Tauck has christened its newest riverboat, Grace, in a ceremony in Maastricht, the Netherlands. The launch of the new ship comes as Tauck is more than doubling the size of its European riverboat fleet, from four vessels at the start of 2014 to nine later this year with the June christening of another new ship, the Joy.
Following remarks from Tauck CEO Dan Mahar and Maastricht mayor Annemarie Penn-te Strake, the Grace was officially christened by three long-time Tauck employees who guide the company's river cruising efforts. Sharing godmother honors were Katharine Bonner, SVP of Tauck river and small ship cruising; Rebecca Sellet, director worldwide operations, river and small ship cruising; and Michelle Lavrado, product manager for European river cruising. After the christening ceremony, the ship embarked on a celebratory three-night cruise to Amsterdam highlighted by shore excursions in Antwerp, Dordecht and Kinderkijk during the day and onboard folkloric performances in the evening.
Like the other ships in Tauck's fleet, the 135-meter Grace will have 22 suites on its upper Diamond deck. Each of the suites is furnished with two French balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows, a pull-out couch, roomy walk-in closets with built-in drawers, and a spacious bathroom with rain shower.
Along with the suites, the Grace will have eight 225-square-foot Loft cabins located on its lower (Emerald) deck, an additional 24 junior suites of the same size on the Ruby (middle) deck, plus a total of 13 cabins ranging from 150 to 190 square feet split between the Ruby and Emerald decks. All suites and cabins have in-room movies, minibar, individual heating and cooling controls, luxury toiletries, and plush bedding with 100 percent goose down pillows, 400-thread-count linens and pillow-top mattresses.
The Grace will carry 130 guests, as well as one Tauck Cruise Director and three Tauck Directors. The ship will also sail with a second onboard dining venue, Arthur's, with its own dedicated, open kitchen. Named for company chairman Arthur Tauck Jr., Arthur's offers more casual dining as an alternative to the fine dining in the ship's main dining room, the Compass Rose.
The Grace will sail on itineraries along the Rhine and Moselle Rivers.