For the 2017 river cruise season Scenic is redesigning its France-based Space-Ships, reducing the guest count to 155, enlarging the cabins and public areas, and adding a private cooking emporium.
Additionally, the line will add two new 510 square foot Royal Owners Suites, larger wellness centers and a vitally pool, in addition to adding new Freechoice activities and Scenic Enrich experiences. The ships are the Scenic Diamond, sailing the rivers of Bordeaux, and the Scenic Sapphire, which cruises the Rhône and Saône in the south of France.
The new cooking emporium, Scenic Culinaire, is a dedicated space offering courses in the culinary traditions of the Rhône, Saône and Bordeaux regions. The school will have cooking stations and a cheese and wine cellar as well as real-time cameras and screens to ensure each participant can see every cooking move in detail. Fresh ingredients will be sourced from local markets and the cooking instructors will introduce guests to regional recipes based on the itinerary. Sessions are scheduled throughout the cruise, but with class size limits, guests are encouraged to register early. Classes are included in the price of the sailing.
New Scenic Enrich experiences include Scenic Rouge - performed under a big-top in Lyon where guests will enjoy a traditional French cabaret performance including the famous can-can, and an exclusive four-course dining experience with matched vintages at the Mumm Champagne house in Riems. New Scenic Freechoice activities include a Tournon vineyard hike and wine tasting, and for the more active, three new cycling options in Caudebec, Arnhem and Bordeaux.
Each itinerary in France has been designed to connect regions by air, rail or road. The Seine and Bordeaux and Seine and Rhône have been the most popular combination cruises while the new 10-day Douro river cruise combines with French itineraries.
Other onboard amenities range from private butler service and unlimited complimentary beverages and spirits including mini-bar re-stocked daily, to full-size private balcony staterooms – all making use of Scenic’s Sun Lounge technology, where the walkout open-air balcony can convert to an all-weather lounge with a push of a button. Guests can also use the included Scenic Tailormade handheld GPS guided tour system.
On board cuisine allows for up to six dining options, including the tradition of dégustation at Table La Rive, fine dining at L’Amour and the more casual fare at the River Café. Tips and gratuities, local guides, all Scenic Freechoice activities, Scenic Enrich events, transfers, all meals and more are all included in the cruise fare.
This story originally appeared on www.travelagentcentral.com.