Tauck to Launch Two New Riverboats in Europe in 2014
By David Cogswell
January 29, 2013 11:28 AM
Tauck will launch two newly built riverboats in Europe next year, bringing the size of its European fleet to six ships. The launches are planned for March and June of 2014. The company will also launch four new European river cruise itineraries in 2014 on the Seine, Rhine and Danube rivers. Nearly 10 years after Tauck entered the robust European river cruise market in 2004, Tauck CEO Dan Mahar says the demand is still growing.
The company is following a strategy of “steady and deliberate growth” based on delivering “all-inclusive cultural explorations” along Europe’s rivers. The two new ships are now being custom-built for Tauck. “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.
The ships will follow the model of Tauck’s current ships in being designed for fewer guests than has become the standard in the river cruise industry. Each Tauck riverboat features 14 300-square-foot suites and seven junior suites, all with floor-to-ceiling windows opening onto French balconies.
“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. Tauck’s ships are each staffed by a Tauck Cruise Director and three professional Tauck Directors.
All Tauck river cruise packages are sold under an all-inclusive plan with no options offered. The single payment includes all gratuities, shore excursions, airport transfers, unlimited wine and beer with onboard meals. The ships use Tauck’s infrastructure and institutional experience providing land tours since 1925 to provide shore excursions for the river boats. Shore excursions feature opportunities for insider access to enable guests to get behind the scenes where tourists normally are not able to go.
Tauck currently offers 14 river itineraries in Europe on four ships—the Swiss Emerald, Swiss Sapphire, Swiss Jewel and Swiss Treasures—each carrying a maximum of 118 passengers. Itineraries range from eight to 24 days, with more than 100 departures annually on the Rhine, Danube, Main, Rhone, Saone and Moselle rivers. Some are general interest itineraries exploring local culture, cuisine and history, while others are designed specifically for families. The company also offers themed cruises focused on special interests such as classical music, French food and wine, fine art and Europe’s traditional Christmas markets. For more information, visit www.SellRiverCruises.com.