In October this year, Scenic will celebrate 30 years. Since beginning life as a domestic coach tour operator in 1986, the leading luxury travel operator has evolved to become one of Australia’s most successful travel companies – now specialising in cruising, and travelling to every continent and over 60 countries across the globe.
Founded in Newcastle by Glen Moroney, business began by offering coach tours along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road to Warrnambool. Soon identifying that two door coaches would enhance the guest experience, Scenic designed the first two door coaches in Australia which were then rolled out across the fleet.
In the early 1990s this expanded to New Zealand, followed by Norfolk Island in 1997 and Southern Africa in 1998. By the end of the decade Scenic was hosting tours to Canada and Alaska, and throughout the early 2000s new destinations were added across Europe and Russia, throughout Asia, the Americas and Antarctica.
In 2008, just over 20 years later, a new chapter commenced in the company’s history when it launched its first exclusive, all-inclusive Scenic Space-Ships on Europe’s waterways. These ships challenged ship design conventions and were one of the first to be built to 135 metres allowing for outdoor balconies whilst also creating more space in the bar lounge area and room for a second restaurant. The first two seasons fully booked out.
“We wanted to deliver our guests an experience they couldn’t get anywhere else. What stuck with me was that you could not sit outside on a balcony and enjoy the spectacular never ending scenery along the rivers. We just knew there had to be a better way to build the ships. So we did,” said Glen on Scenic’s ambitious decision to build its own river cruise ships.
Over the next seven years the Space-Ship fleet continued to grow, as well as expanding to include the Seine, Bordeaux, Saône and Rhône rivers in France and the Douro in Portugal. In 2014, Scenic announced its expansion into South East Asia with the launch of Scenic Spirit on the Mekong and Scenic Aura on Myanmar’s Irrawaddy River.
2015 was a milestone year which saw a major rebrand when the name Scenic Tours was no longer an accurate description of the company’s now extensive product offering. A new name and positioning was needed to better reflect the company’s focus on cruising and resonate more strongly with guests and agents.
Commenting on the future, Glen added: “Innovation continues to be at the cornerstone of all that we do with this year’s launch of our Ocean Cruise Line and the World’s First Discovery Yacht – Scenic Eclipse, pushing the boundaries of ship design and taking the guest discovery experience to a whole new level. This heralds a new direction for Scenic, which we are all truly excited about.”
After 30 years Scenic is still 100 per cent Australian-owned and employs over 1,600 staff around the world. Scenic will be celebrating its 30 year anniversary throughout 2016.