• TRAVEL NOTICE: Learn more about COVID-19
  • Newsletter
  • Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • Cruise Tips
  • News
  • Deals

Scenic Pearl Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
110 reviews
Scenic Pearl
See all photos
Editor Rating
Very Good
Erica Silverstein
Cruise Critic 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.



Bottom Line


Passengers : 167
Crew : 50
Passenger to Crew : 3.34:1
Launched : 2011
Shore Excursions : 116

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.

Sign Up for Price Drop Alerts

Be the first to know when Scenic Pearl prices drop so you can book with confidence.

By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Find a Scenic Pearl Cruise from $3,609

More about Scenic Pearl

Where does Scenic Pearl sail from?

Scenic Pearl departs from Prague, Amsterdam, Tilbury, Tower Bridge, Tilbury, Canary Wharf, and Budapest

How much does it cost to go on Scenic Pearl?

Cruises on Scenic Pearl start from $3,609 per person.
Scenic Pearl Cruiser Reviews

Not the "Gem" we hoped

Our Scenic 5***** Tsar Cruise in 2017, from Moscow to Saint Petersburg, was so marvelous in every way that it inspired us to take the Scenic Pearl cruise and explore Gems of the Danube with Prague, from... Read More
User Avatar

2-5 Cruises

Age 80s

Rhine highlights

Scenic looked after everything else. Hotel/airport transfers were done with high end buses and professionals. We stayed at the hotels recommended by scenic and were not disappointed.... Read More
User Avatar

6-10 Cruises

Age 50s

Jewel of Europe Amsterdam Budapest July 1st

In addition, scenic has certain venues that are exclusive to scenic only. We were able to have a concert to ourselves in Vienna. My compliments to the Scenic Pearl and all the staff......... Read More
User Avatar

6-10 Cruises

Age 60s

First time! Not my last!

The Pearl was beautifully maintained. Clean, modern. Meals were delicious. Lots of options. Well displayed.... Read More
User Avatar

First Time Cruiser

Age 60s

Scenic Fleet
Scenic Ruby
Show more
Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.