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Tauck cuts fares on 2016 Europe river cruises to reflect stronger dollar

Tauck cuts fares on 2016 Europe river cruises to reflect stronger dollar
Tauck's 2016 river cruising plans include two new ships, a new Rhine route and new on-shore dining experiences—all at prices up to $1,200 per couple lower than the 2015 rates.

CEO Dan Mahar attributed the reductions entirely to recent foreign exchange gains made by the US dollar against the euro, which Tauck is passing along to customers.

'We’re incredibly proud of the value we deliver to our guests, and when opportunities arise to increase that value—whether it’s by enhancing the experience our guests enjoy, or by taking advantage of favorable exchange rates—we’re excited to do so. For 2016, we’ve been able to do both,' Mahar said.

Next year two new Inspiration-class riverboats are scheduled to join the fleet: Grace, in April, and Joy, in June. Joy will sail on three Tauck voyages along the Danube, while the Grace will sail exclusively on the Rhine.

Among Grace's itineraries is the new 10-day 'The Rhine, Swiss Alps & Amsterdam' program, starting with an included two-night stay at the five-star Bellevue Palace in Bern. Participants will have sightseeing options including a city walking tour or a full-day excursion into the Bernese Alps to Europe’s highest railway station, the Jungfraujoch at 11,332 feet. The following day a walking tour in Lucerne’s medieval Old Town is offered before travelers continue to Basel, where they’ll board their riverboat for a seven-night Rhine cruise to Amsterdam.

Fares start at $4,690 per person, plus air.

On the new Rhine itinerary Tauck will provide an exclusive private evening inside Schloss Ehreshoven, a castle in Engelskirchen, Germany. Normally closed to the public, Schloss Ehreshoven dates to the 14th century and was later expanded in the style of a grand Baroque manor house surrounded by a moat and landscaped gardens. The former home of the noble Nesselrode family, the castle will host Tauck guests for a cocktail reception, dinner and live musical performances.

Schloss Ehreshoven will also be featured on Tauck’s 'The Romantic Rhine' itinerary in 2016, and it’s one of several new on-shore dinner venues featured on the company's river cruises next year.

Another, Chateau Bizy in Vernon, France, will be available on the 'Cruising the Seine plus Versailles, Paris & London' itinerary. Known as “the Versailles of Normandy,” the chateau was inspired by Versailles and constructed in 1740. Former owners included Louis XV, the duke of Penthièvre, and the last French king, Louis-Philippe. The chateau is today owned by descendants of Napoleon. Tauck passengers will get a garden and estate tour, a champagne reception with hors d’oeuvres, and a three-course dinner with live musical entertainment.

Schloss Johannisberg in Geisenheim, Germany, will host Tauck travelers sailing on the 'The Rhine & Moselle' itinerary. A former Benedictine monastery and later the palace of a Prince-Abbot, Schloss Johannisberg has more than 1,200 years of winemaking history and was the first riesling wine estate. Tauck passengers will be able to visit the historic wine cellar. A reception featuring wines from the castle's vineyards and a three-course dinner paired with local wines and musical performances round out the evening.