Tauck reports robust growth in preseason bookings for its 2013 small ship ocean cruises. According to Tauck CEO Dan Mahar, sales for the coming year’s cruise departures are running 50 percent ahead of last year and a whopping 120 percent ahead of two years ago. The strong preseason bookings follow a very good year for Tauck’s 2012 small ship cruises, said Mahar.
“Tauck offers a very intimate alternative to the typical large cruise ship experience,” said Mahar. “Our service is more personalized, we access smaller ports and harbors where the big ships can’t go, and we provide our guests with truly enriching cultural experiences ashore.”
Tauck notes it crafts engaging and authentic shore excursions by leveraging its 87 years of experience operating award-winning land journeys and the company includes 100 percent of those shore excursions in its simple, transparent pricing. Also included in Tauck’s cruise prices are virtually all meals, all gratuities, daily cocktail hours, wine with onboard dinners, soft drinks throughout the day, port charges, airport transfers, luggage handling and more.
Not featured in Tauck’s pricing, Mahar emphasized, are any non-commissionable fees, so agents earn full commission on approximately 100 different trip components.
Tauck said it is increasing its cruise departures by 16 percent for the coming year. For 2013 the company will again offer ten ocean cruises exploring destinations including Italy, Greece, the Dalmatian Coast, Turkey, Iceland, Scandinavia, Antarctica, Central America and the Galapagos Islands.
Tauck partners with a number of small ship cruise lines to match the optimal vessel with each of its itineraries, from romantic sailing ships to purpose-built expeditionary vessels. Tauck’s primary partner is Compagnie du Ponant of France, and next year Tauck will feature their newbuild Le Soleal on selected sailings exploring Iceland. Tauck also uses several other Compagnie du Ponant vessels including Le Soleal’s sister-ships, L’Austral and Le Boreal, as well as Le Ponant.
In addition, Tauck utilizes both the Wind Star and Wind Spirit on its “Treasures of the Aegean” itinerary, and Paul Gauguin Cruise’s m/v Tere Moana, currently being renovated, will sail next year on Tauck’s “The Panama Canal & Costa Rica.” Rounding out Tauck’s fleet are the Isabella II and m/v Santa Cruz, which accommodate Tauck guests cruising the Galapagos Islands.
Tauck’s 2013 portfolio of small ship cruises is highlighted in a new full-color, 68-page brochure that was recently mailed to agents and past and prospective Tauck guests.