67 Small Ship Cruise Lines Covered and Counting...
Quirky Cruise
September 16, 2015

Small Ship Cruise Line Review: Tauck (Tour Operator)

LE BOREAL in the Elbe WJM IMG_0678

Snapshot: Tauck was founded in 1925 by Arthur Tauck, Sr. ,and the firm is still family-owned with Arthur Tauck Jr. as chairman and son-in- law Dan Mahar CEO. The vast enterprise operates in 70 countries, and for purposes of Quirky Cruise, we’re highlighting their river and small ship cruises.

River Cruises:

Tauck riverboat sails into Budapest. * Photo: Tauck

Tauck riverboat sails into Budapest. * Photo: Tauck

-Europe: River itineraries, offered from April through October, include waterways in Belgium and Holland; Rhine and Moselle; Main and Danube; Rhone and Soane, and the Seine. In fact, string together cruises and sail from Amsterdam to Budapest (15 days) and even continue on another week to the Danube to the Black Sea.

N.B. Selected cruises aboard the riverboats (10 in 2016 and 20 in 2017) cater to families with activities ashore such as hiking and cycling, riding a cog railway and how about this, a scavenger hunt in the Louvre! On board, kids hear about the legends of the Lorelei and participate in cooking demonstrations and chocolate tasting. Riverboats Emerald and Sapphire will each have 14 cabins converted to handle a family of four. See the firm’s website for the Tauck Bridges 2017 ebrochure for kids that describes the destinations and activities for a family vacation.

Two new riverboats carrying just 130 passengers each enter service in 2016 – the GRACE in April and JOY in June.

Riverboat Inspire moored at Koblenz on the Rhine. * Photo: Tauck

Riverboat Inspire moored at Koblenz on the Rhine. * Photo: Tauck

Cruise tours include hotel stays and land extensions, such as adding London and Paris to a Seine River cruise, Switzerland to the Rhine, Prague and Nurnberg to a Danube itinerary and the French Riviera to the Rhone and Soane. The Jewel class ships take up to just 118 passengers with alternate dining in the Bistro and on the Sun Deck, weather permitting. The Inspiration class carries up to 130 with alternate dining at Arthur’s and on the Sun Deck, again, weather permitting. Inclusive features include unlimited beverages include beer, wine, spirits; Internet (reception varies); use of bicycles; shore excursions and all gratuities to staff aboard and guides ashore.

-Myanmar (Burma): 11-day cruise tours, scattered throughout the year, include a three-night cruise on the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River between Bagan and Mandalay aboard the 4-deck, 82-passenger BELMOND ROAD TO MANDALAY.

-China: 16- & 17-day cruise tours spend 3 days (downstream) or 4-days (upstream) aboard the 124-passenger YANGZI EXPLORER between Chongqing and Yichang, including passage through the Three Gorges. Tauck reserves 23 cabins, all with balconies, on sailings operating between April and October.

Small Ship Cruises: As Tauck uses a variety of ships, inclusive features vary.

-Central America: An 11-day cruise-tour, January and February, to Panama and Costa Rica spends 6 nights aboard the 88-passenger TERE MOANA traveling out to the San Blas Islands, passing through the canal and calling at island and coastal ports between Colon, Panama and Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica.

A Cuna boy from the San Blas Islands, Panama comes among side. * Photo: Ted Scull

A Cuna boy from the San Blas Islands, Panama comes among side. * Photo: Ted Scull

-Galapagos: A 15-day cruise tour, March to June and September to November combine, a Peruvian land tour with a 6-night Galapagos cruise aboard the 40-passenger, 3-deck ISABELA II (Tauck passengers only). Cabins are all outside with twin or double beds and with doors opening onto a side deck, apart from the Master Suite. 9-day cruise tours, January, February and August, include two nights in Guayaquil, Ecuador and the 6-night cruise aboard ISABELA II. 8-day cruise tours designed for families, March & April, June to August, spend one night in Quito and one in Guayaquil (both Ecuador) and 4 nights aboard the 90-passenger SANTA CRUZ. Recommended age 8 and up.

-Antarctica: 13-day Antarctica cruise tours, December 2016 and January and December 2017, include 2 nights in Buenos Aires and 10 nights aboard Ponant Cruises’ L’AUSTRAL or LE LYRIAL (244-264 passengers). These 6-deck ships, built since 2010, have all outside cabins, (most with balconies), twin beds or queen-size, some cabins with bathtubs, two restaurants and two panorama lounges, two viewing terraces, open-air bar, and elevators to all but the highest Deck 7.

L'Austral. * Photo: Tauck

L’Austral cruises to Antarctica. * Photo: Tauck

-Australia/New Zealand: Using Ponant Cruises’ sistership LE SOLÉAL (264 passengers), a 19-day Australia and New Zealand tour spends 9 nights board ship between Auckland (North Island) and Milford Sound (South Island) and visits Melbourne, Cairns and Sydney by air. Departures in January and February 2017.

Looking across Sydney Harbor to the Opera House. * Photo: Ted Scull

Looking across Sydney Harbor to the Opera House. * Photo: Ted Scull

Contact: TAUCK, 10 Norden Place, P.O. Box 5020, Norwalk, CT 06856-5020. ; 800-468-2825




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Antarctica, Arctic, Asia: East Asia, Asia: Southeast Asia, Australia, Austria, Baltic States, Belgium, Belize, Central America, China, Coastal Cities, Costa Rica, Croatia/Adriatic, Ecuador, England/Wales, Europe, Europe, the Mediterranean, Falkland Islands, France, French Polynesia, French Rivers/Canals, Galapagos, Germany, Great Barrier Reef, Greece and Greek Islands, Hawaiian Islands, Holland, Hungary, Ireland/Northern Ireland, Milford Sound, Myanmar/Burma, New Zealand, North & South Islands, Pacific Ocean Islands, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Rivers Ship & Line Reviews, Russia, Scotland, Ship & Line reviews, South America, South Georgia, Switzerland, Wellington

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