Scenic has a new vice president of sales and marketing for the U.S. market. Joni Rein’s mandate? To create product awareness for Scenic and its sister brand Emerald Waterways.
Her efforts will be aimed at the trade (that is, cruise sellers and travel agents). However, consumers ultimately will benefit as Scenic and Emerald begin to reveal their key points of differentiation among a growing roster of river cruise companies. “We have tremendous growth plans for North America,” Rein says. “The river cruise industry is still in its infancy. We as suppliers owe it to our travel agent partners to differentiate ourselves, and that is in larger part why I am here.”
She’s been in the driver’s seat for fewer than 60 days, but already she’s identified some of the hallmarks that set Scenic apart. “Six dining venues for a relatively small ship,” she says. “We have probably the industry’s highest dining-venue-to-guest ratio. You won’t find that ratio anywhere, at any land resort or six-star hotel. So there’s nothing that we can compare ourselves too. That’s part of the struggle [in telling the Scenic story]. How do we find that sweet spot?”
Rein cruised on Scenic Amber last month and was impressed with what she saw. “It was such an elegant journey,”she says. “I had my Tailormade (Scenic’s proprietary GPS guide), sipping a cappuccino on an easy-breezy journey through countryside. I’m used to the hustle and bustle of blue water ocean cruising. I enjoyed the tempo on the river.”
She was surprised by the number of guests who participated in the bike tours. Scenic and Emerald both carry bicycles that guests are free to use on independent or guided tours. “I had in my mind that it would be an older demographic, but that wasn’t what I was experiencing,” she says. “The level of physical fitness was robust. These are people who are living a very full and rich life.”
Also impressive to Rein was the stateroom amenities, including beautiful linens and duvets – and of course, the balcony, known as the Sun Lounge. See my story Scenic Jasper, Day 2: The Sun Lounge
It’s challenging to communicate the points of differentiation among all the players in the river cruise marketplace. River Cruise Advisor has attempted to do such in our posts, Comparing River Cruise Companies, which identifies how river cruise companies are differentiated when it comes to what’s included and what’s not, and in River Cruise Reviews, where we attempt to categorize river cruise companies.
Rein joins Scenic at a time when the company is breaking new ground, including the line’s recent expansion into Southeast Asia on the river cruise side and its preparation for the launch of its first ultra-luxury Discovery Yacht, Scenic Eclipse, in 2018.
Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours is the parent company of Scenic and Emerald Waterways. The combined fleet of 23 ships (2017) operate in Europe, Russia and Southeast Asia. Additional information on Scenic and Emerald Waterways can be obtained in the US at www.scenicusa.com and www.emeraldwaterways.com. Brochures can also be downloaded directly from the websites.
Also see, Scenic Amber review.