Scenic's recent redesign of two of its France-based Space Ships (Scenic Diamond and Scenic Sapphire) included numerous improvements, from reducing the number of cabins/guest to 78/155 while keeping the same crew count for even greater personal service to adding Culinaire – a private cooking emporium offering tailored cooking classes. And as it continues its history of leading the industry with new possibilities, Scenic is now the first and only river cruise line to offer a therapeutic salt lounge – added during the rebuilds.
The three-station salt lounge offers guests a non-invasive way to feel energized and healthier while relaxing. The humidity and temperature-controlled room is handcrafted from salt bricks and creates a micro-climate of a natural salt mine. Its three inclined lounging chairs are separated by light curtains for privacy, and low-level lighting and calming music promotes the natural relaxing effects of the salt. Guests on board the two ships are free to use the rooms as they wish, spending up to a recommended 45 minutes in the peaceful environment. The negatively-charged salt ions bear a very high kinetic energy and offer the same refreshing feeling that one might find when standing on a beach. The ions also increase the efficacy of healing, improve respiration and skin conditions and boost the immune system. And finishing up with a customized Aroma Oil Massage is certain to leave the guest in a most relaxed state.
Salt therapy has been around for centuries, its helpful nature first noticed by European monks who found that ailing respiratory patients who spent time in the natural salt caverns improved much faster. In the 1950s, scientific studies proved their effectiveness in treating respiratory ailments – and thus began the therapy now known as Halotherapy ("halo" is Greek for salt).
French river cruise itinerary choices range from eight to 16-days (longer when combined with land options) with the Scenic Sapphire sailing along France's Rhône and Saône Rivers and the Scenic Diamond exploring the rivers of Bordeaux in Southern France. Guests on the Bordeaux sailings take in numerous wineries including the Grand Cru desert wines of Château Guiraud, and during a cycling tour, the Sauternes of the 500-year-old winery, Château de Myra. They learn about foie gras at a local farm in Bergerac; and indulge in a Mademoiselle de Margaux chocolate and wine pairing. Highlights on the Southern France sailings include visits to the beautiful Château de Cormatin, with its magnificent gardens and water features, and the 60-hectare Parc Ornithologique in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer; wine tastings in the Beaujolais region and at a Côtes du Rhône vineyard; and exploration of the 4th-century secret passageways of Lyon.
The 5-star Scenic Space-Ships offer all-inclusive experiences – from private butler service and unlimited complimentary beverages and spirits including mini-bar re-stocked daily, to full-size private balcony staterooms – all making use of Scenic's unique Sun Lounge technology – where the walkout open-air balcony can convert to an all-weather lounge with a push of a button, expanding the living area of the stateroom. On-board river highlights and on-shore experiences are made exceptional by the included Scenic Tailormade handheld GPS guided tour system provided to every guest.
On board cuisine allows for up to six dining options, including the tradition of dégustation at Table La Rive, fine dining at L'Amour and the more casual fare at the River Café. As with all Scenic river cruises, guests will never have to reach for the wallet or purse as everything is included (except a haircut or massage): tips and gratuities, expert local guides, all Scenic Freechoice activities that allow for a more personalized vacation, plus Scenic Enrich events which are exclusive to Scenic and its guests, transfers, all meals, etc.
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