'I think these two names are wonderfully evocative of the emotional responses our guests have on our river cruises, both on and off our vessels,' Tauck ceo Dan Mahar said.
Grace and Joy will bring the Tauck riverboat fleet to nine vessels, representing a 125% expansion of the company’s capacity in a two-year period. In 2013 the fleet consisted of four Jewel-class ships, Treasures, Swiss Jewel, Swiss Sapphire and Swiss Emerald. In 2014 Tauck launched its first two Inspiration-class ships, Inspire and Savor, and a fifth Jewel-class ship, Esprit, is set to join the fleet this spring.
The 443-foot-long Inspiration-class ships carry just 130 passengers, compared to 190 passengers on other vessels of the same size. And Tauck staffs each ship with a Tauck cruise director and three professional Tauck directors.
The Inspiration-class ships have a higher percentage of suites and a second restaurant, Arthur's, named for company chairman Arthur Tauck. It's a casual alternative to the fine dining main restaurant, Compass Rose.
Also notable are eight 'loft' cabins located on each ship’s lower (Emerald) deck. On most riverboats the lower-level cabins are small, These are 225 square feet, with a raised platform seating area located against the ship's hull with a higher ceiling above, allowing for a taller window than can normally be incorporated into lower-level cabins. The middle portion of this window can be opened electronically for fresh air.
Grace and Joy will each have 22 suites of 300 square feet that are furnished with two French balconies with floor-to-ceiling windows, a pull-out couch, roomy walk-in closets with built-in drawers, and a spacious bathroom with rain shower. Along with the suites, the newbuilds also have 32 225-square-foot cabins, plus an additional 13 cabins ranging from 150 square feet to 190 square feet. Four of the 150-square-foot cabins are set aside for solo travelers.
All accommodations feature in-room movies, minibar, individual heating and cooling controls, luxury toiletries and plush bedding with 100% goose down pillows, 400-thread-count linens and pillow-top mattresses.
Tauck’s 2016 river cruise departures are now available at www.tauck.com, and travelers can reserve their preferred itinerary and departure with no cancellation penalties. Those who make a 2016 reservation will be advised by once the itinerary and pricing are finalized, and they will then have two weeks to cancel and receive a full refund of their trip deposit and the cost of Tauck’s travel protection plan, if purchased.