2015 Brochure Details Exclusive Offerings At All-Inclusive, Value-Focused Fares
The 2014 river cruising season is well under way, and Scenic Cruises has seen a busy one. In fact, due to Scenic’s strong itineraries, exclusive amenities and excursions and all-inclusive pricing, 2014 cruises are nearly sold out.
However, travellers looking to book for the 2015 season are in luck, as Scenic Cruises has launched its new, 144-page colour 2015 brochure, detailing all of its truly all-inclusive offerings – including new France itineraries – and accompanying new excursions, such as a private soiree in a majestic Médoc Château.
Two new ships – Scenic Opal and Scenic Jasper – will usher in the next generation of ‘Space-Ships’ when they join Scenic’s fleet next year. These third-generation ships will carry on Scenic’s tradition of excellent amenities, as well as a new split pool concept on the sun deck: a vitality pool for those wishing a relaxing spell in warm water, plus one equipped with a water stream so it is easy to swim laps while staying in place. Other new features include a redesign of the Panoramic Lounge and extension of the deluxe Portobello Restaurant – providing the ability to enclose the area during inclement weather by use of a special moving glass wall of windows.
Other impressive highlights include:
- 85 per cent of cabins and suites boast the Scenic ‘Sun Lounges’, large private walk-out balconies that convert into all-weather lounges with just the push of a button;
- Cabin amenities include large walk-in showers, Egyptian linens, and a 32-inch Samsung HD TV linked to a Mac mini computer with complimentary internet access; and
- Electric-assist bicycles.
Scenic has responded to the rapid growth in French river cruising with this year’s launch of the Seine-dedicated ship, Scenic Gem. In 2015, Scenic will be the only river cruise line to sail the four major waterways of France, with four new French itineraries.
The 12-day Bordeaux River Cruise takes in the region’s rich culture – its 18th-century merchant mansions, Gothic churches, historic Quarter Saint-Pierre and, of course, France’s largest controlled wine region with its Médoc, Saint-Ėmilion and Graves varieties. The cruise is preceded by a night in Paris. The 17-day version adds two more nights in Paris and three nights in the Basque coastal resort town of San Sebastion. A 21-day version combines 2014’s new Seine itinerary with the Bordeaux sailing, while the 26-day Iconic Southern France itinerary traverses from Paris to Bordeaux and Carcassonne and a wide range of highlights in between.
Other new sailings include a 16-day Vienna to the Danube Delta itinerary that traverses six countries. Ports include Vienna, Bucharest, Budapest, Belgrade, Tulcea, the spectacular narrow gorge known as the Iron Gate, and the Danube Delta. A new 21-day Jewels of Europe adventure adds three nights in both Prague and Berlin to a 15-day Amsterdam-to-Budapest river cruise.
Scenic Cruises also makes great use of the continent’s majestic rail journeys, offering them as inclusions on specific river itineraries: the Black Forest Steam Train takes guests on a 40-minute journey from Kandern to Haltigen through the scenic Kander Valley; the Great Continental Train takes in the gorgeous countryside vistas between Vienna and Bratislava; and on several of the French sailings, the use of the country’s TGV means high-speed, first-class connections between Paris and Amsterdam, Bordeaux or Dijon.
Another aspect that sets Scenic Cruises apart from other lines is its dedication to offering the unique. Scenic Enrich is the company’s exclusive-excursion program, allowing guests to take home memories that are not able to be duplicated by other cruise lines – and including them in the fare.
These include a private Viennese concert in Palais Lichtenstein, the home of the Princely Family, rulers of the principality of Liechtenstein; a day-in-the-life-experience in a German or Swiss village, in which guests interact with locals and participate in their daily life; a Chopin piano concert in Warsaw’s Manor House; a home-hosted lunch as a guest in a Vukovar family home to experience everyday life in Croatia; and the chance to step back in time on a private tour and Medieval banquet dinner at Marksburg Castle, a 12th-century hilltop castle overlooking the Rhine.
Scenic’s fully-inclusive policy includes such amenities as unlimited complimentary beverages, wines and spirits at any time; open bar service in the lounges; items in each cabin’s mini-bar; personal butler service in all cabin grades; the Scenic Riverview personal GPS commentary device, which acts like a personal tour guide for guests while on board the ship; all airport transfers; all meals at up to six dining venues; all gratuities; and free WiFi throughout the ship. On-shore experiences are made exceptional by the Scenic Tailormade GPS guided tour system and new for 2015 is the Scenic Sundowner event – a sundeck cocktail soiree, hosted on every cruise.