Scenic Jasper river cruise ship review

With sleek interiors and novelist Kathy Lette as a godmother, the latest river cruise ship from Scenic, Scenic Jasper, exudes contemporary style, says Becky Wiggins

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Understated elegance in the Panorama Suite.

From the glittering cream-and-marble reception dotted with quirky modern art pieces to the comfortable Jasper lounge with its huge feature windows, the newest ‘space ship’ from Scenic has the look and feel of a glamorous boutique hotel.

The ship, which carries 169 guests and 53 crew, is arranged over three decks: the Jewel Deck, Sapphire Deck and Diamond Deck, plus the large, open Sun Deck, featuring a walking track, several seating and lounging areas (with gazebos erected in fine weather) and the new Vitality Pool – a small, heated plunge pool with a submerged seating area and Jacuzzi, the first to feature in the fleet.

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Enjoy the views from the River Café.

Suites are luxuriously decorated in black and silver, with a wall of pale wood wardrobes and plentiful hanging space and storage. Bathrooms are large with a wet room shower, toilet and sink, and L’Occitane toiletries. There are black marble bedside tables and a mirrored vanity/desk area as well as HD TVs, Mac mini systems, and a mini-bar that’s restocked daily. All levels have a private butler (services depend on suite level and location) plus a generous private balcony with the Scenic ‘sun lounge’, featuring state-of-the-art technology to allow the top half of the balcony to be lowered by the touch of a button, weather permitting.

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Bathrooms feature wet room and showers.

The main Crystal Dining Room has a high-end restaurant ambience with starched linens and crystal glassware, and provides a breakfast and lunch buffet and table service dinner every day, with lighter options available over an extended period in the River Café. Regional specialities are often available (the butterfish with herb sauce and potato dumplings was delicious). For sunny days, the Sun Deck features the forward Riverview Terrace: a full open seating area with waiter service, perfect for barbecues and cocktails while watching the sunset. The food on board is exemplary, with every guest receiving an invitation to the six-course Italian dinner at Portobello’s, an intimate Italian restaurant situated at the far end of the Jasper Lounge.

The highlight is the special six-course dining experience, La Rive Table (invitation only to guests on the Diamond Deck) in an intimate section of the Crystal Dining Room. The menu, devised by Executive Chef Exequiel Cruzat, features wines paired with each course, from a delicate lemongrass crème brulée amuse-bouche through appetiser, salad, soup, the main course – an incredible fillet of beef – to the last, a dessert of luscious chocolate soufflé with balsamic cherries teamed with a sweet, scented Hungarian Tokaji dessert wine.

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The Royal Panorama Suite.

The consistently high-quality dining and sommelier experience, with gala dinners and paired tasting menus in beautiful surroundings, creates a unique, high-end restaurant feel. Add in unparalleled levels of service including personal butlers, and the sumptuous levels of décor throughout the ship and Scenic’s latest ‘space-ship’ has all the right ingredients for a truly unforgettable river cruise.

GETTING THERE

Scenic Jasper is one of two new ships being launched by Scenic for 2015 and will sail the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers alongside Scenic Opal. An eight-day river cruise starts
from £1,195pp (scenictours.co.uk).

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