Another river line expands in Europe

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Add Scenic Cruises to the list of river lines expanding rapidly in Europe.

The Australia-based company in April officially launched its seventh ship on the Continent after rebuilding five of the six older vessels it has in the region over the winter.

(Photo: Riccardo Spila/SIME)

Like the earlier ships, the new Scenic Jewel features signature “sun lounges” in most cabins. The full-size walk-out balconies convert into all-weather sealed lounges with the push of a button. Another notable feature of the vessel is its array of five dining options, including an Italian restaurant and 24-hour room service. Many river ships in Europe have just two or three dining options.

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Still relatively unknown in the USA, Scenic is marketing its cruises as more luxurious and more all-inclusive than others offered on Europe’s rivers. The company notes that every cabin on the Scenic Jewel comes with private butler service, and fares include unlimited complimentary beverages all day long, not just at lunch and dinner as on some lines. In addition, gratuities are included in fares as well as shore tours and airport transfers.

As on other Scenic ships, the cabins on the new Scenic Jewel feature bathrooms with large walk-in showers, and some suites even have bathtubs. Beds in cabins are topped with Egyptian linens. The line says its vessels also are unduly quiet due to unusual, double-insulated enclosures and a new configuration for engines and propellers.

Scenic already is planning another new ship for Europe, the Scenic Gem, to arrive in 2014.

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