In 2015, I spent six nights on Scenic Jasper, sailing from Budapest to Vienna. What I learned was that Scenic serves up a quality experience at a high level. The Australia-based company may already represent the most-inclusive river cruise company in the marketplace, though Scenic must contend with the likes of Crystal, Tauck and Uniworld.
In addition to a long list of inclusives, Scenic bundles in all gratuities, even those for guides ashore. Scenic isn’t skimping on the inclusives either. Champagne is poured, not sparkling (except Prosecco in the alternative dining venue, Portobello), top shelf spirits are included, single malts, for example. You can belly up to the bar for a bottled European beer or a draft, at no extra charge. About the only thing you can dig into your wallet for is a massage.
There are five dining venues on Scenic Jasper if you include room service, something rare on river cruisers. The company’s FreeChoice program offers guests a wide-range of excursions, all free of charge. And Scenic’s electric-assist bikes are arguably the best in the business. Yep, I like this company. Will next week’s cruise on Scenic Diamond measure up to my past experience on Scenic Jasper, or will it disappoint?
An avid traveler and an award-winning journalist, Ralph Grizzle produces articles, video and photos that are inspiring and informative, personal and passionate. A journalism graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ralph has specialized in travel writing for more than two decades. To read more cruise and port reviews by Ralph Grizzle, visit his website at www.avidcruiser.com.