Scenic Cruises Adds to Its 2014 Roster of Luxury River Sailings – Five New Itineraries, Two New Ships, New Excursions and a New Loyalty Program



“The Ultimate Luxury Experience” is more than a tagline to Scenic Cruises. It encompasses Scenic’s unwavering commitment to each guest: a fully-inclusive experience where the only extra costs are for spa services and personal items such as gifts; the highest level of luxury that includes personal butler service for every guest, multiple five-star dining choices, and cabins and suites that offer walk-in showers, walk-out balconies – even pillow menus; and experiential opportunities that are geared to exceed guest expectations – from private ballet, opera and classical music performances in historic palaces and castles to artisan classes and home-hosted meals. This attention to detail and the guest experience is clearly highlighted in the company’s new Europe 2014 Luxury River Cruise Brochure – 144 color pages filled with detailed information on the company’s European and Russian itineraries, amenities, excursions, new loyalty program, ‘Space-Ships’ and philosophy.

The brochure also highlights Scenic’s “Tailormade” system – the company’s exclusive personal handheld GPS unit that includes full audio and mapping during independent touring ashore on foot or by bicycle. Scenic Cruises is also offering a host of savings possibilities for those guests who plan ahead and book early, ranging from savings of up to $2,000 per couple to free flights to Europe (deadlines for these savings vary). The new brochure is available in hard copy, which includes a DVD that allows for a more visual experience, or in downloadable format at www.sceniccruises.com.

Scenic Cruises has quickly become a leader in the luxury river cruise industry and remains so as it develops new programs, new luxury ships and amenities, and continues to foster a true all-inclusive culture. With ‘Space-Ships’ number eight and nine, the Scenic Jade and Scenic Gem, slated to launch in 2014, Scenic will have the newest fleet on the rivers, with no ship older than six years – and every one of those “older” ships was rebuilt in 2013. Scenic has lead with industry-firsts in many areas: first to offer full-size walk-out balconies on their ‘Space-Ships’ – all which convert to a fully enclosed, all-weather ‘Space-Lounge’ with the touch of button; first to offer butler service to all its guests; first with the most dining options of any European river cruise ship; first with all drinks all the time, including daily replenishment of the cabin’s minibars; first with multiple exclusive events and excursions on every itinerary; and first to offer exclusively built electric-assist bicycles that truly make for a fun adventure.

Dining aboard the Scenic ‘Space-Ships’ has also taken on a whole new flavor – with more options than any other river cruise company. The Italian-based Portobello Restaurant offers five-star, five-course meals in an intimate and scenic private forward area of the ships; while Table La Rive, reserved for guests of the Danube deck, is a chef’s degustation table for 10, that matches six courses with premium wines, all chosen by the head chef. The Crystal Dining Room offers multiple menu choices accompanied by high-end wines selected by the company’s sommelier; and for guests wishing either a quiet night to themselves on their balcony or breakfast in bed, room service is available 24 hours a day. In addition, light fare can be enjoyed anytime during the day at the River Café, with its assortment of tempting breakfast foods, sandwiches, soups, burgers, fish, custom pizzas, and incredibly delicious pastries and gelatos. And on select days, the Sun Deck turns into an open-air barbecue experience, allowing guests to enjoy the river’s warm breezes as conversations flow like the wines.

New European itineraries for 2014 include the 19-day Treasures of Europe between Budapest and Amsterdam, with stops in Bratslavia, Bamberg, Wertheim, Hoorn and Volendam as well as Vienna, where guests enjoy a glass of Austrian Sekt at Palais Liechtenstein followed by a private Viennese concert. Ultimate Holland & Belgium is an 11-day roundtrip from Amsterdam that offers a true in-depth exploration of these two neighbors – taking in Antwerp, Bruges, Veere, Arnhem and Hoorn, where local residents act as proud tour guides as they showcase the town’s historical sights and then open their doors to share local dishes at dinners that can only be described as heartwarming and educational. The 17- or 20-day Munich & Passau to the Danube sailing is a real off-the-beaten-path itinerary, with towns such as Kalocsa, Mohacs, Pecs, Osijek, Velko Tarnovo and Romania’s Tulcea portraying just a small part of the depth of this adventure. A classical concert at the Gödöllõ Royal Palace and sailing along the UNESCO Danube Delta with its abundance of wildlife and scenery are among many offerings that enrich the vacation.

France has taken on it own exclusivity with Scenic Cruises and the new Scenic Gem, dedicated to France’s Seine River. With the same space ratio as the other ‘Space-Ships’ but for just 126 guests, the Scenic Gem will be the most spacious ship on the Seine – and because of its special design, the only one that can sail directly into Honfleur on the coast of the English Channel. Two new French itineraries that encompass this route are the 11-day Gems of the Seine River and the 23-day Gems of the Seine & South of France River Cruise. The Seine portion is the same on both itineraries – with stops in Les Andelys, Rouen, Caudebec-en-Caux, Vernon and Conflans – while the South of France addition allows guests to extend their stay aboard the company’s other France-dedicated ship, the Scenic Emerald. Ports on this second portion include Tournon, Avignon and Nice, an array of excursions and an exclusive experience at the prestigious Palais-des-Papes.

The Scenic Tsar brings Scenic Cruises’ high standard of guest experience and luxury service to the Russian rivers. Guests aboard Russia’s most deluxe river ship head off on a fascinating 15-day journey along the fabled Volga River. Many of the country’s best sites between St. Petersburg and Moscow are highlighted: St. Petersburg; the museum village of Mandrogi; Yaroslavl, founded in 1010; one of Russia’s most ancient sites — Kizhi Island; the medieval village of Goritsy, with its 600-year-old monastery; Uglich, which dates back to the 10th century; and Moscow, with tours of the Kremlin, the KGB building, Red Square, and the State Armory.

The Scenic Club Loyalty Program is being introduced to the US market in 2014. The program offers different levels of membership, with guests reaping rewards after their first trip, earning the ScenicClub Gold status. Member-only savings, $100 discounts and a dedicated help desk are some of the perks. The Platinum level adds free limousine transfers before and after the trip and complimentary pre-or post nights (and more), and the Diamond level – Scenic’s highest – includes wonderful gifts choices and Diamond-level member events.

Information source: Scenic Cruises

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