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The Butler Did It

The Butler Did It


Special services from Scenic river cruises goes above and beyond.

By John and Sandra Nowlan
It was an unexpected welcome.

We knew that a river cruise with Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours offered all guests the services of a butler, but we didn’t expect to meet him before we even boarded the ship.

As our taxi pulled up in the rain to the dock alongside the Garonne River in Bordeaux, France, a very friendly man in a formal grey suit rushed to bring us umbrellas and took us under the large canopy with “Scenic” stenciled on top. With a huge smile, he told us his name was Bora, he was from Serbia, and he’d be our butler for the next eight days as we cruised along rivers in southwest France, which are famous for their vineyards and world-class wineries.

Bora then took our luggage and escorted us along the wharf to Scenic Diamond, one of 20 Australian-owned Scenic river ships that ply the inland waterways of Europe. Built in 2009 and refurbished in 2017 to enhance public spaces and actually decrease the number of passengers, the 440-foot ship holds just 155 guests in 78 luxurious staterooms.

River cruising in Europe is now highly competitive but Scenic prides itself on having fewer guests (other similar sized ships have about 180 passengers) and an all-inclusive policy. As Bora told us, “Once you step on board, everything is included.”

He took us to our spacious 250-square-foot suite complete with a very….


Photo: Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours


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