Tauck is resuming its operations in Europe and Africa. The company plans to reopen in stages, beginning with selected departures of its Iceland and Treasures of the Aegean small ship ocean cruises in June and July. Also scheduled for July are the resumption of the company’s cruises in the Galapagos Islands as well as its Tauck Bridges family adventure in Costa Rica. Tauck’s guided safaris in eastern and southern Africa will resume in August, as will its land tours in Spain, France and Portugal.
August will also mark the resumption of Tauck’s European river cruises, with departures sailing on the Rhone and Seine in France and the Douro River in Portugal. Although no firm date has been set, Tauck plans to restart its cruises on the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers— and the bulk of its remaining European land tours—in early fall as border openings permit. Those itineraries will be added to an Open for Travel page on Tauck’s website as they return to the company’s active roster.
The New MS Andorinha
Tauck’s August sailings on the Douro will mark its first-ever journeys on the river, as well as the debut of its new ms Andorinhariverboat. The Andorinha will accommodate 84 Tauck guests, versus up to 112 passengers—or 33 percent more people—on other cruise lines’ Douro ships of the same approximate size. The ship will feature a pop-up restaurant that rises from the stern of the vessel’s Sun (top) Deck on hydraulic lifts to become a fully functioning eatery with views of the surrounding countryside. Named Arthur’s for Tauck chairman Arthur Tauck Jr., the restaurant can also be lowered for added clearance when passing under low bridges.
Restarting its European operations is particularly significant for Tauck and its guests, as it’s the company’s most popular destination worldwide. “All the hard work and meticulous planning we’ve put into our relaunch in the U.S. has paid off,” said Tauck CEO Dan Mahar in a press statement, “and we’ve proven conclusively that we can deliver the Tauck-level experience our guests expect while still following all of the necessary safety protocols.
“Our chairman Arthur Tauck Jr. first brought Tauck guests to Europe in 1991,” said Mahar, “and after the events of the past year, restarting our operations there is an especially meaningful way to mark our 30th anniversary. We’re absolutely thrilled to be back, and we can’t wait to share the incredible wonders of Europe with our guests once more.”
Tauck operates more than 70 land tours, river cruises and small ship ocean cruises across Europe, including Tauck Bridges family trips and a number of small group land tours averaging just 24 guests. Since their launch in 1991, Tauck’s European land journeys have been offered under the company’s Yellow Roads of Europe banner, a reference to the scenic, less-traveled auto routes highlighted in yellow on Michelin road maps. Guests on Tauck’s land journeys travel those “yellow roads” to explore intimate places and enjoy authentic “insider” experiences.
Return to Africa
Tauck will resume its safaris in eastern and southern Africa with the August 2 departure of Mountain Gorilla Safari: Kenya, Tanzania & Rwanda and the August 4th departures of Kenya & Tanzania: A Classic Safari and South Africa: An Elegant Adventure. All of the company’s safaris are small-group journeys, with as few as 18 guests per departure to ensure an up-close, intimate immersion into the local culture, flora and fauna.
With the world beginning to reopen, Tauck CEO Mahar is strongly urging travelers to lock in their vacation plans now. “One thing we’ve learned time and again over our 96 years is that travel denied is really travel deferred,” said Mahar. “When people are unable to travel, it only fuels their desire and determination to do so. And now—with 97 percent of our guests having been vaccinated—we’re seeing demand come roaring back.
“Ninety percent of our 2021 U.S. departures are completely sold out,” Mahar continued, “2022 has the strongest advance bookings of any year in our 96-year history, and April was our strongest booking month since 2007. We still have space today,” added Mahar, “but we can’t say how long it’s going to last.”