Tauck, long known as a luxury tour operator, by 2014 they will have 6 ships sailing the rivers of Europe. Their competitive advantages over their competition is summed up (by them) to be:
Our river cruise experience revolves around four cornerstones: Uncommon Access on our included shore excursions blending in-depth sightseeing with Exclusives; All-Inclusive Value, with virtually every expense included in one upfront price; Personalized Cruising based on caring service from four Tauck staff on every cruise; and the Intimate, Club-Like Atmosphere of our custom-designed riverboats.
Cruising with us, you’ll enjoy exclusive access to behind-the-scenes cultural experiences on included shore excursions that immerse you in each destination, experiencing Europe as it was meant to be enjoyed… including private dining experiences in historic venues that go far beyond the ordinary.
When you cruise with us, virtually every river cruise expense is included in one upfront price… including all shore excursions and unlimited complimentary beverages onboard. There are no little extras to pay for, no hidden expenses, no options sold. You get what you pay for… and then some.
Intimate, Club-like Atmosphere
Aboard our spacious, custom-designed riverboats, you’ll find that the key to our intimate, club-like atmosphere is in the details. Luxurious cabins and suites… service rivaling that of a premium hotel… fine European-style shipboard dining, with a choice of dining venues… all the little touches.
You’re traveling in good company when you cruise with us… well-cared for with personalized, thoughtful service from at least four ship staff on every river cruise, plus an experienced ship’s crew… representing the highest tour director-to-guest ratio in the industry.
The Ships - Tauck operates 4 Jewel Class ships (Jewel, Sapphire, Emerald, Treasure) built between 2006 and 2011. These ships all host 118 guests (about 30% fewer than other ships of the same size). Each ship has a number of 300 sq ft suites, some standard 183 sq ft cabins and others that are 150 sq ft.
In 2014 the company will take delivery of 2 new Inspiration Class ships that will take luxury river cruising to a new level. The two sister ships, Inspire and Savor, will carry 130 passengers and offer 22 300 sq ft cabins as well as a number of standard 183 sq ft staterooms and a few 150 sq ft cabins aimed at singles.
Life on Board - as befits their reputation in the tours marketplace, the whole shipboard experience is steeped in luxury:
Excursions - all excursions are included and are designed to be a cut above those offered by competitors. An example is the excursion schedule for a music themed cruise on the Danube:
Itineraries - Tauck concentrates on European Rivers - Rhine, Seine, Danube, and Rhone. Cruises range from 7 to 21 nights and many include pre and post hotel stays that stretch the time out further.
Cost - with all the talk about luxury this and all inclusive that, you can imagine that a Tauck river cruise is not cheap. If you value the inclusions and the special experiences, the price might not be that bad. To better compare (or allow you to compare) Tauck with other cruising Europe's rivers, we'll just look at prices for middle of the road cabins (with a French balcony). Prices range from $700 to $800 per person per night for most of Tauck's cruise options.
Sample Itinerary - Budapest to the Black Sea