Tauck River Cruising
OnboardEach journey with Tauck River Cruising is an all-inclusive affair. Included in the cost are all shore excursions (with a choice of sightseeing options in many cities, unusual for river cruising), onshore dining, gratuities to ship staff, transfers, onboard lectures and entertainment, pre- and post-cruise hotel stays, and wine with dinners.
The emphasis onboard is on relaxed elegance, just the right vibe as you meander through the European countryside past provincial villages, castles and other historic sites.
All dining is open seating, with intimate table setups for four and six. Dining aboard each ship includes buffets, a choice of menus reflecting regional cuisines and special theme dinners. Vegetarian meals are available, and a selection of international wines is always included with dinner. For a lighter, more casual dining option, all four ships also have a Lido Bar with 180-degree retractable glass walls.
Some meals are also offered off the ship, ranging from lunches in local restaurants to dinners in historic palaces. Most meals are included in the cruise price, although you can choose to dine independently during some shore excursions.
Onboard entertainment comes in the form of lectures from the cruise director and staff, live music and/or a DJ. Folkloric music is also featured.
About Tauck River CruisingThough the family-owned, Connecticut-based tour company Tauck World Discovery has been involved for some time with providing all-inclusive, cruise-based packages to consumers (through partnerships with expedition, mainstream and luxury cruise lines), it was only in 2006 that it launched its own fleet of riverboats. The sub-brand, Tauck River Cruising, has quickly expanded. In 2011, it debuted its fourth riverboat, ms Treasures, which joined Swiss Emerald (built in 2006), Swiss Sapphire (2008) and Swiss Jewel (2009). And in 2014, the company will launch a new class of ship with its two newbuilds -- ms Inspire and ms Savor.
Tauck River Cruising FleetTauck's original four sister riverboats -- the "Jewel Class" vessels -- are 361 feet in length with a capacity for 118 passengers. This compares to 150 or more passengers on similar sized ships owned by other companies. Even more impressively, Tauck's next generation of ships, known as the "Inspiration Class" (ms Inspire and ms Savor) and set to launch in 2014, will each be 443 feet long and carry just 130 passengers. Shipboard cabins are all outsides, and 85 percent have floor-to-ceiling windows. Each cabin is equipped with flat-screen television, mini-bar, radio, safe, hair dryer, air conditioning, bathrobe, slippers, L'Occitane amenities and a private bathroom with shower; power is 220 volt. Bedding is cushy, including 400-thread-cound Egyptian cotton sheets and Hungarian down pillows.
All four vessels in the Jewel class boast 14 300-square-foot suites -- an impressive number for river ships. Each has a French balcony, floor-to-ceiling windows, marble bath with full tub, and walk-in closet. The newest ship, ms Treasures, also has seven 150- to 183-square-foot junior suites.
Tasteful public spaces are decorated in teak, marble, brass, wrought iron and glass. In addition, the custom-built quartet all feature Wi-Fi access throughout the ship, as well as a fitness center, massage room and 24-hour Jacuzzi.
Fellow PassengersTauck is targeting upscale, well-traveled professionals in the 55-plus age range who are looking for an enriching cruise experience, along with multigenerational family groups, with family-specific activities offered on select itineraries. Oftentimes passengers have traveled through Europe before, and see the river cruise as a new way to experience iconic European cities at a more relaxed pace than group touring.
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