The Luxury Lover's Guide To Scenic's Small Ship Cruising

23 October 2016

Words by Tara Young.

If luxury cruising has always been a complete unknown for you but something you have always wanted to try, let us give you the complete overview of Scenic’s latest luxury offerings. Scenic offers a more intimate cruising experience and the chance to get closer to the heart of each destination compared to the much larger ocean cruisers. Their itineraries visit some of the world’s most secluded ports and include three expedition cruises, for those wanting to explore off the beaten track, to the Chilean Fjords, Norwegian Fjords and Alaska’s Inside Passage, and four luxury cruises to Central America and the Panama Canal, Dalmatia and Greece, Adriatic and Aegean and the Nordic and Scottish coasts. 

The spectacle of the Norwegian Fjords.

One of the key benefits of luxury cruising is that apart from personal item expenditure, everything is inclusive – from on-shore sight-seeing, to the use of e-bikes, hand GPS guides, meals, 24h drinks, local entertainment, airport transfers, and gratuities - you do not have to worry about that big charge at the end of the cruise. Scenic with its smaller ship fleet launched Scenic Tsar in 2014 to sail between Moscow and St Petersburg, and in earlier this year launched Scenic Azure on the very exciting Douro River in Portugal.  

Fjord rivers in comfort.

For luxury lovers these smaller ships allow you to get to enjoy some of the biggest and 5-star amenities of cruising – things like queen beds, flat screen TV with infotainment system, free Internet, luxurious ensuite, and Australian/European power points. One deck of suites comes with additional butler services. All of your entertainment and on-shore tours are sorted by the Cruise Director, plus there are two alternative dining options that offer delectable food, the best local wines - all to be savoured in conjunction with the fantastic views from the front of the ship.

Scenic's smaller ships can get you close to these spectacular natural wonders.

Each all-inclusive luxury cruise takes in the history and culture of remote towns and villages, with Zodiac excursions to see glaciers and wildlife or tenders onto deserted islands and hidden beaches. Itinerary highlights include: sailing ocean to ocean through the engineering marvel known as the Panama Canal on the 23-Day Central American Discovery; cruising from Venice to Athens along the Dalmatian Coast through the Corinth Canal and Greek Isles on the 15-Day Adriatic and Mediterranean Sojourn and Zodiac excursions in the Arctic Circle to watch the polar wildlife on the 19-Day Scandinavian Discovery and Norwegian Fjords Cruise.

Cruising is the best way to see the locals.

This year Scenic launched their 12th five-star ‘Space-ship’ for European rivers, with larger than average suites and full-size, private outdoor enclosable balconies. Taking advantage of this style of ship is the recent introduction to the European itineraries for Scenic of the Douro River cruise. Aboard the Scenic Azure, you are surrounded by the spectacular beauty of the Douro Valley - comprising four World Heritage-listed Sites - the Alta Douro, Historic Centre of Porto, the old card the city of Salamanca and the prehistoric rock art sites of the Côa Valley – the Scenic Azure will take you to timeless villages, terraced landscapes, family-run wine estates scattered among the steep hills, and through enchanting landscapes, rich cultures and give you the chance to sample the local the produce.

Small ship cruising the rivers of the Douro region.

New to Scenic for 2017 - Scenic Culinaire

France’s cuisine is world-famous and now on their 2017 Bordeaux and Rhône River Cruises, on the Scenic Culinaire, guests are able to participate in a series of on board cooking classes, taught by experts, featuring the finest in local ingredients and designed to immerse guests even further into the delights of French gastronomy.

The dedicated space will feature cooking stations, a cheese and wine cellar, fresh ingredients will be sourced from local markets and the cooking instructors will introduce guests to regional recipes based on the regions included on the itinerary.

New Enrich Experiences

Beyond your taste buds, Scenic is also about to titillate other senses with a number of exciting new Enrich experiences - inspired by the finest French cabaret traditions and featuring classics such as the can-can, there are a number of performances held under the big top, on the banks of the Rhône River in Lyon. An exclusive four course dining experience with matched vintages in at the acclaimed Mumm Champagne house in Riems, or for something completely different, the ‘Best of The Sound of Music and Salzburg Show’ set in the rolling hills of Salzburg.

St Petersburg, full of cultural events to attend during your stay.

So whether you are all about the food, wine, eye-popping spectacle, or incredible natural wonders, Scenic luxury small ship cruising will help you experience the truly spectacular.


`For more information on luxury cruising go to

Five Reasons to Book Your Luxury European Getaway Now and

Europe: Taking The Road Less Travelled


Images courtesy of Getty.

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