Treasures and Esprit are the last of Tauck's four 110-meter ships to undergo the radical transformation. Sapphire and Emerald were similarly reconfigured a year ago, and returned to service for the 2017 season.
Passenger count reduced from 118 to 98
Treasures and Esprit were gutted in a 'down-to-the-studs' refurbishment, with the most dramatic change occurring on their Ruby (middle) Deck, where 30 150-square-foot cabins were replaced by 20 larger cabins measuring 225 square feet. With the total number of cabins going from 59 to 49, each boat's overall capacity was reduced 17%, from 118 passengers to 98.
Treasures and Esprit will sail on the Rhine, Main and Danube, including Tauck's popular 'Amsterdam to Budapest by Riverboat' itinerary. With the enhanced comfort resulting from larger cabins and fewer guests, the company expects this 14-night journey (which also operates from Budapest to Amsterdam) to become even more popular.
'We've reimagined and enhanced half of our riverboat fleet,' Tauck CEO Dan Mahar said. 'Now more than ever, we believe that we have the finest, most elegant riverboats on Europe's rivers.' Yet, that being said, Mahar added what truly distinguishes Tauck river cruises is the company's 93 years of destination expertise.
In addition to the 20 new 225-square-foot cabins, each of Tauck’s 110-meter vessels has 14 300-square-foot suites. As a result, cabins measuring 225 square feet or larger now account for 69% of all accommodations, which Tauck said is the highest percentage of such cabins on any 110-meter riverboats in Europe. Even with the lowered passenger count, each boat is staffed with a Tauck cruise director and a full complement of three Tauck directors.
Upgraded casual dining venue
Another significant enhancement can be found on Treasures' and Esprit’s Diamond (upper) Deck, where a second dining venue, The Bistro, has been upgraded with its own dedicated galley and chef. The Bistro has been renamed Arthur's after company chairman Arthur Tauck Jr., and its expanded menu will continue to provide more casual alternatives to the main Compass Rose restaurant.
Tauck first introduced the concept of a second dining venue in 2006, and the enhanced Arthur's restaurant is already featured on its four 135-meter vessels.