According to company officials, the new vessels are slated to launch in March and June of 2014. In addition Tauck will launch four new river cruise itineraries in Europe next year.
“Demand for our river cruises continues to grow, and our guests and travel agents love the onboard and onshore experiences Tauck provides,” explained company CEO Dan Mahar. “We’re excited to be expanding our portfolio, and adding more capacity and more choice to travelers who are eager to experience our unique offerings.”
According to Mahar, Tauck’s steady and deliberate growth is focused on delivering the finest, all-inclusive cultural explorations along Europe’s rivers. “We craft complete destination experiences that enrich and inspire our guests,” added Mahar, “and the four new itineraries will bring new choices to the Seine, Rhine and Danube rivers.”
NEW DESIGN FEATURES AND ONBOARD AMENITIES
Mahar revealed that the two ships are being custom-built for Tauck, and will represent an evolution of its fleet. “The new ships will have features and amenities not found on our existing vessels, but they’ll also retain key elements and the same overall philosophy that have contributed so significantly to our success,” said Mahar.
In particular, and like Tauck’s current ships, the newbuilds will accommodate far fewer guests than similarly sized vessels in other lines. “By limiting passenger capacity we’re able to offer a much higher percentage of suites, and provide the same intimate, club-like atmosphere our river cruise customers have come to enjoy with Tauck,” said Mahar. Likewise, and in keeping with Tauck’s existing ships, the newbuilds will have a high “guide-to-guest” ratio to ensure superior service. (Where other riverboats are often staffed by a single cruise director, Tauck’s current ships are each staffed by a Tauck Cruise Director and three professional Tauck Directors.)
The four new Tauck itineraries on tap for 2014 will also draw on familiar elements, according to Mahar. Like Tauck’s existing cruises, the new itineraries will feature fully-inclusive pricing with zero options sold, and all gratuities, all shore excursions, airport transfers, unlimited wine and beer with onboard meals, and much more will be built into Tauck’s cruise prices. And as with Tauck’s current itineraries, the new cruises will each provide exclusive “insider” access to unique cultural experiences that independent travelers would find impossible to arrange on their own.
“What’s most important to us is that our guests enjoy the same exemplary Tauck experience, regardless of which Tauck riverboat or Tauck river cruise they’re on,” concluded Mahar. “We truly believe we offer the finest experiences on Europe’s rivers, and we know we don’t need to reinvent the wheel.”
About Tauck River Cruising. Tauck currently offers 14 different all-inclusive river voyages throughout Europe on four ships – the ms Swiss Emerald, ms Swiss Sapphire, ms Swiss Jewel, and ms Swiss Treasures – each carrying no more than 118 passengers. Itineraries range from 8- to 24- days, with over 100 departures annually on the Rhine, Danube, Main, Rhone, Saone and Moselle rivers. The company’s cruise portfolio includes a range of in-depth, general interest itineraries exploring local culture, cuisine and history, as well as voyages on the Rhone and Danube designed specifically for families, and themed cruises focused on classical music, French food and wine, fine art and Europe’s traditional Christmas markets.
Each Tauck riverboat features fourteen 300-square-foot suites and seven junior suites, all with floor-to-ceiling windows opening onto French balconies. Personalized service is provided by a Tauck Cruise Director and three Tauck Directors onboard each voyage. Dining is offered in two venues in addition to included onshore culinary experiences. Tauck’s river cruises are also distinguished by “insider access” shore excursions, such as a private dinner reception and concert at Lobkowicz Palace in Prague Castle, lunch in the wine cellars of Château Neercanne in the Netherlands, and a private canal cruise in Amsterdam.