Tauck has disclosed the names of the two new riverboats it will launch next year, and announced that the ships will each be considerably longer than the four sister-ships that currently comprise the company’s fleet. The new ships, the ms Inspire and ms Savor, will both be 443 feet long, compared to Tauck’s existing ships which each measure 361 feet. Despite being 23% longer, the two newbuilds will only accommodate 130 guests each, or just 10% more than its current ships.
“Our existing riverboats – what we’re now calling our Jewel Class vessels – already have the lowest passenger-to-ship-length ratio on Europe’s rivers,” said Tauck CEO Dan Mahar. “The two new riverboats – our Inspiration Class vessels – actually raise the bar even higher.”
To illustrate his point, Mahar cited other leading river cruise lines whose premier class ships are also 443 feet long; the same length as Tauck’s newbuilds. “When our Inspiration Class ships launch next year they’ll each have just 130 guests aboard, whereas other major lines carry up to 190 guests on the same length ships,” said Mahar. “That’s an additional 46% more passengers aboard ships of the exact same length. You simply can’t deliver the same relaxed, intimate atmosphere when you put nearly 50% more passengers into the same space.”
INDUSTRY-LEADING GUIDE-TO-GUEST RATIO
Even though Tauck’s newbuilds will have far fewer guests aboard, the ships will nonetheless be staffed with more service personnel than any other river cruise line, according to Mahar. “Each Inspiration Class riverboat will have a Tauck Cruise Director and three Tauck Directors aboard to attend to guests’ needs and provide exemplary service,” noted Mahar. “By contrast, other ships carrying far more guests are often staffed by just a single cruise director.”
The Tauck Directors will also accompany shore excursions, according to Mahar, where they’ll divide guests into small groups of no more than 25, with each group personally guided by a local expert. “River cruises offer incredible opportunities for authentic, in-depth explorations of each destination, so we place tremendous emphasis on ensuring that our shore excursions – all of which are included in our cruise prices – are absolutely world-class,” said Mahar. By contrast, noted Mahar, other cruise lines will routinely have groups of 100 or more led by a single local guide.