Scenic Tours managed to secure something of a coup when the Australian-based company successfully registered its “new” Scenic Tsar in Russia, becoming the first new build ship in the region in 25 years.
Originally named the ms Grin, the ship was stripped down to its frame to undergo extensive refits before launching Scenic’s new river cruises through Russia. Under Russian Maritime Authority rules, a ‘new build’ ship is classified as one that is at least 80 percent new, essentially classifying Scenic Tsar as a brand-new vessel.
Managing Director Glen Moroney said of the refit: “We chose to embark on a total gut and re-build of an existing ship. Scenic Tsar is a new style of ship and will take the experience of river cruising in Russia to a whole new level.”
Only the original steel hull, floors and ceiling from the original Grin remain. As Scenic Tsar, the ship now boasts an entirely new deck of staterooms along with a new lounge, restaurant, galley with brand new equipment, and a new fitness area.
All existing staterooms were gutted and totally refitted, along with all the ship’s electrical wiring, cabling, plumbing, air conditioning, generators, hull plating, and even new main engines and drive units.
The inspiration for Scenic Tsar’s new interiors and accommodations came from the success the line has had with its Scenic “Space Ships,” which have proven to be extremely popular for the line. Just 112 guests will be able to sail aboard Scenic Tsar, ensuring passenger comfort and personal space at all times.
Nearly every stateroom will have full-sized, private balconies along with satellite television, an in-room safe and mini-bar, and bottled water replenished daily. Complimentary Wi-Fi internet access is offered throughout the ship, and complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks are included with dinner. Unlike Scenic’s European-based ships, Scenic Tsar offers no butler service.
While Scenic Tours doesn’t own the Scenic Tsar outright, the company financed the refit and has chartered the ship for five years. She officially entered service last month and will operate the line’s 15-day Imperial Jewels of Russia itinerary, sailing from St. Petersburg to Moscow.
More information on Scenic Tours can be found by visiting our detailed Scenic Tours company overview and fleet profiles right here on River Cruise Advisor. A ship profile for the new Scenic Tsar is currently in development.