Also scheduled for July are the resumption of Galápagos Islands trips, while July will see European river cruises on the Rhone and Seine in France and the Douro in Portugal. Although no firm date has been set, Tauck plans to restart cruises on the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers in early fall as border openings permit.
Those itineraries will be added to an 'Open for travel' page on Tauck’s website as they return to the company’s active roster.
The spacious new Andorinha
Tauck’s August sailings on the Douro are its first-ever on the river and the debut of its Andorinha riverboat. Andorinha will carry just 84 passengers, versus up to 112 passengers — or 33% more people — on other lines’ Douro vessels of approximately the same size.
One especially notable feature is a pop-up restaurant that rises from the stern of the Sun (top) Deck on hydraulic lifts to become a fully functioning eatery with commanding views. Named Arthur’s for Tauck chairman Arthur Tauck Jr., the restaurant can be lowered for added clearance when passing under low bridges.
Restarting European operations is particularly significant for Tauck since Europe is its most popular destination worldwide. The company has already resumed operations in the US — its second most-popular destination — and the success there will inform and enhance its restarts elsewhere.
'All the hard work and meticulous planning we’ve put into our relaunch in the US has paid off,' Tauck CEO Dan Mahar said, 'and we’ve proven conclusively that we can deliver the Tauck-level experience our guests expect while still following all of the necessary safety protocols.'
30th year in Europe
Tauck’s return to Europe comes as the company marks 30 years on the Continent. 'Our chairman Arthur Tauck Jr. first brought Tauck guests to Europe in 1991,' Mahar said, 'and after the events of the past year, restarting our operations there is an especially meaningful way to mark our 30th anniversary.'
In all, Tauck operates more than 70 land tours, river cruises and small-ship ocean cruises across Europe, including Tauck Bridges family trips and a number of small group land tours averaging just 24 participants.
97% of guests vaccinated
With the world beginning to reopen, Mahar strongly urged travelers to lock in their vacation plans now.
'One thing we’ve learned time and again over our 96 years is that travel denied is really travel deferred,' he said. 'When people are unable to travel, it only fuels their desire and determination to do so. And now — with 97% of our guests having been vaccinated — we’re seeing demand come roaring back.'
2022 bookings strongest in company history
Ninety percent of Tauck's 2021 US departures are sold out, and Mahar said 2022 has the strongest advance bookings of any year in company history, while April was its strongest booking month since 2007.