Luxury line Scenic is offering free flights to Europe next year for all new bookings on river cruises of at least 11 days which are made before 31 August as the early bird European river cruise season gets underway in earnest.

Guests who pay in full by 31 October will also be entitled to a discount of $600 per couple.

Premium passengers who book a Diamond or Sapphire Deck suite on selected cruises of 11 days or more, can fly business class from $3995pp.

This is “an unprecedented initiative to make selling its products even easier,” Scenic said.

The offer comes as Scenic embarks on a major project to upgrade eight river ships to sail the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers next year.

The eight ships including Scenic Ruby, Pearl, Jasper, Opal, Amber, Crystal, Jade and Jewel will have larger but fewer staterooms, two new 48 sq m Royal Owners suites and bigger wellness centres to include a gym, massage room, salt therapy lounge and hair salon.

Scenic also has a special deal for solo travellers who will receive a 50 per cent discount off the single supplement for river cruises of 11 days or more.

Guests who combine an 11-day cruise with a second cruise or escorted land journey will receive a complimentary two night Singapore stopover.

The promotions coincide with the release of Scenic’s 2019 European river cruising brochure.

With the upgrade, Scenic Ruby and Scenic Pearl will be able to accommodate 161 passengers instead of 167. The remaining six ships will have their capacity reduced from 169 to 165 passengers. The same number of crew will be maintained in all the ships.

When the upgrade is completed, the eight ships will become “space ships” ready to sail on the three rivers in 2019.

Highlight of the extensive design will be the humidity and temperature controlled salt therapy lounge. It will operate like a natural salt mine “which is said to have curative effects,’’ Scenic said. There will be three lounge chairs in each lounge and guests are free to use the rooms as they wish.

Scenic carried out the same upgrade and redesign on Scenic Diamond and Scenic Emerald last year.