Tauck Offers First-Timer’s Guide to River Cruising

Company Also Releases First Photo of New ms Grace Riverboat

NORWALK, CT (June 23, 0215)  With European river cruising’s phenomenal growth bringing legions of new travelers to the category, Tauck has published a helpful “First-Timer’s Guide to River Cruising” that answers many of the questions common to prospective cruisers.  The new 24-page, full-color brochure is available free of charge on Tauck’s website at www.tauck.com/riverguide, where novice river cruisers can request either a print or digital edition.

“For 90 years we’ve facilitated life-changing travel experiences for our guests,” said Tauck CEO Dan Mahar, “and providing clear and accurate information to help first-time river cruisers make an informed decision is entirely consistent with that mission.”  Organized into easy-to-read Who, Why, What, Where and When sections, the guide provides a wealth of information on the typical river cruise traveler, the reasons behind river cruising’s popularity, and what a river cruise experience is like.  The guide also includes notes on when to travel, the differences between Europe’s most popular rivers, and information on why ocean cruisers and independent travelers will enjoy a river cruise experience.  Finally, the guide includes a two-page spread with helpful guidance on what travelers should look for when considering the wide array of river cruises available today.

Mahar emphasized that the primary goal of the guide was to educate those interested in learning more about river cruising, rather than simply promoting Tauck.  “The guide has nearly 6,200 words of text, and the word Tauck appears just 34 times,” said Mahar, “so I think it’s obvious that our goal is education.”  Mahar conceded his belief, however, that a knowledgeable, informed  traveler will be more likely to choose a Tauck river cruise.  “We do feel confident that someone who truly understands what we call ‘the Tauck difference’ in our ships, our level of service, our all-inclusiveness, and our destination expertise is very likely to appreciate the quality and value in what we offer.” 

Tauck has also released the first photo of its new ms Grace riverboat, the first of two Inspiration Class ships the company will be launching next year in Europe.  The photo shows the ship arriving under tow at the Da-Capo outfitting facility in Hardinxveld-Giessendam, the Netherlands.  The ms Grace’s hull had been constructed and floated out in April at the Vahali Shipyard in Belgrade, Serbia, before being towed to another Vahali facility in Gendt, the Netherlands, where its engines and other major components were installed.  The ship’s remaining construction and final outfitting will take place over the coming months in the Netherlands prior to its official christening next April.

Like Tauck’s other Inspiration Class ships (the ms Inspire and ms Savor), the new ms Grace and ms Joy will carry far fewer passengers – yet they’ll have far more service staff – than ships of the same size operated by other river cruise lines.  Where the 443-foot-long Inspiration Class ships carry just 130 guests, other lines’ ships of the same length carry 190 passengers, or 46% more guests.  And where other lines have just one cruise director per ship to tend to the needs of those 190 guests, Tauck staffs each ship with a Tauck Cruise Director and three professional Tauck Directors to care for 130 guests.

With fewer passengers aboard their ships, Tauck is able to provide a more intimate, club-like atmosphere, a higher percentage of suites, and a second onboard dining venue, Arthur’s, with its own dedicated kitchen.  Named for company Chairman Arthur Tauck Jr., Arthur’s offers more casual dining in a more intimate setting, providing an alternative to the fine dining found in the ship’s main dining room, the Compass Rose. 

Also notable on the Grace and Joy will be eight Loft Cabins located on each ship’s lower (Emerald) deck.  The 225-square-foot Loft Cabins feature a raised seating area located against the ships’ hull/outer wall with a correspondingly higher ceiling immediately above.  The higher ceiling allows the use of a much taller window than can normally be incorporated into lower-level cabins, and the middle portion of this window can be opened electronically for fresh air.  Being taller, the window also allows far more natural light to fill the cabin.  The Loft Cabin concept was introduced last year on the ms Inspire and ms Savor, and its innovative design has since been honored with a CruiseReport.com Editor’s Choice Award for Best Riverboat Accommodations, and a Magellan Gold Award for cabin design.

The ms Grace and ms Joy will each have twenty-two 300 square foot suites furnished with two French balconies with floor-to-ceiling windows, a pull-out couch, roomy walk-in closets with built-in drawers, and a spacious bathroom with rain shower.  Along with the suites, the newbuilds also have thirty-two 225 square foot cabins, plus an additional thirteen cabins ranging from 150 to 190 square feet.  All suites and cabins feature in-room movies, minibar, individual heating and cooling controls, luxury toiletries, and plush bedding with 100% goose down pillows, 400-thread-count linens and pillow-top mattresses.

Those interested in more information can contact their local travel professional, call Tauck at 800 468 2825, or visit the company’s website at www.tauck.com.

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