Tauck World Discovery is expanding its collection of family-specific Tauck Bridges trips for 2009 with the addition of three new itineraries, including the first-ever river cruise designed especially for families, the company said. The new trips bring the total number of Tauck Bridges itineraries to 16, with family travel adventures offered in Europe, North America, Latin America and Africa.
The Tauck Bridges trips have comprised one of the fastest-growing segments of Tauck’s business over the past several years. Sales in 2008 posted strong double-digit growth in all regions and, over the past two years, Tauck has increased its Tauck Bridges departures by 45 percent. During that same time, Tauck has also boosted the number of Bridges itineraries it offers by 60 percent.
Tauck CEO Dan Mahar credits Tauck Bridges’ success to the uniqueness of its approach. “Other family travel options seem designed to segregate the different generations, with special ‘kids-only’ areas on cruise ships and at resorts, and with separate activities,” said Mahar. “I know of one cruise company that actually gives the parents pagers, in case the parents need to be located by the ship’s staff charged with watching the children.”
Among new programs are the Tauck Bridges river cruise, “Cruising the Blue Danube” (eight days, from $3,290 pp plus air) begins in Budapest and travels the Danube to visit Bratislava, Vienna, Dürnstein, Linz, Passau and Regensburg, with a full-day excursion to Salzburg. The itinerary incorporates a number of special components crafted specifically to provide family fun, including an adventure rally race in Bratislava featuring kayaking, an archery competition, ropes course and scavenger hunt. Other fun activities include a hands-on strudel-making demonstration at Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, a visit to quirky, whimsical Hellbrunn Castle near Salzburg, and a marzipan sculpting class, Tauck said.
Another example of the new Tauck Bridges itineraries includes “Once Upon A Time: Budapest to Vienna” (eight days, from $3,295 pp plus air), which features multiple-night stays in the imperial cities of Budapest and Vienna, as well as Graz, Austria. The trip also includes a dinner cruise along the Danube and visits to Budapest’s Castle Hill, the Lipizzaner Horse Farm, the Erzberg Mountain UNESCO World Heritage Site and Schönbrunn Palace.
Tauck is supporting its 2009 family itineraries with the release of a new full-color, 68-page Tauck Bridges brochure that is currently mailing to travel agents and guests.