Kiki Tauck Mahar Named Godmother Of Compagnie Du Ponant’s New Ship, Le Soléal

Wife Of Tauck CEO Dan Mahar To Christen Ship Next July

NORWALK, CT (December 6, 2012)  Kiki Tauck Mahar, the wife of Tauck CEO Dan Mahar and the daughter of Tauck Chairman Arthur Tauck, will serve as godmother to Compagnie Du Ponant’s new 264-passenger, 466-foot luxury small ship, Le Soléal, when it is christened next July in Italy. 

The announcement was made jointly today by France-based Compagnie Du Ponant and Tauck, during a launching ceremony for Le Soléal at Fincantieri Shipyard in Ancona, Italy, where the ship is under construction.  Tauck has partnered with Compagnie Du Ponant on small ship cruises since 1993, and the Connecticut-based leader in premium-quality guided travel is Compagnie Du Ponant’s single largest customer.  For 2013, Tauck will offer six itineraries on four different Compagnie Du Ponant vessels, including the new Le Soléal, its sister-ships Le Boréal and L’Austral, and the elegant 60-passenger sailing vessel, Le Ponant.

“I am thrilled to be named godmother to Le Soléal,” said Kiki Tauck Mahar.  “My family has worked closely with our partners at Compagnie Du Ponant for so many years, and although this is a wonderful personal honor, it’s really a testament to the success that Tauck and Compagnie Du Ponant have shared.  And of course, it’s a celebration of the incredible experiences we continue to deliver to travelers around the world.” 

Among the Tauck itineraries that feature Compagnie Du Ponant ships are “Venice & the Dalmatian Coast,” “Treasures of the Mediterranean,” “Sicily, the Amalfi Coast & Rome,” “St. Petersburg & the Baltic Sea,” “Iceland: Land of Fire and Ice” and “Antarctica.”  Le Soléal will be featured next year on Tauck’s Iceland cruise, and on a brand new itinerary to be announced in the coming weeks.  Each is truly all-inclusive, with Tauck-exclusive shore excursions, all gratuities, airport transfers, onboard alcoholic beverages, most meals, and much more included in Tauck’s cruise prices.

“We are so honored to have Ms. Mahar as Le Soléal’s godmother,” said Compagnie Du Ponant’s CEO, Jean-Emmanuel Sauvee.  “The Tauck name is synonymous with the highest levels of quality, service, guest care and value – standards of excellence we share at Compagnie Du Ponant, and that have made Tauck and Compagnie Du Ponant such perfect partners.  It’s wonderful to have a member of the Tauck family join the Compagnie Du Ponant ‘family’ as Le Soléal’s godmother.”

Like its sister-ships L’Austral and Le Boréal (named "Best Newcomer of the Year in 2010") Le Soléal combines elegance and eco-friendly technologies with the highest standards for quality in design, décor and amenities.  The ships each feature six decks (all served by elevator) that include a chic main dining room serving French and international cuisine, a casual grill restaurant, three lounges offering bars and entertainment, a state-of-the-art theater for lectures and entertainment, fitness and beauty facilities, a medical center and multiple observation areas.

Suites ranging from 301 to 398 sq. ft. and state rooms (ranging from 200 to 210 sq. ft.) all provide ocean views, with 95% of all accommodations featuring private balconies.  Among other amenities, suites and staterooms also feature either two twin beds that can convert to a king-sized bed (or a sofa converting into a queen-size bed), individually-controlled air conditioning, flat-screen TV with satellite channels and video on demand, iPod docking station, electronic safe, minibar, and more.

Le Soléal and its sister ships have also been designed with the latest technologies to ensure minimal impact to the environment.  For example, the ship features a navigational positioning system that protects the sea bed by eliminating the need to drop anchor, wastewater and solid waste processing systems, and a detection system to help avoid collisions with whales and other cetaceans.

Even before its launch, Le Soléal is already garnering praise and attention.  Travel + Leisure magazine recently named Le Soléal one of the “Best New Cruise Ships,” citing its ambience, cuisine, service and spa.  Those interested in more information on Tauck’s small ship cruises may contact their local travel professional, visit, or call 1 800 468 2825.

About Tauck.  Tauck is a world-leader in upscale guided travel, with nearly 100 inspiring land and cruise itineraries in 60+ countries.  Tauck reveals the rich, engaging, cultural “story” of each destination, showcasing its must-see attractions while providing insider access to authentic, off-the-beaten-path experiences that are either unavailable or unknown to most travelers.  Tauck also delivers tremendous value.  An independent traveler duplicating a Tauck itinerary would spend up to 40% more than they would by traveling with Tauck.

About Compagnie Du Ponant.  Founded in 1988, Compagnie du Ponant is a cruise line operating three luxury ships under the French flag.  The only French ship owner of cruise vessels, the company operates in the high-end segment of the industry.  Its yachts (32 to 132 cabins) sail the world’s oceans and more particularly in the Arctic and the Antarctic, giving Compagnie du Ponant prominence as the “specialist of the Poles” via its cruises known as “5-star expeditions.”


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