Popular Scenic Cruise Articles
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In theory, any river cruise can be an active one, given that shore-centric itineraries allow passengers to pursue all manner of land-based activities. Many lines, particularly those plying Europe's rivers, already provide bicycles for their passengers. (And if they don't, you can always rent one in port.) But as competition in this fast-growing segment of the cruise market heats up, some lines are seeking to attract a broader -- and younger -- clientele by offering a greater scope of active and adventurous pursuits. Here's a look at some best-bet lines for river cruisers who like to be on the move.
What's better than standing amid hundreds of chinstraps on an Antarctic ice floe? Reveling in the perky penguins knowing that an aromatherapy massage, craft martinis, a lobster dinner and designer bedsheets await back onboard. With interest in expedition cruising at an all-time peak, cruise lines race to unveil posh new ice-class ships that provide both jaw-dropping bucket-list experiences and sumptuous cruise travel. Check out our alphabetically arranged insider's list on the best luxury Antarctica cruises. Then you decide which cruise ship and expedition style capture your White Continent fancy.
Recent years have seen an increase in the number of river cruise lines positioning themselves at the top end of the market. Crystal River Cruises, launched in summer 2016, and Scenic, which started river cruises in 2008, both have well-established pedigrees in the travel industry. Crystal has sprung from the upscale ocean brand of the same name. Scenic is part of the namesake Australian-owned land vacation operator. Crystal says it brings "true luxury" to river cruising, and Scenic gives itself a self-styled six-star ranking. (Unlike hotels, there is no official rating system for riverboats.) Want to know the difference between these two luxury river cruise lines? Then read on for our guide to Crystal versus Scenic.
What would be the odds that the most frigid cruise destination is categorically red-hot? Chalk up Antarctica's soaring popularity to multiple factors: adventuresome travelers seeking more far-flung destinations, cruisers craving less crowded ports, the ticking clock of climate change and baby boomers checking off their travel bucket lists. Such intense interest in Antarctica has motivated expedition lines to amp up their offerings. Cruisers can now choose from economical to extravagant expedition ships, varying cruise lengths, diverse itineraries and uber-active excursions -- mountaineering, anyone? We've done all the research on the best cruise lines sailing Antarctica, so you get the fun part -- choosing which one best suits you. Just remember that all promised ports and excursions are based on weather conditions. In the Antarctic, the real boss is never the ship captain; it's always Mother Nature.
Scenic has announced a second ocean ship, Scenic Eclipse II, will soon follow Scenic Eclipse. So, how do these sister ships compare to the similar vessel already launched by Crystal Yacht Cruises? Scenic and Crystal both claim their yachts are world-firsts. Taking ocean cruising to the next level, Scenic Eclipse and Crystal Esprit marry luxury, discovery and safety. If you are having trouble choosing between them, let us help distinguish between these two new ships.
Trying to decide whether to cruise with AmaWaterways or Scenic can be tricky, as on the outside both lines look pretty much the same. They also share a similar heritage as they are both family-owned. AmaWaterways' President Rudi Schreiner, who was born in Vienna next to the Danube, came from a background in the travel industry and the line was launched in 2002. Scenic's family tree goes back to 1986, when founder Glen Moroney began operating motorcoach tours in Australia before entering the river cruise market in 2008. AmaWaterways says it provides passengers with the "luxury of more" -- in terms of dining options, excursion choices and onboard amenities, while Scenic gives itself a self-styled five-star rating (unlike hotels, there is no official rating system for river vessels). In general, Scenic tends to be more on the luxury side of river cruising, although AmaWaterways keeps upping the amount of inclusions in their fare. Here's a look at the details between the two lines.