Elliot Gillies, joins Paul and Elizabeth to talk about Scenic Cruises, an Australian company setting new standards on the rivers of Europe. River cruising offers a unique and super convenient way of seeing many European cities and with Scenic everything including the excursions are included.
Here’s some background on an interesting company.
In the beginning …
Back in 1986 I began hosting packaged holidays for Melbourne-based seniors clubs along Australia’s famous Great Ocean Road to the small coastal town of Warrnambool. Warrnambool Scenic Coach Tours became remarkably successful in a very short space of time and allowed me the opportunity to expand to offer more variety in itineraries.
By the late 1980s we were expanding rapidly and offering tours to destination events such as World Expo ’88 in Brisbane and The Phantom of the Opera, which saw us recognised as Australia’s largest coach operator to this musical spectacular which played in Australia’s major capital cities. Our calibre of tours and increasing popularity was the catalyst for the company’s name change to Australian Scenic Tours and we purchased our first coach in 1989. Our continued growth ensured we could commission a custom-built fleet of 5-star Mercedes Benz coaches.
Moving abroad …
In the early 1990s we developed a successful program of tours across both Australia and New Zealand, followed by Norfolk Island in 1997 and Southern Africa in 1998. By the end of the decade we had expanded to host tours to Canada, Alaska and USA and refreshed our company name to Scenic Tours to reflect the international tour programs now offered.
Today we are the leading touring company to Canada and Alaska and continued overseas expansion has been a focus of for us, and we now operate itineraries on every continent. Scenic Tours also host holidays in destinations across Europe and Russia, throughout South East Asia, China, Japan and India, across Central and South America and Antarctica, and across the Middle East including Egypt, Jordan, and Dubai.
Cruising the waterways …
2008 hailed the beginning of a new chapter for Scenic Tours, with the launch of our exclusive Scenic ‘Space-Ships’ for Europe. Widely acknowledged as the finest on Europe’s waterways, our fleet of Scenic ‘Space-Ships’ have been designed to provide the best in passenger comfort, boasting unrivalled space, luxurious amenities and two full decks of Private Balcony Suites which feature full-size, private outdoor balconies adjoining the spacious internal cabins, a choice of dining and the option to enjoy private butler service. They are also the first river cruise ships in Europe to be 100% owned and operated by an Australian company. In July 2008 our first ships Scenic Sapphire and Scenic Emerald were launched and by March 2012 our seventh vessel, Scenic Crystal will be unveiled in our fleet.
The next chapter …
I’m so proud that Scenic Tours is still a private, Australian-owned company, employing staff and tour crew worldwide. We are truly global, operating hundreds of extended touring programs to many exotic domestic and international destinations. I find it personally rewarding that so many of our guests choose to travel with us again and again.
Our goal is always to provide the ultimate holiday experience and our 25 years of creating, hosting and delivering incredible holidays is underpinned by the strength of our people, product, knowledge and service. We are unified by the love of travel and we come to work every day to make that an exceptional reality for our valued guests through continued innovation and first-class service.
Founder and Managing Director