Its recent purchase and current $4 million-plus rebuild of the newly-named Scenic Tsar will offer guests an intimate environment, replete with spacious accommodations, satellite TV, private balconies on 93% of the staterooms and suites, wellness area, gym, sauna, two bars and the superior level of service and all-inclusive focus available on the European itineraries.
The rebuild is so complete - from electrical to plumbing to power plant to bridge to staterooms - that the ship is considered a new build by the industry standard. Sightseeing tours, enrichment experiences, private concerts, gratuities, airport transfers, on board doctor, all English-speaking professional staff, complimentary wine, beer and soda during dinner - these are just some of the inclusions that fall under the all-inclusive fares.
The 2012 season offers 15-day sailings between St. Petersburg and Moscow - on its own or in combination with five possible deluxe land tours, ranging from a total of 19 days when adding four days in Kiev, to a 33-day adventure that adds the exploration of the Ukraine and Scandinavia. Departures run from March through October. The 15-day discounted fares range from $7,295 to $10,885 per person, double.
“We are incredibly excited to be able to bring the same level of luxury to the Russian rivers that we have introduced on the European rivers,” states Janice Tully, CTIE, Scenic Cruises US Brand Manager. “The accommodations, service and fully-inclusive enrichment tours should be no less stellar than the many Russian treasures on the route between Moscow and St. Petersburg.”
The 15-day Imperial Jewels of Russia River core cruise offers many of Russia’s best sites, sailing between cultural mecca of St. Petersburg and the seat of present-day Russian power, Moscow. Scenic Cruises devotes five days to the exploration of St. Petersburg as its history and treasures deserve no less. Touring the baroque Winter Palace, the Hermitage, Peter and Paul Fortress and Catherine’s Palace, among many others, is combined with a visit to a children’s music school and a traditional Russian lunch at the old-world wooden ‘Podvorie’ restaurant.
After an evening departure From St. Petersburg, guests are taken on guided explorations of Svirstroy, a quaint historic Russian village; Petrozavodsk, where guests enjoy the Karelian Folk Show; one of Russia’s most ancient sites—Kizhi Island; the medieval village of Goritsy with its 600-year-old monastery; and Uglich, which dates back to the 10th century. Four days in Moscow include tours of the Kremlin, the KGB building, Red Square, the State Armory—with is priceless collection of Fabergé eggs—the Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, and taking in the famous Moscow Circus. Enrichment programs range from a private Russian ballet concert to meeting with a cosmonaut to visiting with a local family for tea and piroshkies.
Guests looking to add explorations of Eastern and/or Western Europe can choose between five possibilities. The 19-day Imperial Jewels of Russia River Cruise & Ukraine includes four nights in Kiev, Ukraine’s capital city and one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe, while the longer 27-day Berlin, Baltic States, and Imperial Jewels of Russia River package begins with a three-day stay in Berlin, two days in Warsaw and the rest of the time on land split between Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn and Helsinki. Even longer adventures are the 29-day Scandinavia & Imperial Jewels of Russia River Cruise - Copenhagen, Oslo, Bergen, Balestrand, Geiranger, Lillehammer, Stockholm and Helsinki; the 31-day combination of the cruise with Kiev, Berlin and the Baltic states; and the aforementioned 33-day offering that adds four days in Kiev to the 29-day program. The 29-, 31- and 33-day programs are offered in both directions.
A feature found on all of the Scenic Cruises vessels is the true all-inclusive itineraries. This means that once a guest steps aboard a Scenic vessel, their money remains in their stateroom safe - unless they wish to buy gifts for loved ones (or for themselves) or celebrate with a special bottle of champagne. All excursion programs - Scenic Cultural, Scenic Enrich, Scenic FreeTime and Scenic FreeChoice - as well as private concerts and exclusive performances are included in the pricing. And, as a division of one of the world’s top tour operators, Scenic Cruises runs all its own excursions - never sending its guests off with subcontractors or on commissioned shopping tours. Award-winning English-speaking staff welcomes the guests and tend to their every need while professional Scenic-employed tour leaders offer a host of insight into the excursions. Also included is all on-board entertainment, Whisper Headsets for tours, meals in a choice of restaurants with a variety of premium wine, beer and soda at lunch and dinner, escorted airport transfers—even gratuities.