Launched in 2014 in Northern France, the 128-passenger Scenic Gem has all of Scenic’s signature haute amenities, from butler service to six onboard eateries ranging from casual to an exclusive chef’s table. It's also among the largest ships cruising the Seine, but still small enough to navigate hard-to-reach ports tucked away deep in the French countryside.
What We Love
Fine French Dining: Don’t expect standard buffet fare here. While all the cuisine is top-notch, the formal L’Amour restaurant is the pièce de résistance with a five-course French meal — plus wine pairings — that every guest can book at least once while on board.
Best Known For
Spacious Cabins: Despite the fact that Scenic Gem has a capacity of only 128 passengers, its cabins — which range from 160 to 455 square feet — are much more roomy than what you would expect from a ship of this size.
Tons of Amenities: Expect the same style and services as Scenic’s signature Space-Ships, just in a more compact version.
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Who It's Best For
Francophiles Who Aren’t First-Timers: While Scenic Gem’s cruises start in Paris, the highlights aren’t landmarks like the Eiffel Tower. Instead, they're really the hidden gems in French villages, where you’ll taste regional wine or watch local musicians from the comfort of a château.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
You'll Need to Book Far In Advance: With only 64 cabins, these cruises are guaranteed to sell out fast, especially the balcony suites on the top two decks. Aim to book at least six months before your intended departure.
Lane Nieset is a Miami-based contributor to ShermansCruise who also writes for Ocean Drive, Frommer’s, and Paste.