Last updated: 11:53 AM ET, Tue April 07 2015

Tauck Plans New River Ships, Lower Prices for 2016

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Tauck | Theresa Norton | April 07, 2015

Tauck Plans New River Ships, Lower Prices for 2016

PHOTO: Tauck will introduce two more Inspiration-class ships, similar to the MS Inspire, pictured, in 2016. (Courtesy of Tauck)

Tauck will introduce two new river ships, a new Rhine itinerary and lower prices in 2016.

Lower prices? Yes, Tauck says rates for next year are as much as $1,200-per-couple lower than this year, due to foreign exchange gains made by the U.S. dollar against the euro.

“We’re incredibly proud of the value we deliver to our guests, and when opportunities arise to increase that value — whether it’s by enhancing the experience our guests enjoy, or by taking advantage of favorable exchange rates — we’re excited to do so. For 2016, we’ve been able to do both,” CEO Dan Mahar said.

Tauck will add two new 130-passenger Inspiration-class riverboats next year, the MS Grace in April and the MS Joy in June. The Joy will sail three Tauck voyages on the Danube, while the Grace will sail exclusively on the Rhine.

Among the Grace’s itineraries is Tauck’s new 10-day “The Rhine, Swiss Alps & Amsterdam” program. The cruise, priced from $4,690 per person, plus airfare, begins with an included two-night stay at the five-star Bellevue Palace in Bern and sightseeing. Passengers will board the riverboat in Basel for a seven-night cruise on the Rhine to Amsterdam.

The new Rhine itinerary includes a Tauck-exclusive private evening inside Ehreshoven Castle in Engelskirchen, Germany. Normally closed to the public, the castle dates to the 14th century and is surrounded by a moat and gardens. The former home of the noble Nesselrode family, the castle will host Tauck guests for a cocktail reception, dinner and live musical performances.

Ehreshoven Castle also will be featured on Tauck’s “The Romantic Rhine” itinerary in 2016, and it’s one of several new onshore dinner venues being featured next year.

Another such venue, Chateau Bizy in Vernon, France, will be featured on the “Cruising the Seine plus Versailles, Paris & London” itinerary. Known as “the Versailles of Normandy,” the chateau was inspired by Versailles and constructed in 1740. Chateau Bizy will host Tauck guests for a garden and estate tour, a champagne reception with hors d’oeuvres, and a three-course dinner with live musical entertainment.

Schloss Johannisberg in Geisenheim, Germany, will likewise host Tauck guests on the “The Rhine & Moselle” itinerary. A former Benedictine monastery and later the palace of a Prince-Abbot, Schloss Johannisberg boasts over 1,200 years of winemaking history and was the first Riesling wine estate. Tauck guests will visit its wine cellar, enjoy a reception with wines from the castle’s vineyards, and partake of a three-course dinner paired with local wines and musical performances.

Each of these evenings onshore is included in Tauck’s cruise prices, as are all shore excursions, gratuities, unlimited onboard wine, beer and premium spirits, airport transfers and more.

Tauck has been named World’s Best River Cruise Line by Travel+Leisure magazine in three of the last four years. “You don’t enjoy that kind of success in such a competitive environment without constantly working to deliver more to your guests,” Mahar said.

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