Jun 21, 2016

Staking a claim

After just over 20 years of exponential growth and success as luxury travel experts, Scenic Tours began a new chapter; one that would confirm Scenic’s place as one of the major innovators in the industry.

After chartering ships on the rivers of Europe, owner and founder, Glen Moroney decided to provide an even greater level of luxury and innovation for Scenic Tours guests’ by purpose-building his own river ships.

In July 2008 the first two exclusive Scenic Space-Ships for Europe were launched on the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers. Scenic Sapphire and Scenic Emerald challenged ship design conventions and were among the first to be built to 135 metres allowing for outdoor balconies, while also creating more space in the bar lounge area and including a second restaurant. The first two seasons were fully booked out.

I am very proud to say that we’re widely acknowledged as possessing the finest ships on Europe’s waterways, our fleet of Scenic Space-Ships are designed to provide the best in passenger comfort, boasting unrivalled space, luxurious amenities and plenty of Balcony Suites which feature full-size, private outdoor balconies adjoining the spacious internal cabins. We also offer a range of world-class dining and the option to enjoy private butler service. We were also the first river cruise ships in Europe owned and operated, one hundred percent by an Australian company,’ says Glen.

Over the next seven years the Space-Ship fleet continued to grow, with destinations expanding to include the Saône, Rhône, Seine and Bordeaux rivers in France and the Douro in Portugal, along with the first small ship in the fleet, Scenic Tsar which cruises the Volga and Svir Rivers in Russia.

With each new addition to the fleet, innovation has been key with cutting-edge technology, more communal areas, world-class dining spaces, vitality pools, gyms, sun decks and more included.

One of the most innovative inventions on the Space-Ships came about in 2012 with the launch of the sixth ship in the fleet, Scenic Crystal. This Space-Ship introduced guests to the Scenic Sun Lounge, which allowed them to enjoy private all-weather balconies at the touch of a button.

By 2013, there was eight ships on the rivers of Europe and in 2014, Scenic announced its expansion into South East Asia with the launch of Scenic Spirit on the mighty Mekong River and Scenic Aura on Myanmar’s Irrawaddy River. In 2017 one of the most exciting reinventions will occur with the introduction of Scenic Culinaire on the Saône, Rhône and Bordeaux rivers.

These rebuilt France river ships will feature their own on board private cooking schools. Dedicated spaces that include cooking stations, a cheese and wine cellar and live cameras and screens to ensure guests don’t miss a second of the expert’s instructions,’ says Aleisha Fittler, General Manager of Journey Design.

Innovation, determination and a passion for creating the very best river cruise experience on Earth, Scenic has shown in a very short time that it is a leader when it comes to ship-building for tourism. Something that stands Scenic in very good stead as it moves towards yet another chapter in its 30 year history with the creation of Scenic Eclipse, the World’s First Discovery Yacht.