Tauck To Build Second River Vessel

The company has announced the construction of an all-new luxury riverboat

By: Ana Figueroa

Tauck World Discovery has announced the construction of an all-new luxury riverboat to be featured on its European river cruise itineraries beginning in early 2008. The ship’s debut next spring will mark the second new Tauck-branded river vessel launched in the last two years, following the introduction of the MS Swiss Emerald in 2006.

“The new ship is currently being crafted to our precise specifications in the Netherlands, and we couldn’t be more excited,” said Tauck President and CEO Robin Tauck. “Last year the Swiss Emerald set a new standard for comfort and elegance when it was launched, and our new ship will be its equal in every way. These two ‘sister ships’ will be the finest vessels cruising Europe’s historic waterways, and they’ll help us accommodate the incredible growth we’re seeing in river cruising.”

The 361-foot ship will have two hot tubs, a bar and lounge, restaurant and wellness center. A maximum of just 118 guests will be accommodated in 59 outside-facing staterooms, including 14 luxury suites with 300 square-feet of living space highlighted by floor-to-ceiling windows, walk-in closets and marble baths featuring full size tubs. All cabins will have a plasma TV, mini-bar, radio, safe, individual air-conditioning and L’Occitane toiletries.

European river cruising has been among the fastest growing segments of Tauck’s diverse portfolio of travel experiences, which totals approximately 100 land and water-based itineraries in over 60 countries worldwide. Sales of Tauck’s river cruising trips this year are showing a strong double-digit increase over 2006, and they’re up more than 55 percent over 2005 levels. The company operates five different river cruising itineraries in Europe, including a 24-day, transcontinental “Grand European Cruise” from Amsterdam to the Black Sea (from $7,530 plus air). Tauck also has three additional programs in China and Egypt that each include a three-night river cruise component.

Additionally, families, groups of friends, alumni associations and others who plan their vacations in advance can now save by traveling with Tauck on a European river cruise. The line is holding 2007 river cruise prices for 2008 departures, for groups of 10 or more travelers who place deposits on 2008 journeys by July 31, 2007.

The savings apply to groups traveling on four Tauck river cruise itineraries; “Amsterdam to Budapest” (15 days, from $4,590), “The Blue Danube” (13 days, from $3,790), “Budapest to the Black Sea” (12 days, from $3,690), and “Grand European Cruise” (24 days, from $7,530).

“Cruising on Europe’s historic waterways is one of the most relaxing, intimate ways to see the continent,” said Tauck. “One of the very few ways to improve on the experience is to offer it at a greater value, which is exactly what we’re doing.”

“River cruising allows travelers to visit a number of destinations within a region, with the convenience of unpacking their bags just once,” added Tauck. “Also, the constant, close proximity to shore enables us to really showcase the incredible variety of towns and cities along the way. For Tauck, that’s an opportunity to leverage our 82 years of expertise and create shore excursions that go off-the-beaten-path to deliver authentic, insider experiences. What’s more,” added Tauck, “each Tauck river cruise has every shore excursion already included in the price.”

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