Scenic Cruises fleet
Review of Scenic Cruises
The Scenic Tours company's subsidiary Scenic Cruises line operates riverboats on all biggest European rivers - Danube, Rhine, Main, Moselle, including in France (on Saone, Rhone and Seine). The line also operates in Portugal (on Douro river), in Russia (on Volga river) and in Southeast Asia (with regular itineraries on the rivers Irrawaddy and Mekong). Scenic is between the most inclusive river cruise lines in operation today. Its river cruising deals offer almost all-inclusive fares covering meals and drinks, excursions, gratuities. The line's deals feature price-included unlimited drinks - from the beverages in the staterooms minibars to the alcohol drinks consumed at all dining and lounge venues on board. Butler service for passengers in Europe is also included.
The parent company "Scenic" (until 2015 known as "Scenic Tours") was established in 1987 in Australia by the entrepreneur Glen Moroney. Its business started with coach trips along the coast of Australia. Later, the company included themed-event tours and expanded its operations to New Zealand, Norfolk Island, the USA and Canada, even to South America, Asia (including China) and South Africa.
In 2007, Scenic Tours opened its offices in Canada and the UK, eventually coming to the United States. The inaugural season of the new Scenic river cruise line followed in 2008 with the launch of the Sapphire boat - the fleet's first. Thus was established the subsidiary brand "Scenic Cruises", with operations exclusively in Europe. Enjoying a rapid growth, the Scenic Tours' river cruise division today operates new, purpose-built and almost identical as design luxury river ships.
In April 2015, the Scenic Tours company was rebranded as simply "Scenic". The company’s product has earned accolades worldwide for its quality, onboard and ashore services, and also for the huge diversity of land and cruise tour packages available for booking.
- All Scenic boats are called "space ships" to emphasize on their higher than usual space ratio. The line offers upscale river cruising vacations in contemporary surroundings. However, in terms of dining, land tours and excursions and entertainment, Scenic cruises are quite traditional.
- Meals are served in two dining venues: the dining room restaurant (named Crystal Dining) and Portobello's (smaller Italian alternative restaurant). Both are open-seating. Occasionally, a picnic-fare lunch or barbecue is served on the sun deck. Table La Rive is the line's newest dining option with a 6-course tasting menu served with tempting wine pairing. The seating takes place in a curtained-off section of the dining room. All the gourmet selections include regional cuisine specialties. Some lunches and dinners are themed to the visited country along the cruise itinerary.
- Each of the Scenic ships has two lounges. Panorama Lounge & Bar pampers with after-dinner entertainment (cocktails, music and dancing). It's also the venue for daily port talk, local performers showcasing their culture in the evenings, classical music recitals. Traditional performances by groups of Bavarian dancers or gypsy troupes are also presented here. The other lounge area for drinks and light snacks is the Riverview Terrace (at the boat's bow). This lounge is covered, with an open-air teak deck, seats about 20 guests and is only a deck below the Sun Deck.
- About 84% of all Scenic river cruise ship cabins are with balconies. All the ships (excepting the chartered in Russia Scenic Tsar) have the signature "Sun Lounge" verandas. All passenger accommodations also feature flat-screen TVs and 5-star hotel luxury amenities. Bathrooms are also larger than average, with fun lighting. Guests can decide a changing spectrum of colored lights while taking a shower.
- English-speaking local guides lead all Scenic cruise tours and excursions ashore. Innovative headsets (called "Scenic Tailormade", GPS devices) allow guests to hear the guide's commentaries or to choose between the organized tours as they cycle or walk through the places they visit. These devices also have a screen showing both photos of specific sights and a map of the scheduled cruise itinerary route.
Scenic river cruise cancellation policy
Starting 2017, Scenic Cruises offer a river cruise travel guarantee with refunds for voyage cancellations and delays due to weather, high / low water levels, natural disasters, labor strikes, mechanical breakdowns.
The new guarantee comes at no charge to booked customers and goes into effect with the ship's departure. Under the new cancellation policy, Scenic Tours cruise passengers receive direct cash refunds (up to USD 750 pp per day, max 7 days) or USD 5,250 pp (as opposed to industry's standard of refunding in future cruise credits). Refunds are offered in the following cases:
- A complete cruisetour itineray halt - the riverboat is unable to move and Scenic can't deliver the scheduled tours / excursions ashore (except by way of bus travel over 3 hours each way).
- Scenic has the option to accommodate all passengers on another Scenic Space-Ship, but the cruisetour itinerary is delayed for over 24 hours.
- A mechanical breakdown on the ship resulting in cruise cancellation, and there are no alternative Scenic ships available.
- Industrial action (strikes, riots, river / canal lock damage (closure) Scenic can't pass through a river lock.
The list of unfortunate events and situations that won't be covered by the new policy includes:
- embarkation / disembarkation less than 100 km (60 ml) from the scheduled port
- ship swaps that don't incur a delay over 24 hours
- replacement of scheduled cruisetour itinerary activities with alternates of similar quality
- short term delays in the cruisetour itinerary due to high / low water level.
The new insurance also doesn't cover personal / medical travel issues, so purchasing cruise travel insurance is recommended.
(NEW) Scenic-National Geographic River Cruises
In November 2017, National Geographic Cruises (via partnership with Lindblad Expeditions) and Scenic Cruises teamed up and launched "National Geographic River Cruises". The new offerings combine Scenic riverboats' all-inclusive luxury experience with NatGeo's science and exploration.
Each voyage is accompanied by a NatGeo expert who leads the ship's onboard enrichment program (educational presentations, itinerary-based lectures, informal discussions). All Scenic European river cruises also have a NatGeo photographer on the boat to lead the photography-themed activities and workshops. These voyages also offer themed excursions ranging from hiking and biking to nature, culture and history.
The new Scenic-NatGeo partnership offers itineraries mainly in Europe - on the rivers Moselle, Rhine, Danube, Main, also on Holland and Belgium waterways, in France (Bordeaux wine region) and in Portugal (on Douro River). The new NatGeo experience is also available on select Asian cruises on Irrawaddy River (in Burma). National Geographic River Cruises program starts in Spring 2018.
Itinerary of Scenic Cruises
The list of owned by Scenic Tours ships includes:
- Scenic Aura (Irrawaddy River, Myanmar) Asia
- Scenic Amber (Rhine - Main - Danube) Europe
- Scenic Azure (Douro River, Portugal) Europe
- Scenic Crystal (Rhine - Main - Danube) Europe
- Scenic Diamond (Garonne River from Bordeaux, France)
- Scenic Emerald (Rhine - Main - Danube) Europe
- Scenic Gem (Seine River from Paris, France)
- Scenic Jade (Rhine - Main - Danube) Europe
- Scenic Jasper (Rhine - Main - Danube) Europe
- Scenic Jewel (Rhine - Main - Danube) Europe
- Scenic Opal (Rhine - Main - Danube) Europe
- Scenic Pearl (Rhine - Main - Danube) Europe
- Scenic Ruby (Rhine - Main - Danube) Europe
- Scenic Sapphire (Saone - Rhone rivers from Chalon and Tarascon, France)
- Scenic Spirit (Mekong River, Vietnam and Cambodia) Asia
- Scenic Tsar (Volga River, Russia) chartered, original vessel's name is MS Alexander Grin.
- Scenic Eclipse (2018 mega-yacht) operates on polar expedition cruises to Antarctica and also in Europe (Mediterranean Sea)
Scenic cruise tracker
Our Scenic cruise ship tracker is a function integrated into all Scenic river cruise review pages. At page-bottom in each page you'll find a map with the boat's current location (AIS position). All the real-time tracking data is provided by VesselFinder. It's all about convenience - you will find where is your Scenic ship cruising today and right now along its current itinerary - in realtime!
Enjoy the "affordable luxury" river cruising on your Scenic Tours vacations!
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