Scenic has removed a river cruise line comparison table from its website after rivals claimed it was full of errors and “factual inaccuracies”.
The table pitted Scenic product against Viking River Cruises, APT Luxury, Avalon Waterways and Uniworld, plus sister brand Emerald Waterways, in 19 categories.
Scenic had claimed the table would help consumers “make a well-informed decision” before booking their next cruise.
Uniworld, Avalon Waterways, Viking and APT all told Travel Weekly that incorrect information was presented in the table.
Uniworld UK & Ireland managing director Chris Townson, who worked at Scenic for nearly 13 years, identified “at least six” errors in Uniworld’s column and three in his former employer’s.
He added: “There are a number of errors in there. I feel sorry for customers and agents. How do they know what’s wrong or not?”
The table, first published in September 2016, said Uniworld had only one fine dining venue on each ship, no e-bikes, a largest suite of 391sq ft and smallest of 128sq ft, and outbound flights from fewer than 15 UK airports, all of which was incorrect.
Avalon Waterways chief executive Giles Hawke said the table contained “mistruths and factual inaccuracies” and was not in the spirit of the cruise industry.
Hawke added: “I have always believed you should be honest about your competitors.”
Hawke said five of Avalon’s boxes on the table were inaccurate. Viking counted seven inaccuracies. APT said other lines had been misrepresented, but information about its own product was correct.
Confirming the table had been taken down, a Scenic spokeswoman said: “Information is constantly evolving. It was never our intention to mislead and we’ll be updating this information.”
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