azure) and almost 1:1 ratios in some cases, such as aboard the 2016 Scenic Spirit. 


Scenic offers river cruises that are completely all-inclusive, right down the little luxuries that you may usually expect to pay for, from cocktails on your private balcony and optional shore excursions to the in-suite butler service. Dining onboard depends on the ship, but guests can typically choose from two open-seating venues – the larger main dining room and a smaller alternative, such as Italian restaurant Portobello’s on European and L’Amour on French itineraries. You may also find a River Café serving sweet and savoury bites, as well as ice cream and drinks. Seasonal, locally sourced produce and regionally-inspired menus are key, with excellent chefs taking great pride in every plate. Diamond Deck and Junior Suite passengers will also have the option of attending an invite-only indulgent 6-course meal at the Table La Rive, if looking for something really special. All food and drinks onboard any Space-Ship are included, with the exception of a few high end wines and spirits that are clearly priced. From the first fresh coffee and croissant in the morning to full use of the well-stocked in-suite mini bar, there are no hidden charges. Enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail in one of the lounges, ask for some wine-pairing advice from the professional sommelier or try one of the local beers with dinner. The choice is yours. Dress code is casual and comfortable throughout the day. Guests may choose to opt for smart casual for dinner.  


Entertainment is low key and relaxed, with occasional themed dinners that include entertainment. Each of Scenic’s Space-Ships has two lounges which can be used during the evenings, with entertainment programmes including local performers, music and dancing available. The Panorama Lounge and Bar is ideal for post-dinner drinks, music and dancing, while the Riverview Terrace offers a covered open-air area to sit and relax as you watch the sun set over the surrounding vistas. There are also ship-specific amenities that will keep guests entertained, such as the open air cinema onboard the Scenic Spirit. 


Journey Designers help to create unique and completely complimentary experiences that reflect the region, its customs and traditions. Choose from the ScenicEnrich and ScenicFreechoice options including exclusive concerts, guided tours of castles, and lessons and lectures that can help guests to embrace the culture and heritage of the destinations. Scenic Tailormade offers guests the use of innovative GPS headsets for use during their time in port, which include pre-recorded commentaries and information on the towns visited. They are also equipped with a map and photos of specific sights to help with route planning. Bicycles are provided for use by guests to explore certain ports of call; some are electrically-assisted to help guests to go even further afield, without worrying about their pedal power. 


Scenic focuses its attention on the finer details, and this ethos spreads to its accommodation options, which include a private butler and 24hour room service for every guest to ensure 5* treatment at every level. The majority of suites have the use of a balcony (Jewel Deck staterooms have large picture windows), and all ships except the Scenic Tsar include revolutionary Scenic Sun Lounge balconies with retractable glass windows. All accommodations have flat screen TVs (with a built-in infotainment system), complimentary Wi-Fi, climate control, a pillow menu and the use of a plush bathrobe and slippers. Bathrooms are spacious, with some offering fun lighting that can be changed by the guest. 


Full access to a wellness area is available on every ship, with massage services and treatments on hand if needed. Hair and beauty salons are also available (ship dependent). The fitness centre, including fully-equipped gym, and walking track are perfect for active cruisers (ship specific). Some of the newer ships boast vitality pools as well as Sun Decks kitted out with loungers and parasols.  


The majority of Scenic’s itineraries are Europe-based, with itineraries on the Rhine, Danube and Seine proving popular. New itineraries are also being added, including river cruises along the Douro in Portugal, as well as on the Irrawaddy and Mekong in Southeast Asia. The rivers of Russia are also explored onboard the Scenic Tsar. Escorted land tours are also available if guests choose to extend their river cruise, pre- or post- embarkation. Most itineraries are between 7 and 28 days long. 

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