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Scenic Pearl Review

4.5 / 5.0
120 reviews
See all photos
Editor Rating
4.5
Very Good
Overall
Erica Silverstein
Contributor

Scenic Pearl, launched in 2011, is one of Scenic's popular “space ships.” If you're an American, you might wonder why you've never heard of this luxury river line. It's because its Australian parent company has not marketed to Americans until recently. European menu (items like fish and muesli at breakfast and a wide selection of cheese offered at every meal, for example).

Now a staple of Scenic's stable, the “space ship” class nods to a design that offers plentiful public and cabin space – among the highest passenger space ratio in the industry. Standout features include the "Sun Lounge" balconies, which simultaneously make cabins feel large and airy and make the balcony space usable in fair and inclement weather; multiple dining options teased out of just two main public areas (the restaurant and the lounge); and a spa and fitness center -- small but certainly not standard on all river ships.

And the luxurious amenities can't be overlooked: Scenic is one of the most all-inclusive river lines. All meals, all drinks (minus the highest-end liquors and French Champagne), excursions, Internet and butler service in all cabins are included in the fare.

No detail is too small to be carefully considered, from a gorgeous selection of loose-leaf teas in the lounge to combination television-Mac computers with Internet in every cabin. The glassed-in showers might be the largest we've ever had in a standard balcony cabin, and you can lather up in L'Occitane shampoos and lotions before drying off in fluffy bathrobes. Even the included excursions go beyond the river cruise staples with your choice of walking, biking or museum tours in every port. Plus Scenic's exclusive GPS devices allow for independent exploration with a virtual guide and map, as well as narration during scenic cruising portions of the trip.

If there's a lot about Scenic that pleases, one downside on our trip was the quality of service. We were surprised at how many glitches there were. Our butler never introduced herself while the butler for the cabin across the hall was checking in on my neighbor daily. The waitstaff couldn't handle simple requests (no prosciutto on my antipasto or an off-the-menu request for morning oatmeal); The ship's state-of-the-art electrically assisted bicycles kept getting flat tires or running out of battery power; and we never managed to get the TV or Internet working in our cabin.

Because Scenic Pearl is not an American ship; you'll find lengthy itineraries (15-day sailings can be common) catering to Australian travel styles, European and Australian power points, and a more European menu (items like fish and muesli at breakfast and a wide selection of cheese offered at every meal, for example). But if you're looking for an upscale, all-inclusive river experience, Scenic Pearl is definitely worth checking out.

About

Passengers: 167
Crew: 50
Passenger to Crew: 3.34:1
Launched: 2011
Shore Excursions: 72

Sails To

Fellow Passengers

Scenic historically has attracted Australians and Brits, but a growing number of Americans, Canadians and Germans are coming aboard. Passengers are typically aged 50 to 80, well traveled and financially comfortable. Passengers also tend to be fairly active; while Scenic Sapphire does have an elevator, the focus on walking tours along cobblestoned streets in European towns means the tours aren't so suitable for wheelchair-bound or travelers with significant mobility issues.

Scenic Pearl Dress Code

Dress is casual during the day (bring sturdy, comfortable shoes for all the walking tours) and smart casual at night. Ladies would wear dressy pants outfits, skirts or dresses, while men donned nice slacks and button-down shirts (jackets optional). People dolled up a bit more for the Captain's Welcome and Farewell dinners or for dining at specialty venues Portobellos and Table La Rive.

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More about Scenic Pearl

Where does Scenic Pearl sail from?

Scenic Pearl departs from Basel, Amsterdam, and Budapest

How much does it cost to go on Scenic Pearl?

Cruises on Scenic Pearl start from $4,907 per person.
Scenic Pearl Cruiser Reviews

Not as luxurious as we expected

We had high expectations of our Scenic river cruise, which advertises itself as a luxury cruise line. The Pearl did not seem luxurious to us. The color scheme is very drab.Read More
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travlr21

many10+ Cruises

Age 70s

Gems of The Danube River Cruise

We will most definitely be returning to Scenic to do some more river cruises in the future. High Five to the entire crew of the Scenic Pearl !!!Read More
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69scorpioncars

oneFirst Time Cruiser

Age 60s

WOW. WHAT A FABULOUS EXPERIENCE

Scenic Pearl was a first class experience for its " Gems of the Danude " The entire staff and boat crew were outstanding, all the services provided were first class.Read More
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Fedorkiw

couple2-5 Cruises

Age 70s

No longer worth it after 2nd cruise

Scenic left us in the lurch.Read More
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FirstTimeRiver

few6-10 Cruises

Age 60s

Scenic River Fleet
Scenic Ruby

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