Kiki Tauck Mahar, the wife of Tauck CEO Dan Mahar and the daughter of Tauck Chairman Arthur Tauck, was the guest of honor of Compagnie Du Ponant in Venice, Italy, over the weekend, joining company officials and other dignitaries for the maiden voyage of Compagnie Du Ponant’s new luxury small ship, Le Soléal.
Mahar is godmother to the new 264-passenger, 466-foot ship, which she officially christened last December. This weekend’s celebratory overnight cruise concluded on Sunday, and Le Soléal embarked today on its first commercial sailing.
According to Ms. Mahar, the debut of Le Soléal is the just the latest development in a long and fruitful relationship between her family and Compagnie Du Ponant. “Seeing Le Soléal enter service marks another great milestone in Tauck’s long and successful partnership with Compagnie Du Ponant. Tauck has been providing superior travel experiences to our guests for 88 years, and the elegance, sophistication and quality of Le Soléal will allow us to continue that wonderful tradition.”
This year Tauck is offering seven itineraries on four different Compagnie Du Ponant vessels, including the new Le Soléal, its sister-ships Le Boréal and L’Austral, and the elegant 60-passenger sailing vessel, Le Ponant.
The Tauck itineraries that feature Compagnie Du Ponant ships are “Venice & the Dalmatian Coast,” “Treasures of the Mediterranean,” “Sicily, the Amalfi Coast & Rome,” “St. Petersburg & the Baltic Sea,” Treasures of Southeast Asia,” “Iceland: Land of Fire and Ice” and “Antarctica.” Each is all-inclusive, with Tauck-exclusive shore excursions, all gratuities, airport transfers, onboard alcoholic beverages and most meals.
Le Soléal, L’Austral and Le Boréal each feature six decks (all served by elevator) that include a chic main dining room serving French and international cuisine, a casual grill restaurant, three lounges offering bars and entertainment, a state-of-the-art theater for lectures and entertainment, fitness and beauty facilities, a medical center and multiple observation areas.
Suites ranging from 301 to 398 sq. ft. and state rooms (ranging from 200 to 210 sq. ft.) all provide ocean views, with 95 percent of all accommodations featuring private balconies. Among other amenities, suites and staterooms also feature either two twin beds that can convert to a king-sized bed (or a sofa converting into a queen-size bed), individually-controlled air conditioning, flat-screen TV with satellite channels and video on demand, iPod docking station, electronic safe and minibar.