The popularity of river cruising has rocketed in recent years, with different companies promising what they believe to be the best ships and itineraries on the rivers of Europe. With so many different options, why should you choose Scenic? There are innumerable reasons why we stand out from the crowd, from our truly all-inclusive luxury Space-Ships, to our carefully hand-crafted itineraries which enable you to see the hidden gems of Europe inaccessible to the average traveller. Nobody knows what makes Scenic the best choice more than those who have travelled with us, and this includes our staff; to ensure that when you book with Scenic, you’re speaking to genuine river cruise experts, we send all of our team members to experience our ships and itineraries first-hand.
On Monday 9 May 2016, Scenic Jasper welcomed her newest guests on board for a 15 day cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam, aptly named Jewels of Europe; four members of our team joined them for five days to allow them to experience what makes Scenic Jasper truly magical. Laura from our digital team documented her experience. Here, she takes us on a tour of the ship, before detailing her experience taking part in the first five days of the cruise itinerary, which you can read here.
AN INTRODUCTION TO SCENIC JASPER
Scenic Jasper first launched in April 2015 and, along with her sister ships Amber and Opal, represents the next generation of Scenic’s fleet of luxury Space-Ships. Carrying 169 guests in 72 suites and 13 staterooms, the vessel boasts two full decks of Balcony Suites, and the largest Panorama Suites on the waterways of Europe.
Every aspect of a cruise on board Scenic Jasper has been designed to enhance the 5 star experience of our guests. From the moment you step on board, you will be spoilt for choice; from the welcoming public areas including a lounge bar; six dining venues; rejuvenating wellness centre; and spacious Sun Deck; to the large, luxury suites, there are many different ways to relax and enjoy the tranquil waterways. Designed with exceptional attention to detail and modernity by Karen Moroney, Scenic's General Manager and the wife of Scenic founder Glen, the ship truly redefines luxury river cruising. All of this information I knew before embarking from our in depth training and brochures, but nothing compares to seeing the vessel in person.
The first thing I noticed upon arrival is her size; many people worry that a river cruise ship will be small and cramped due to sailing on rivers rather than oceans, but these concerns are unfounded. Scenic Jasper is 135 metres in length, and boasts suites ranging in size from 205-475ft2. There are four decks, each host to a number of different facilities.
The Diamond Deck is home to the ship’s reception, the Panorama Lounge and Bar, the River Cafe, and the largest and most opulent suites.
The Panorama Lounge and Bar is the social hub of the ship, perfect for making friends with fellow passengers whilst watching the beautiful scenery go by through the floor-to-ceiling windows. The Cruise Director delivers his daily port talk and any other addresses in the lounge, and the resident pianist, Nina, graces the room with the musical talents of Mozart and Strauss throughout the day. On certain evenings live entertainment is held in the bar, and you can sit back and watch whilst enjoying a complimentary drink, served by the ship's friendly waiting staff. Click here for a conversation with the Cruise Director.
THE RIVER CAFÉ
The River Café is open all day; if you’re an early riser, you can enjoy a light breakfast in the peace and quiet of the morning. Or if you’re just looking for something sweet to snack on during the day, you can sample one of the delicious cakes, and tuck in from the comfort of the Riverview Terrace.
In the evening, an Italian themed restaurant seating just 30 guests at a time opens at the front of the ship. Every guest on board is invited to enjoy the five-course fine-dining experience at least once, and the intimate, relaxed atmosphere creates a very special evening to remember - you'll find out more about my Portobellos experience later.
On the other side of the lobby is a long, beautifully decorated corridor leading to the ship’s first deck of Balcony Suites, including the Royal Panorama; Royal Balcony; Junior Balcony; and Deluxe Balcony suites. Suite PD312, a Deluxe Balcony Suite, is my home for the next four days.
Our Deluxe Balcony Suite measures 225ft2, and features a number of impressive amenities which promise to make staying here extra special. The queen size Scenic ‘Slumber Bed’ comes with plush Egyptian cotton linen and a pillow menu. The double wardrobe harbours more than enough space for a holiday’s worth of clothes, and in here I find useful features such as umbrellas, hiking aids, and laundry bags. There is also a safe for valuables, and a complimentary mini-bar, which is restocked daily.
The spacious bathroom features plenty of storage space, and a large, walk in shower with different water pressure features and a colour changing light - this really jazzes things up whilst I'm getting ready for the day.
My favourite feature of our suite however, has to be the balcony. The unique Scenic Sun-Lounge system turns the balcony into a space to enjoy the panoramic views no matter the weather, at just the touch of a button.
The main dining restaurant, Crystal Dining, can be found on the Sapphire Deck, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The open seating plan, with tables seating from two to eight guests, means you can choose to enjoy your meal privately or as part of a group. Enjoy a buffet breakfast and lunch, and in the evening choose from a menu of delicious, locally sourced dishes, accompanied by regional wines. If none of these take your fancy, you can choose a dish from the a la carte menu.
TABLE LA RIVE
Table La Rive is a six-course degustation menu with paired wines, chosen by Scenic’s very own sommeliers. This experience is reserved exclusively for those staying on the Diamond Deck and Junior Suites, and is by invitation only.
The Jewel Deck is home to the ship’s 13 staterooms. Though these cabins come with a picture window in place of a balcony, they are still extremely spacious and come with the same all-inclusive, luxury features as the Balcony Suites.
The ship's wellness centre can also be found on this deck, including a spa, hair salon, and a state-of-the-art gym. It is the perfect place to come to work out, or to be truly pampered, with services including massages and skin care treatments.
The top of the ship features a spacious Sun Deck, which includes ample all-weather seating areas, a walking track for those who wish to keep active, and a vitality pool. During the day, you can take advantage of our large number of deck chairs and enjoy the sunshine and the stunning scenery passing by. On selected evenings, you can enjoy a special barbecue, and enjoy a relaxed evening socialising with new friends with a drink in hand.
Scenic Jasper sails the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers. Click here for an account of five days on board.
To find out more about our Jewels of Europe cruise, click the button below.