According to the latest Cruise Lines International Association stats, released last month, over one million Aussies took a cruise holiday in 2014. And with a population that’s projected to reach 24 million shortly (according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics)… well that’s just a huge proportion of cruise lovers. Although ocean cruises lead the way, river cruising numbers have surged by more than 60 percent! Enter Scenic, the only Australian-owned and Australian-operated river cruising company in Europe. In 2008 Scenic launched the trademark super plush Scenic Space-Ships and this year saw the two newest Space-Ship vessels join the ranks – Scenic Jasper and Scenic Opal.
It’s common knowledge that luxury river cruising comes with tasty regional food, local matched wines, beautiful ever-changing vistas and the comfort of only needing to unpack once (you read it over and over again but once you experience it you really get how convenient it is). With Scenic cruises all food, wine, tours and gratuities are included in the tour price. Here are five other cool things you should know about Scenic Jasper.
24-hour butler service
Every guest on board has a butler available 24/7. Yep – a butler – someone who tends to your needs all the time. Champagne at three in the morning? No problem. A cheese platter for breakfast? Sure. Two burgers with a side of fresh fruit? Nothing is too hard and the butlers on board Scenic Jasper are the kindest souls who always arrive quickly with whatever it is you asked for – and wearing a big smile.
Health nuts are not neglected
OK, we know that most guests who book a luxury cruise are probably not looking to get fit on board. That said, there are some people (it’s true) who don’t want to gorge unremittingly and like moving just a little. Scenic Jasper has it covered. For walkers there’s a track located on the top deck. The top deck is where the best views are at – so even non-walkers get into their daily strolls. And there are plenty of deck chairs up there too (and a heated pool) if relaxing is more your thing. For serious exercisers there’s a small gym with a few state-of-the-art cardio machines on the bottom level.
Food wise there are always healthy choices, but sometimes it’s hard to select just the good-for-you dishes when mouthwatering desserts call your name. Life is too short to only eat healthy food all the time, however if you need a break from the main dining area, the Vitality Corner (located near the bar) has a healthy cuisine assortment on offer breakfast and lunch-time. Think quinoa, vibrant salads, beautiful house-made dips and the like.
Big is best
All the Space-Ships are almost identical, however, at 135 metres in length, Scenic Jasper (along with Scenic Opal) is 22 percent longer than the other Space-Ships. What this means is more space – Scenic Jasper houses some of the largest luxury suites in the river cruising ether, the private balconies on the top two decks are bigger, and you can choose to sit on the balcony and take in the view or close it up with a flick of a switch. The ship took 16 months to design and build and the wait was definitely worth it.
The best Godmother
Australian author Kathy Lette christened Scenic Jasper at a special ceremony in Vienna in April. Now, Kathy is really cool cat and although she did all the expected stuff (emotive speech, posed for photos and so on) she also added her personal flair to the event… in the form of a unique figurehead donning a miniskirt. After the event Kathy continued on for the whole cruise along with a bunch of media and travel industry frontrunners. She was absolutely delightful to hang out with and her vivacity and style is a perfect match for the Scenic brand.
The finer details
How annoying are bosses that remind you to pay more attention to detail? Well, it’s these finer details that really make a brand stand out. When power points are located in appropriate spots, lunch packs are easily obtainable if you want to explore on your own, towels and pillows are super soft, wine is always served at the right temperature… well it’s easy to not even appreciate just how well everything flows (pun intended). We all moan about things going wrong, but everything is so right on Scenic Jasper that you are able to get right into the river cruising groove (read eat, sleep, gaze, explore and do it over and over again).
Scenic Jasper cruises the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers in Europe. For more information call 138 128 or go to scenic.com.au.
The writer traveled courtesy of Scenic.
All image credit: Scenic