From an on-board cooking school to chef-led shopping tours, Scenic’s culinary river cruises take groups where larger ships cannot go.
“We believe they are the only river ships with a dedicated cooking school on-board,” says Joelle Davis, VP of brand management at Scenic. “Big ships can be constrained with their ability to react to the needs of groups—at least in the spur of the moment. The smaller, more intimate nature of river cruising allows foodies and culinary teams to fine-tune the program to their needs. Whether it is a special meal, local and seasonal foods or a class, the small ships offer a personal touch.”
Private Butlers and Complimentary Drinks
Scenic offers a range of all-inclusive luxury cruises on rivers in Europe and Asia, including the Rhine, Danube, Seine and Mekong. Their aim is to offer the most amenities for the price among their competitors, including a private butler for every attendee, complimentary drinks all day and signature shore excursions.
Onboard Cooking School
Two of the ships, the Scenic Diamond and Scenic Sapphire, have recently undergone a winter refit that includes the addition of a new kitchen space with individual cooking stations that can be used for team building for up to 12 attendees, training and culinary presentations.
Hyper-Local Market Tours
Chef-led shopping tours to local markets are also available for up to 20 attendees. After sourcing local ingredients from artisan sellers at the port of call, groups then receive a lesson on how to put all the ingredients together in the kitchen once back on the ship.
“We believe the hands-on, experiential trend will continue to grow,” says Davis. “MICE groups are looking to take home more than just a few souvenirs. It is often about impressing those back home not only with where you went, but what you learned and what new skill you can show off.” Davis believes the focus on fine dining and top wines will grow even with the growing demand for farm-to-table foods. “It’s food for the soul.”