(8:45 a.m. EDT) -- Tauck River Cruises will increase the number of family river cruise departures it offers in 2017, from 10 to 20, doubling its total family river cruising capacity.
The additional 10 family cruise sailings will all take place on a single itinerary that is still being developed, according to the line. No specific details about the itinerary have been released.
Tauck CEO Dan Mahar made the announcement in Las Vegas, Nevada, saying only that the new river cruise will be on a popular European waterway and aboard a different Tauck ship than those already being used on Tauck's three family river cruise itineraries.
“When we design a new Tauck Bridges river cruise, we craft an experience from the ground-up that's designed to be fun, enriching and engaging for all family members," Mahar said.
"It would be far easier to simply designate certain departures of our existing cruises as ‘family-friendly' -- an approach taken by some other lines -- but the end experience wouldn't be of the same quality.”
Tauck formally launched the first Tauck Bridges river cruise program -- designed specifically for families -- in 2010. The line has since expanded Tauck Bridges river cruises to itineraries on the Rhone and the Rhine.
Examples of family-oriented excursions available on Tauck Bridges river cruises include a scavenger hunt in the Louvre in Paris, “medieval games” in Bratislava, a guided cycling exploration near Durnstein, Austria, and a range of interactive onboard cooking demonstrations.
Tauck is neither the first nor the only river cruise line to target families. Uniworld's "Multigenerational River Cruises" program -- taking place during school vacation times -- features excursions and onboard cooking demonstrations as well as a child-friendly menu.
More recently, AmaWaterways partnered with Adventures by Disney to offer five weeklong Danube River cruises -- including one during the Christmas market season -- aimed squarely at families, starting in summer 2016.
Adventures by Disney, a 10-year-old company that offers immersive adventures for families in 30 destinations on six continents, has put together itineraries with family activities both on and off the ship, while Ama is building a ships designed specifically for families, complete with connecting cabins, which are unique in the world of river cruising.
--by Jamey Bergman, Editor