This Australian luxury cruise and tour operator was launched 30 years ago and has expanded to become one of the leading river cruise lines in Europe — and it's now also creeping across Asia's waters. All of Scenic's ships are company-owned and constantly renovated so they maintain a modern look that's luxurious without being too over-the-top.
What We Love
All-Inclusive Really Means All-Inclusive: Once you arrive, everything is taken care of, starting with your airport transfer. This means all meals, butler service, open bar with top-shelf liquor, in-room minibars, entertainment, excursions, and even gratuities are included in the fare.
Butler Service for All: Each floor has its own dedicated butler ready to help with any request, from restocking your minibar to packing your bags before you disembark.
Best Known For
Five-Star Luxury: These river vessels — which Scenic calls "Space-Ships" — are like high-end floating hotels, with amenities that include pillow menus, 24/7 room service, and a chef's table with a six-course tasting menu.
Top-Notch Excursions: Scenic began as a tour operator, so it's no surprise the tours aren't your typical shore excursions. All of the coaches and guides are part of the company, and you can choose from a selection of free daily excursions that range from active to slower-paced to suit all types of travelers.
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Who It's Best For
Energetic, Well-Traveled Retirees: While the ships skew slightly on the younger side of the typical river cruise demographic, the average age still hovers around 65 — but don't let that fool you. These baby boomers have traveled the globe a few times over and lead the pack on the more active excursions.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
These Cruises Are Expensive: But you get what you pay for. Once on board, you don't have to worry about whipping out your wallet for anything, unless you hit the spa.
Lane Nieset is a Miami-based contributor to ShermansCruise who also writes for Ocean Drive, Frommer’s, and Paste.