Scenic Tours spends $100M to launch Europe river program

Scenic Tours said it has invested $100 million to create its own Scenic river fleet of four vessels by 2009. The inaugural sailing of its two first ships, the Scenic Sapphire and the Scenic Emerald, will take place in June.

The Sapphire and Emerald are scheduled for 10 departures each next year, and both will sail up and down the Rhine and Danube rivers between Amsterdam and Budapest, Hungary.

The 169-passenger, 443-foot-long sister ships will house 85 staterooms, of which four will be royal suites, six junior suites, 59 balcony suites and 15 standard rooms. All but the standard staterooms will feature full balconies. The ships will also have a sun deck, spa area and a fine-dining restaurant.

The 15-day itineraries range from $2,995 per person to $6,475 per person. Included in the price are airport transfers to and from the ship, all meals onboard, wine with dinner, gratuities, sightseeing excursions and entrance fees for activities specified on the itinerary.

By the end of 2008, Scenic plans to introduce an additional ship, the Scenic Diamond; a fourth, the Scenic Ruby, will be introduced in 2009.

The Vancouver-based tour operator has been running a charter river cruise program since 2005, but this will be its first company-owned river cruise endeavor.

To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to Michelle Baran at [email protected].

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