Tauck is introducing a new river cruise on the Rhone that celebrates and explores the rich culinary traditions of France. The new 10-day “A Taste of France” itinerary begins with a two-night hotel stay and exploration of local food culture in Paris, followed by a seven-night river cruise through the Rhone Valley aboard Tauck’s MS Swiss Emerald riverboat. Tauck has crafted the new itinerary in collaboration with Churchill & Turen, Ltd., the luxury travel agency named the “World’s Best Culinary Tour Specialist” by Conde Nast Traveler magazine.
“The foods and wines of France are world renowned, and our new river cruise is a fantastic introduction to what makes France such a culinary treasure,” said Tauck CEO Dan Mahar. “We’ve combined our 87 years of experience showcasing the world’s premier destinations with the insights and access of Churchill & Turen, all with the ease and elegance of river cruising.”
European river cruising has been among the fastest-growing categories of travel over the past several years, because it offers the ability to experience multiple locations with the convenience of unpacking just once. What’s more, each day provides opportunities to explore the historic cities and picturesque towns and villages that grew up along the banks of Europe’s major rivers.
Tauck’s “A Taste of France” (from $5,390 per person, double occupancy, plus air) begins with guided culinary-themed sightseeing in Paris and a two-night stay at the Hilton Arc de Triomphe. In Paris, guests will enjoy a Tauck-exclusive, hands-on introduction to French sauces with a tasting at the new Alain Ducasse culinary school, Ecole de Cuisine. They’ll also attend a workshop and blind tastings highlighting “The Joy of Chocolate” led by Chloe Doutre-Roussel, author of “The Chocolate Connoisseur,” and visit the former haunts of chef Julia Child and learn about contemporary Parisian life during a walking tour of the Left Bank.
Other culinary-themed experiences include:
* A market visit in Provence with local chefs who will buy ingredients and prepare regional specialties for tasting, such as tapenade, anchoiade and stuffed tomatoes Provencale.
* A visit to Lyon’s famous market, Les Halles, with tastings of local meats and cheeses.
* A memorable Provencal evening featuring dinner, local wines and entertainment in the shadow of Pont du Gard, the incredible Roman aqueduct.
* A wine tasting in Beaujolais.
* A demonstration of French culinary techniques at a cooking school operated by a three-star Michelin chef.
Included in Tauck’s cruise price are all sightseeing, activities and shore excursions, two nights hotel accommodations in Paris, all gratuities, complimentary wine with onboard meals, all taxes and port charges, airport transfers, luggage handling, most meals, and more.
TAUCK’S MS SWISS EMERALD RIVERBOAT
Travelers on “A Taste of France” will cruise in relaxed elegance aboard Tauck’s stylish MS Swiss Sapphire riverboat. Launched in 2006, the ship was recently enhanced with new décor and other improvements. As with Tauck’s other riverboats, the MS Swiss Emerald accommodates just 118 guests to ensure a relaxed and intimate atmosphere, compared to other lines that accommodate up to 160 passengers on ships of the same approximate size. (European riverboats are consistent in size due to the locks and bridges they must each pass through and under, respectively.) Last year, the MS Swiss Emerald and Tauck’s other ships were collectively named “The World’s Best River Cruise Line” by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine.
The launch of “A Taste of France” comes a year after the debut of Tauck’s first cruises on the Rhone; “French Escapade: Monte-Carlo to Paris” and “French Waterways and Vineyards.” The new “A Taste of France” itinerary mirrors the same framework of the later, with the addition of numerous culinary-themed shore excursions, onboard activities and other components.
Departures for the new culinary cruise are scheduled for April 25, June 28, August 17 and October 20 of this year. Those interested in more information can visit their local travel professional.
TAUCK’S “TASTINGS” COLLECTION
The “A Taste of France” river cruise is one of a dozen land and cruise journeys highlighted in Tauck’s new “Tastings” brochure, with each of the 12 trips featuring a number of activities and experiences that explore regional culinary traditions. In Seville, for example, Tauck guests are treated to a paella making demonstration. In Venice, they participate in a fun “top chef” competition using local ingredients. In New Mexico, guests enjoy lunch at the Santa Fe School of Cooking. And in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, San Francisco’s Embarcadero, and the neighborhoods of Vancouver, guests discover the secrets of local cuisine during guided walking tours. Along the way, Tauck’s guests also enjoy tastings ranging from wine to risotto, from extra virgin olive oil to cider, and from grappa to truffles.