After 5 days in Paris pre-cruise, we landed in Amsterdam on an overcast, rainy day but the weather got better as the holiday went on. Our Tauck representative was in Arrivals waiting for us and within minutes he had us aboard a Tauck coach which we would find out later would be one of three Tauck coaches that followed the boat to the Austrian border and on our way to the MS Treasures. On arrival at the dock we were met with umbrellas and escorted aboard. It only took a few minutes for our paperwork to be completed and we were shown our cabin 209 on Ruby deck. Now I have to admit that before we booked our cruise the only thing that worried us was the size of the cabin 150sq ft. Our fears were misplaced. The cabin is so well designed that its size became irrelevant. There is a huge amount of storage space and the bags fit nicely under the bed. The bathroom is beautifully appointed with the most modern equipment but to be fair it is only a one person at a time bathroom.
During our first meeting with the Tauck staff on board it was explained to everyone that Tauck is a Tour company and not a river boat company. The ship is owned and crewed by Scylla. They have some 17 boats cruising the rivers of Europe and 4 of those have been designed to accommodate the wishes of Tauck. There were only 4 Tauck staff on board our cruise director, Steve and 3 Tour Directors, Nicole, Glorija and Jeremy. The big advantage of having one tour director for every 30 or so passengers would become very apparent in the days to come. We discovered that there were 106 passengers, a little under the maximum capacity of 118, made up of 88 from the U.S. 2 from Bermuda, 4 from NZ, 6 from Canada and 6 of us from Australia.
From our first outing to our last you could go out with the guides or if you preferred, as some did, you could stay onboard the boat as it relocated from time to time. Having 3 tour directors as well as a cruise director must give Tauck a huge edge over those companies that dont. We never felt left out of any activity nor could we possibly get lost as our TDs appeared to be everywhere with anything you needed. Tauck employ the finest local guides at every port of call on the rivers. They all spoke perfect English, had a wealth of knowledge yet communicated to us in a light and warm manner. The voxes we used were light and easy to use and it enabled us to stop for a photo opportunity and still listen to your guide.