All-inclusive river cruise operator Tauck has unveiled plans to completely refurbish its fleet of five Jewel-class river cruise ships between 2017 and 2018, rolling out new staterooms, upgraded amenities and new dining venues for the ships.
Beginning just in time for the start of the 2017 river cruise season in Europe, Tauck will reconfigure the 110-meter long Swiss Emerald and her sister, Swiss Sapphire. Each vessel – both of which are based in France – will be outfitted with larger staterooms that will reduce overall passenger capacity from 118 guests to just 98 per ship.
By removing the existing 30, 150-square foot staterooms, Tauck will have the space to equip each vessel with a total of 20 staterooms that measure 225 square feet each. Coupled with the reduced passenger count – already one of the lowest in the industry – Tauck’s refurbished Jewel Class ships will feature more personal space throughout the ship than most other river cruise vessels of similar class.
Additionally, all five of Tauck’s Jewel Class ships will be given its own secondary dining venue. Arthur’s, named in tribute for company founder Arthur Tauck Sr., will be added to each ship where the current Bistro alternate dining venue is. The new expanded menu offered at Arthur’s will allow Tauck’s Jewel Class river cruise ships to offer a more casual dining alternative to the fine dining offered in the main Compass Rose restaurant each evening.
Tauck’s remaining three Jewel-class river cruise ships – Swiss Jewel, ms Espirt and ms Treasures – will be refitted during the winter of 2017/2018, entering service with their new staterooms and amenities in time for the start of the 2018 season.
Tauck CEO Dan Mahar explained the reasoning behind the reconfiguration of the five Tauck vessels. “From day-one our approach has always been to limit passenger capacity, and by doing so, to provide a more intimate, club-like atmosphere and more spacious cabins for our guests,” he said. “The launch of our Inspiration Class ships took that approach to a new level, and with the re-envisioning of our Jewel Class vessels, we’re putting them on equal footing with our [newer] Inspiration Class ships.”
If you’ve never sailed with Tauck before, it’s worth highlighting the many little things that the company does that makes touring with the venerable tour operator by land or by water so enjoyable.
Cruise fares include all transfers, onboard beverages, every single shore excursion – many of which are unique features not typically available to the general public – and all gratuities. Tauck is so serious about not charging guests extra for anything that the company has actually provided Euro coins for guests on both of my own sailings, explaining that guests shouldn’t have to reach into their pockets to pay for Europe’s notoriously-prevalent pay toilets.
“The behind-the-scenes access to exclusive cultural experiences we provide, the expertise we’ve developed leading award-winning land tours for more than 90 years, the knowledge and service delivered by our Tauck Directors and local guides … they all combine to create an unmatched land experience for our guests,” Mahar concluded.
LaszloSzucs Cheflaszlo says
worked for tauck 1.5 years, on emerald jewel sapphire you name it…overall food is not good. menus are made for basic chefs, basic 14 or 7 days menus. a gourmet cant get tired of it in 4-5 days. cheap frozen fish to be honest i dont remember if i ever took a bite. receiving fresh vegetables weekly (or 5 days) the rest every 2 weeks. all river cruise companies using same suppliers, same food, yogurt, horrible milk sometimes water + milk powder, frozen chicken frozen meat, 2000 eggs for 2 weeks… working conditions are bad, crew sleeps tiny cabins, 4 together. zero privacy, all working every day without any day offs all season. it is a big problem to find workers and when you dont have people around you easily hire all kinds of people. Tauck just care about money every crew member just a “number”. on french river you see the Romanians and for the Danube they fill up the ships with cheap Indonesians. every year putting new ships out (circa 11 million euro/wessel) and to be honest rivers cant take no more. european rivers are full. Viking 14 new ships, Amawaterways getting ships to french river so they can charge more.. very rare to find high profile guest, and if they come they do complain..no wonder, all the river cruises are the same Viking Amawaterways etc. all of them offering little different but what you get is basically the same. guests are monstly retired middle class having the “vacation of lifetime”. overall finishing the cruise happy, they have a chance to see europe and it is a nice thing to do. i have worked over 3 years on the river. i saw a lot. drinking is a big problem, captains are insane. i have had a big complaint regarding all this, and i will always say the truth about these greedy people. if you have a chance think twice!
Tauck has some amazing river cruise options. Here’s another good resource to compare multiple river cruise ships and read reviews: http://www.stridetravel.com/tours/activities/river-cruises.html?d
Charlie Crissman says
We took a Tauck European river cruise in Dec 2014 and was blown away. It was so luxurious and well worth the cost! We were even given 20 euros each for lunch one day when the excursion lasted through lunchtime. I cannot wait to cruise with Tauck again! (full disclosure: we are not one of the wealthy passengers who don’t worry about the money – we are pretty much middle class and while the cost was high, it was so worth it!)
Ralph Grizzle says
I agree Charlie. The money for lunch was the icing on the cake to a great river cruise and touring experience. Thanks for your comment.