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Scenic Diamond Review

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Scenic Diamond
4.5 / 5.0
71 reviews

All-inclusive ship offers exceptional dining, service and active excursions in Bordeaux
Enrichment and spa experience could use some tweaks
Bottom Line
For casual luxury without reaching for your wallet, Scenic Diamond is a fantastic choice




Passenger to Crew

2008, Refurbished 2017

Shore Excursions
Sails To
Sails From
Scenic Cruise Deals
Chris Gray Faust
Cruise Critic Managing Editor

Scenic Diamond Overview

Within the top tier of river cruising, lines have been working to set themselves apart, adding features and luxury touches designed to stand out within the increasingly competitive market. Based in Bordeaux, Scenic Diamond personifies the Scenic Cruises ethos by offering an all-inclusive ship that strives to push the bar with new experiences, both on the ship and off.

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Refurbished in 2017, the Scenic Diamond "Space-Ship" sparkles with marble interiors and modern decor, while giving passengers some quirky options for downtime such as cooking demonstrations and a salt room. Passenger counts were lowered from 167 to 155, by converting cabins into public areas and developing new Owners Suites, while still keeping the same number of staff. There's a refreshing casualness onboard that belies the luxury price tag; while service is still professional and prompt, the crew and their management are not afraid to make friends with the passengers. (Perhaps that's the Australian influence; travelers from Down Under dominated our cruise, which was about three-fourths full.)

Best of all, Scenic allows you to customize your cruise experience so you're more likely to get the kind of vacation you want. Fancy a small nosh in Scenic's unique sunroom-balconies? Your butler will bring it to you. Want to skip the guided tour? Scenic's "TailorMade" devices give you the highlights so you can explore on your own, and the cruise director will make sure you have a pass to get into the castle. A fleet of electric bikes (e-bikes) make it easy for anyone to take them out for a spin.

We also enjoyed the variety of dining that Scenic Diamond provides, particularly if you're staying in a suite. Passengers in those top cabins receive dinner at Table La Rive, a degustation meal that boasted some outstanding bites and wine pairings. L'Amour is a French specialty restaurant open to everyone, and River Café is fabulous for a fast lunch. (We loved the ham and cheese toasties.) The wine list was among the best we've seen on the rivers, reflecting Bordeaux as well as other regions in France.

Where Scenic needs work is with its enrichment offerings. While we enjoyed the much-heralded Scenic Culinaire cooking demonstration, the experience felt dry; it's not immersive like similar classes we've taken on other lines. Excursions visited wine chateaus, but it seems almost criminal not to have some sort of onboard wine education session where passengers could get an overview of the complicated Bordeaux region and its offerings. We also felt the salt room could have used some explanation; while we sat there the requisite 45 minutes, we weren't sure what the benefits were supposed to be (and didn't see any, personally).

All in all, though, Scenic Diamond has a coziness and comfort level that felt luxurious to us. Passengers weren't afraid to let their hair down and have fun; toward the end of the cruise, the dance floor filled up nightly (particularly when the musician switched to DJ-ing). Extra activities, such as Scenic Sundowner and Scenic Enrich special evening activities at chateaus, were set in gorgeous locales that made everyone feel special. Cycling tours gave us the chance to have some exercise with our constant diet of wine and cheese. What more could you want from a Bordeaux river cruise? 

Top Scenic Diamond Itineraries

View All Scenic Diamond Itineraries (11)

Fellow Passengers

While Scenic historically has attracted Australians and Brits, a growing number of Americans and Canadians are coming aboard. Passengers are typically aged 50 to 80, well traveled and financially comfortable. Passengers should plan to be fairly active; while Scenic Diamond does have an elevator, it doesn't go to the lower deck or sun deck. The focus on walking tours along cobblestoned streets in European towns means the tours aren't so suitable for those wheelchair-bound or travelers with significant mobility issues.

Scenic Diamond Dress Code

Dress is casual during the day (bring sturdy, comfortable shoes for all the walking tours) and smart casual at night. Ladies wear dressy pants outfits, skirts or dresses, while men don nice slacks and button-down shirts at dinners. On the Bordeaux itinerary, there are a few possibilities for dressing up, if you want to, including the Captain's Welcome and Farewell dinners, the Scenic Enrich event at a chateau and dining at specialty venues L'Amour and Table La Rive.

Scenic Diamond Inclusions

Scenic Diamond is truly all-inclusive; you won't have to touch your wallet unless you want to visit the hairdresser or get a spa treatment. Fares include transfers, gratuities for all staff and local guides, Wi-Fi, a choice of excursions every day, a Scenic Sundowner event, a Scenic Enrich event, use of e-bikes, all drinks  (including a mini-bar replenished daily) and specialty restaurants.

Scenic Diamond does have a bit of a class system, depending upon what deck you are on. Butler service on the top Diamond Deck is more comprehensive, and passengers staying here are also invited to dine once per cruise at Table La Rive, the ship's seven-course wine pairing meal.

The onboard currency is the euro.

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Scenic Diamond Ratings

Public Rooms5.04.7
Fitness Recreation3.53.9
Value For Money4.54.2

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More about Scenic Diamond

Where does Scenic Diamond sail from?

Scenic Diamond departs from Bordeaux and Paris

Where does Scenic Diamond sail to?

Scenic Diamond cruises to Bordeaux, Paris and Bilbao

How much does it cost to go on Scenic Diamond?

Cruises on Scenic Diamond start from null per person.

Awards and Recognition

Scenic Diamond Member Reviews

Scenic Diamond
Sail Date: Sep 2019
Scenic was recommended by travel agent, even though she had never sent a client on Scenic previously. The Scenic Diamond ship was lovely and the cruise did not disappoint!... Read More
Scenic Diamond
Sail Date: Jun 2019
Scenic is all-inclusive and great value for your money. Highly recommend Scenic cruises.... Read More
Scenic Diamond
Sail Date: Apr 2019
Scenic Diamond was a beautiful floating hotel for our 11 day cruise - with excellent managing staff and tours run by an exceptional Cruise Director.... Read More
Scenic Diamond
Sail Date: Sep 2019
I definitely feel that I would most likely enjoy a scenic tour in the near future but I would like to explore another area of the world.... Read More

Scenic Fleet

Scenic Ruby
5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

98 reviews

Scenic Ruby, launched in 2009, is one of Scenic's popular "space ships," designed to offers plentiful public and cabin space – among the highest passenger space ratio in the industry.

Scenic Ruby Cruises to Europe View All Scenic Ruby Cruises
Scenic Diamond
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Scenic Diamond, launched in 2008, is one of Scenic's popular "space ships." The cabins and ship are beautifully appointed, crew is excellently trained and dining is exceptional.

Scenic Crystal
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Scenic Crystal, launched in 2012, is one of Scenic's popular "space ships." It's a luxury river ship that offers excellent service, great food and comfortable spaces.

Scenic Tsar

The 112-passenger Scenic Tsar was relaunched in 2012. It's not a new riverboat, but the refurbishment was so extensive, that it's registered as a new vessel.

Scenic Sapphire
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Scenic Sapphire, launched in 2008, is one of Scenic's popular "space ships." This class nods to a design that offers plentiful public and cabin space – among the highest passenger space ratio in the industry.

Scenic Pearl
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

One of Scenic's "space ships" offering "Sun Lounge" balconies in all rooms, which simultaneously make cabins feel airy while also making the space usable in all weather.

Scenic Jewel
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Highlights include "Sun Lounge" balconies, which give cabins an airy feel and make balcony space usable in fair and inclement weather, and multiple dining options.

Scenic Jade
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Scenic Jade offers the intellectually curious passenger a fine sampler of excursions along more than 700 miles of waterways, from Amsterdam to Budapest.

Scenic Gem
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

The 128-passenger Scenic Gem was custom-built to sail on France's Seine River and features a unique design and cutting-edge technology.

Scenic Opal

The 169-passenger Scenic Opal boasts spacious cabins and public areas, as well as a splash pool and resistence swimming pool. Fares include all excursions, drinks and gratuities.

Scenic Jasper
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Scenic Jasper is Scenic's 11th "Space Ship" -- so called because of the higher-than-average amount of space dedicated to public areas. Fares include all excursions, drinks and gratuities.

Scenic Eclipse

Featuring the sleek profile of a luxury super yacht, the all-suite, 228-passenger Scenic Eclipse will be the first ocean cruise ship from Australian line Scenic.

Scenic Spirit
5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Scenic Spirit’s all-inclusive cruises come with complimentary beverages, a pool and spa, gourmet dining, luxurious bedding and L'Occitane toiletries.

Scenic Aura
5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

The 22-suite Scenic Aura, launched in 2016, sails the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar between Mandalay and Pyay with an almost 1:1 staff-to-guest ratio.

Scenic Amber

Launched in 2016, Scenic Amber has capacity for 169 passengers and 51 crew, this all-suite river ship offers a contemporary cruising experience.

Scenic Azure
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

In 2016 Scenic became the first non-Portuguese company to operate on the Douro River, which means the luxury Australian line can uphold its high standards.

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