Set sail on a luxurious cruise on the Scenic Jade and you will be able to enjoy the seemingly endless rivers that flow between Amsterdam and Budapest. Weave through medieval towns and stunning landscapes, while appreciating all of the top quality amenities that can be found aboard this innovative ‘Space-Ship’. Built in 2014, the Scenic Jade is one of the most recent additions to Scenic’s ‘luxury river cruising’ fleet of ‘Space-Ship’ vessels, and with a philosophy that ensures life onboard is relaxed, enriching and ultra all-inclusive, you can see why passengers continue to return for more.
Sharing a similar layout and specifications with its two sisters – the Scenic Jewel and Scenic Crystal –the Scenic Jade is one of the finest vessels to sail Europe’s waterways. Its spacious interiors, the reason for the ‘Space-Ship’ name, just add to its appeal.
The ship runs with a maximum capacity of 169 passengers, and its itineraries are marketed towards English-speaking countries – namely Australia, the UK, Canada and the USA. Most passengers are over the age of 50, are well-travelled, well-educated and affluent, although Scenic Space-Ships also appeal to younger cruisers too.
Guests can enjoy a high staff to passenger ratio of approximately 3 to 1, which means service is relaxed, friendly and personal. You’ll benefit from an inclusive price too, with gratuities, shore excursions, meals and drinks (unlimited!), and airport transfers included in the price you pay on booking. This means that guests can relax without the need to worry about how much the bill will be!
The Scenic Jade offers the main Crystal Dining room, where most of the breakfast, lunch and dinner options are served. Buffet service is available for breakfast (complete with omelette station) and lunch every day, with evening service dishing up a la carte fare. Open seating means guests can sit where they like – there are no assigned seats in this dining room at all. Themed service, such as a Bavarian lunch, does occur occasionally, depending on what region you are sailing through.
If you do fancy something a little different, there are several other venues onboard for guests to try. The River Café, with terrace area, is available if you are an early or late riser, or if you wish to enjoy something a little lighter for lunch, a snack or an ice-cream. Portobellos serves Italian cuisine, but reservations are recommended as it only seats around 30. You may also find occasional Teppanyaki barbecue lunches on the top deck (weather permitting). Finally, there is the gourmet and indulgent Table La Rive, which serves 10 diners a six-course fine dining experience, with perfectly paired wines. Bookings are essential.
Complimentary wine, beers and soft drinks are available throughout the day – not just during dinner. This is all part of Scenic’s ‘ultra all inclusive’ ethos. Complimentary champagne is even supplied at breakfast! There is a coffee machine in Scenic Jade’s Panorama Lounge, where guests can help themselves to hot beverages throughout the day. Plus, 24hour room service for when a lazy morning or midnight feast is in order.
Guests follow a casual dress code for the majority of the voyage, with most passengers wearing ‘resort casual’ attire at dinner, but with the option to dress a little more formally. The only exceptions to this rule are the five-course fixed-menu dinners in Portobellos and the six-course gourmet experience at the Table La Rive (especially the latter).
Other extra special Scenic touches include Seafood galas evenings in the Crystal restaurant, a late night menu for night owls and the picnic hampers that you can choose to take ashore for lunch while out and about.
Most entertainment onboard the Scenic Jade takes place in the Panorama Lounge, where guests can enjoy a drink or two as part of the afternoon cocktail hour, or a digestif after dinner with the relaxing sounds of a musician in the background. Depending on the itinerary and port, local acts pop onboard to perform regional music and dancing, and a variety show hosted by crew members isn’t uncommon. However, for the most part, entertainment is low-key and unassuming.
As with other members of the Scenic fleet, Jade offers some exciting exclusive shore excursions that will be unforgettable experiences, as part of the Enrich programme. The Cruise Director gives a daily presentation on the next day’s excursions, so everyone knows what to look forward to. From private hour-long concerts performed by the Vienna Imperial Orchestra to guided tours of castles, palaces and museums, passengers can enjoy historic, artistic and cultural elements of every port.
There is also the Freechoice programme which divides excursions into Active, Moderate or Relaxed pace, so you can take your tour at a speed that suits you.
All guests also have use of Scenic’s Tailormade technology, which is a GPS device that can be used as part of an expertly guided tour, or for independent exploration of 18 port calls. The device is equipped with a map and narratives, and an earpiece so that you can follow themed routes.
Back onboard, the Sun Deck is a great place in which to relax and enjoy the views, with plenty of tables, chairs and giant patio umbrellas available. Passengers also have the use of non-motorised and electric-powered bicycles and Nordic walking sticks, and there’s a walking track on deck for anyone who enjoys a leisurely stroll.
There are 85 cabins onboard, and approximately 85% of these boast floor-to-ceiling glass windows which can transform into open-air balconies. These Scenic ‘Sun-Lounges’ offer a wonderful way of appreciating the stunning landscapes from the comfort of your suite.
Both the Sapphire and Diamond decks are home to a number of different ‘Sun-Lounge’ suites, ranging from a Balcony Suite to the spacious and luxurious Royal Panorama Suites. The third accommodation deck – the Jewel Deck – has several standard staterooms, all with picture windows. All cabins are well equipped with all of the amenities you’d expect, including a superior queen size bed and pillow menu, complimentary mini-bar, personal safe, iPod docks, dressing gowns, L’Occitane toiletries and free Wi-Fi connection. As well as 16 satellite channels, the flat-screen TV also has access to the Internet, and a keyboard is provided should you wish to use this, instead of your own device.
There is also an inclusive butler service available to every guest, which can provide a number of services from cocktails and shoe shining to morning beverages and valet and laundry service. The nightly turn-down service is a lovely touch.
There is a wellness area (with fully qualified masseuse) and fitness centre on board for guests to use. In the fitness centre, you will find several exercise machines to try, while the walking track on the Sun Deck means you can exercise at the same time as admiring the panoramic views.
You can also enjoy a pamper session, with hairstyling, facials, manicures and pedicures available, at an additional fee.
The Scenic Jade can be found meandering along the beautiful rivers of Europe, mainly the Rhine, Main and Danube, with different tours available including Jewels of Europe, The Remarkable Rhine and the Danube Discovery. Exceptional shore excursions are included in every port, ranging from trips to the Spanish Riding School in Vienna to tours of the remarkable castles and fortresses in Germany and Budapest.