|Tauck Chairman Arthur Tauck, Jr., ms Savor Godmother|
Liz Tauck Walters and Captain Michael Szekely
European river cruising continues to be the fastest growing segment of Tauck’s business, the company routinely sells out its cabin inventory each year, and demand has been further bolstered by Tauck being named the “World’s Best River Cruise Line” twice in the past three years by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine.
FEWER PASSENGERS, AND UP TO FOUR-TIMES THE SERVICE STAFF
The ms Savor and ms Inspire together comprise Tauck’s new Inspiration Class ships, and they join Tauck’s four existing Jewel Class ships, the ms Treasures, ms Swiss Jewel, ms Swiss Sapphire and ms Swiss Emerald. Like the Jewel Class ships, the Inspiration Class vessels carry far fewer passengers – yet they 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 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.
Also notable on the Savor and Inspire are the eight “loft” cabins located on each ship’s lower (Emerald) deck. On other European riverboats the lower-level cabins are small, and because they’re mostly below the ships’ waterlines, they’re limited to modest, sealed windows at eye level that admit minimal sunlight and zero fresh air. Tauck’s 225-square-foot loft cabins, however, have a raised platform seating area located against the ships’ hull/outer wall with a correspondingly higher ceiling immediately above. The higher ceiling in turn allows the use of a much taller window than can normally be incorporated into lower-level cabins. The middle portion of this window can be opened electronically for fresh air, and being taller, the window allows far more natural light to fill the cabin.
Each of the new Inspiration Class ships also has 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. In keeping with Tauck’s policy of welcoming solo travelers, four of the 150 square foot cabins are set aside for guests traveling on their own. 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.
For 2014, the ms Savor will sail on two Tauck itineraries, “The Blue Danube” (12 days, from $4,790 per person plus airfare) and “Danube Reflections” (10 days, from $4,590 per person plus airfare). Like all Tauck river cruises, both itineraries aboard the ms Savor are fully inclusive.
Besides launching two new ships, Tauck is also launching four new river cruise itineraries this year, including its first on the River Seine in France. Tauck will launch two additional river cruises in 2015, the 23-day “Belle Epoch: London to Monte-Carlo” on the Seine, Saône and Rhône rivers, and the 8-day “Castles on the Rhine: Family Riverboat Adventure.” The latter itinerary is the third river cruise created specifically for families by Tauck, which has twice been named the "World's Best River Cruise Line for Families" by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine.