Tauck has announced plans to introduce three new European river cruises next year; a new family river cruise along the Danube timed for the holiday season, a 10-day autumn journey along the Rhine highlighting Oktoberfest in Munich, and an eight-day exploration on the Seine highlighting Paris, Versailles and Normandy’s D-Day Beaches.
The new family cruise, “Holiday Magic: Danube Family River Cruise,” will feature two departures, on December 22 and December 23, sailing respectively on Tauck’s ms Savor riverboat travelling from Vienna to Munich via Budapest, and on the ms Joy (travelling from Munich to Budapest).
Along the way, guests will enjoy special holiday-themed activities, including a visit to Oberndorf, Austria (where the song “Silent Night” was written and first performed in 1818), a workshop highlighting traditional treats in Passau, and a memorable European holiday dinner aboard their Tauck riverboat, which will be specially decorated for the season.
Families will also enjoy an exclusive “Imperial Evening” inside a private Viennese palace, medieval games and a scavenger hunt in Bratislava’s Old Town district, and a choice of excursions to the picturesque towns of Durnstein, Melk and Krems in the scenic Wachau Valley. The eight-day cruise is priced from $4,190 per person, plus airfare.
OKTOBERFEST TRADITIONS IN MUNICH
Beer lovers, meanwhile, will appreciate Tauck’s new “Autumn Along the Rhine: Munich’s Oktoberfest.” The 10-day itinerary (from $6,890 per person plus airfare) culminates with an entire day at the annual event. Tauck’s Oktoberfest experience includes reserved seating in one of the festival’s exclusive brewery tents, where guests will be treated to a three-course lunch and traditional Bavarian live music while they savor the singing, revelry and camaraderie for which Oktoberfest is known. Tauck is also providing complimentary round-trip shuttles between the riverboat and the fairgrounds, along with lederhosen and dirndls (traditional Bavarian dresses), so each guest will look and feel the part as they immerse themselves in the Oktoberfest festivities.
Prior to enjoying the pleasures of Oktoberfest, guests will begin their cruise in Amsterdam, embarking their riverboat for one of the journey’s two scheduled departures; September 16 aboard the ms Inspire and September 24 on the ms Grace. Subsequent ports of call include Dusseldorf, Heidelberg and Strasbourg, along with an overland excursion to Switzerland where guests will ascend 7,000-foot Mt. Pilatus and enjoy a walking tour of Lucerne. After disembarking their riverboat the following day, guests will travel through Switzerland and Germany to Munich for a two-night hotel stay, where the journey concludes following their Oktoberfest celebration.
NEW SEINE RIVER CRUISE REFLECTS SHIFTING DEMOGRAPHICS
“Impressions from the Seine: Paris to Normandy” (from $4,590 per person, plus airfare) is the third of Tauck’s three new river cruises for 2019, and its third itinerary on the Seine intended for adult travellers. (A fourth Tauck itinerary along the Seine is designed for family groups, and is part of the company’s Tauck Bridges portfolio.)
Tauck’s other adult-oriented Seine offerings are 10 and 12-day itineraries, while the new cruise is shorter at just eight days, boosting its appeal among younger travellers who are still in the workforce and more likely to be constrained by limited holiday time. Along with more active shore excursion choices, an increase in healthy menu options, and the recent addition of onboard yoga-inspired stretching classes, the new, shorter Seine journey reflects the evolution of Tauck’s river cruise client base, which has become younger and more active over time.
The new Seine cruise begins with a full day in Paris, where guests will have a choice of museum visits (typically including the Louvre, Musee National de L’Orangerie, Musee d’Orsay or Rodin Museum; subject to operating schedules), followed by a free afternoon to explore independently. After a visit to Versailles the following day, guests sail aboard Tauck’s ms Sapphire to visit Rouen (with a Tauck-exclusive dinner at the nearby 16th-century Chateau du Taillis), the D-Day Beaches at Normandy, (including visits to Pointe du Hoc, Omaha Beach and the Normandy American Cemetery), Les Andelys, Vernon, and Giverny, where guests will enjoy a pre-opening visit to Impressionist painter Claude Monet’s home, gardens and studio.