Tauck reports it will continue to increase its presence in European river cruising later this year, when it boosts the capacity of its Christmas market cruises along the Danube and Rhine rivers.
Tauck said the move is the latest in an eventful year for Tauck’s river cruising efforts, following the launch of the company’s two new Inspiration Class ships (the ms Inspire and ms Savor, christened in April and June respectively) and the addition of four new river cruise itineraries. For the coming holiday season Tauck will boost its Christmas market river cruise departures by 67 percent and increase the number of ships sailing on its two Christmas-themed itineraries from three to four. The new ms Inspire and ms Savor will both make their Christmas market cruise debuts, joining the ms Treasures and the ms Swiss Jewel.
Tauck offers two different eight-day Christmas market river cruises, “Christmas Markets Along The Rhine” and “Christmas Markets Along The Danube.”
“Christmas Markets Along the Rhine,” (from $2,550 per person plus airfare) visits markets in Germany and France as it travels south from Cologne to Basel aboard Tauck’s ms Inspire on December 7 and aboard the ms Swiss Jewel on December 13. Northbound departures following a reverse itinerary begin in Basel on November 30 and December 14 aboard the ms Inspire, and aboard the ms Swiss Jewel on December 6.
“Christmas Markets Along the Danube” (from $2,590 per person plus air) sails eastward from Nürnberg to Vienna aboard the ms Savor on November 29 and December 13, and aboard the ms Treasures on December 7. A reverse (westbound) itinerary begins in Vienna on December 6 aboard the ms Savor, and on November 30 aboard the ms Treasures. Included are onboard cultural performances and local crafts demonstrations, lectures and walking tours, and culinary demonstrations highlighting traditional gingerbread and cookies. Guests also have select meals ashore, including an Austrian lunch at the iconic Stiftskeller St. Peter restaurant in Salzburg, and lunch with beer produced on-site at the award-winning Brauhaus Vetter restaurant and brewery in Heidelberg.
Tauck’s Christmas market cruises, like their other river cruises, are virtually all-inclusive, with all gratuities, meals, shore excursions, unlimited onboard beer, wine and premium spirits, airport transfers and more included in the cruise price. The jump in capacity for Tauck’s Christmas market river cruises reflects a larger, ongoing effort by the company to boost its overall river cruising capacity to meet strong demand and better serve its guests and travel agent partners, Tauck said.
Within a two-year period, from mid-2014 through mid-2016, Tauck will have expanded its fleet from four ships to nine, representing a 125 percent increase in fleet size. The expansion will include the two Inspiration Class ships launched this year, an additional two as-yet-unnamed Inspiration Class ships launching in 2016, and a fifth Jewel Class ship – the ms Esprit – set to join Tauck’s fleet in early 2015.