In the travel industry right now, there’s a push to see how many people airlines can fit onto an airplane. By reducing leg room, airlines can cram another few rows of seats onto the airplane and, in turn, make more profit.
Australia-based tour and river cruise operator Scenic is taking the opposite approach by giving people more room. The company has just announced it will be redesigning its Scenic Space Ships based in France in time for the 2017 river cruise season, decreasing the overall passenger count from an already-low 167 to 155 guests. The line will also remove the excess staterooms (six in all) in order to create two new 510-square foot Royal Owner’s Suites, add larger Wellness Centers, a Vitality Pool, and a private cooking demonstration space where guests can take part in cooking classes.
Scenic’s refit of Scenic Diamond and Scenic Sapphire coincides with the new Scenic Culinaire program that features an onboard cooking school that will use a new dedicated space in order to offer immersive courses that highlight the culinary delights of France’s Rhône, Saône and Bordeaux regions. Using fresh ingredients sourced from local markets, guests will be able to make regional recipes that will be itinerary-specific, all under the guidance of experienced chefs. Scenic’s new Culinaire space will have dedicated cooking stations, a cheese and wine cellar, and cameras linked to video screens to provide detailed instruction to participants.
Although class sizes are limited, Scenic is reportedly planning to schedule ample sessions to ensure all interested guests are able to participate. As with all of Scenic’s other programs, Scenic Culinaire will be provided free of charge.
Scenic is also adding new Scenic Enrich experiences on its France itineraries, including Scenic Rouge – a new on-shore spectacle in Lyon performed under a big-top tent that features a traditional French cabaret experience.
Also on tap: a Tournon vineyard hike and wine tasting and three new cycling options in Caudebec, Arnhem and Bordeaux. Guests calling on Riems will also be treated to a four-course dining experience ashore at the acclaimed Mumm Champagne House.
The amenities found aboard Scenic Diamond and Scenic Sapphire won’t be changing. Guests will still be treated to butler service across the board; unlimited complimentary beverages and spirits; and complimentary on-shore options like Scenic FreeChoice excursions and Scenic Tailormade, an interactive system that provides GPS-enabled commentary throughout most major cities in Europe, making it perfect for independent touring.
In addition to the company’s itineraries in Europe, Scenic also offers luxury, all-inclusive river cruise voyages along Russia’s Volga River; Myanmar (Burma)’s Irrawaddy; and the mighty Mekong that flows through Cambodia and Vietnam.