It’s an age-old dilemma that has constantly confounded river cruise lines: how to add the latest and greatest features found on their newest ships to their existing fleet.
For Scenic Tours, the issue was less problematic: The line spent $10 million to pull Scenic Sapphire, Scenic Diamond, Scenic Ruby, Scenic Pearl, and Scenic Crystal out of the water for a complete refit.
This wasn’t just a run-of-the-mill haul-out to scour the hulls and retool the machinery, either: All five vessels were entirely gutted except for their walls and ceilings. Public rooms and staterooms were extensively refitted, with each ship receiving two brand-new dining venues for casual and degustation dining.
Staterooms received new furniture and soft furnishings, including carpeting. Most also feature a concept Scenic pioneered known as the “Scenic Sun Lounge” – a combination indoor/outdoor balcony that features retractable windows that allows the balconies to become sealed off from the elements.
Each ship has also had its WiFi systems substantially upgraded.
What is particularly noteworthy about this refit is that these ships were virtually brand-new, and years away from needing a top-to-bottom refit. For Scenic, however, the question wasn’t about whether or not the ship’s needed a refit; the real goal was to bring the line’s first vessels in line with their latest-and-greatest, like the forthcoming Scenic Jewel that will enter service this April.
In addition, the line also completely renovated the Scenic Tsar before her entry into service along the waterways of Russia. So extensive was the refit that she is actually classified as a “new” river cruise ship.
For Scenic, ensuring the onboard experience is consistent throughout its fleet is money well spent.
More information on Scenic Tours and its fleet of river cruise ships can be found by reading our complete Company Overview here on River Cruise Advisor.