Interview with Victoria, Scenic Specialist

Unlike other cruise brands, our luxury all-inclusive service extends far beyond food and drink. Guests travelling aboard our Scenic Space-Ships can expect the very highest level of inclusions during their tour — from a 24/7 butler service to Tailormade GPS guided touring devices.

Perhaps one of the greatest advantages of travelling with Scenic, however, is inclusive access to our Freechoice programme. Included in the price of every one of our river cruises is the opportunity to tailor your shore days with a selection of exciting activities and excursions, all of which are provided at no additional cost. 

To further highlight the advantages and benefits of the Scenic Freechoice programme, we spoke to Victoria, a specialist here at Scenic. Victoria’s job entails designing and creating our range of luxury river cruise itineraries, as well as sourcing the activities included in the Freechoice programme. 

To find out more about Scenic Freechoice, read the full interview below. 

What is the Freechoice programme, and how does it differ from optional excursion packages offered by other tour operators? 

Our Freechoice programme offers Guests free reign to personalise their days by choosing something that suits. Freechoice offers a wide range of sightseeing, activities and dining options and they are all included in the overall price. 

What kind of sightseeing excursions and activities are included as part of the Freechoice programme, and how easy is it for passengers to choose the option that’s right for them?

Once guests book, they get access to the ‘Trip Personaliser’.

From here, they are able to pre-book a selection of Freechoice options, mainly the ones that they want to do on the first few days. For the rest of them, they will choose once they are on board. 

Guests get the option to visit Vienna’s Spanish Riding School, a trip to Salzburg to the setting of ‘Sound of Music’, a full day excursion to Cesky Krumlov — and these are to name but a few. We also offer guided walking tours, bike rides, visits to UNESCO listed heritage-sites, shopping with the chef, wine tasting & much more.

In the Freechoice Directory, the description of each activity is preceded by three rating bars. What does this represent, and how might it help passengers choose a Freechoice excursion?

The rating bars allow Guests to choose an excursion that is equal to their own pace. 

We have three options:

•    Active: For Guests who are keen to explore further afield or for a longer excursion
•    Moderate: This is a more comfortable walking pace where Guests can discover cities on our walking tours
•    Relaxed: a more slower pace where Guests can take in museums, castles, thermal baths or even a canal cruise

This way, guests can choose a Freechoice excursion that best suits their requirements and interests. 


What would you say are your three favourite excursions in the Freechoice Directory, and why?

Spanish Riding School: To see the Lippizzaner stallions perform their routine in their morning exercise was out of this world. They are stunning and move with such elegance & grace. 

Shopping with the Chef: Shopping at local food markets, getting to taste local specialities and learning how to cook them was fascinating. I have even tried to recreate some dishes since I returned and they have turned out better than expected.

Guided bike tour from Melk to Durnstein: This was a lovely way to spend an afternoon soaking in the fresh air and amazing scenery along the way. As the ship was sailing past us, the blue river and mountains made for a beautiful photo stop. This is a must to dust off the cobwebs and burn off the amazing food that we had enjoyed over the last few days. 

In your opinion, what do you think makes a great sightseeing activity or excursion?
I think having an expert guide who is very knowledgeable in the area, the history and who is clearly passionate about what they do.
What can Scenic passengers expect from their chosen Freechoice activity?

Guests can expect to spend their time seeing the sights they want to see at a pace that suits them. They will come away with a wealth of knowledge and information about the area and their chosen Freechoice.    

To explore the complete range of Freechoice activities, click here to view the Directory. Alternatively, if you’re interested in browsing our selection of upcoming luxury river cruises, visit the Scenic homepage or call us today on 0808 301 7701. 

Laura Barlow-Edwards
Laura Barlow-Edwards
Laura is Scenic's Digital Marketing Exec. She loves travel; her first river cruise was on the Danube, and she fell in love with Budapest at first sight. In her free time, Laura is usually reading, travel blogging, or planning her next adventure.