Pack up the kids. It’s time to go river cruising. Tauck, a luxury tour and river cruise company, is going after the family market. It’s adding a fourth river cruise designed specifically for families to its collection of Tauck Bridges family journeys in 2017. In fact, Tauck will boosts its family river cruise departures from 10 next year to 20 in 2017 – doubling its total family river cruising capacity.
Tauck CEO Dan Mahar says he new river cruise will be on a popular European waterway. “We first began exploring the idea of river cruises designed specifically for families in 2008, testing the concept on selected departures along the Danube the following year, and formally launching our first Tauck Bridges river cruise, our ‘Blue Danube: Family Riverboat Adventure,’ in 2010,” says Mahar. “Since then we’ve expanded our efforts to include Tauck Bridges river cruises on the Rhone and on the Rhine. By adding another itinerary and doubling our capacity in 2017, we’ll ensure our continued leadership in the category.”
With development of the new itinerary currently under way, Mahar notes that each Tauck Bridges river cruise is created specifically with family groups in mind. “When we design a new Tauck Bridges river cruise, we craft an experience from the ground-up that’s designed to be fun, enriching and engaging for all family members. It would be far easier to simply designate certain departures of our existing cruises as ‘family-friendly’ – an approach taken by some other lines – but the end experience wouldn’t be of the same quality.”
Mahar points to a number of activities that Tauck includes only on its Tauck Bridges river cruises to illustrate how the itineraries are crafted specifically for families. Among those experiences are a scavenger hunt in the Louvre in Paris, hands-on “medieval games” in Bratislava, a guided cycling exploration near Durnstein, Austria, and a range of interactive cooking demonstrations highlighting chocolate, marzipan and fondue.
For 2016, check out this Tauck family river cruise: In France, Tauck’s “Bon Voyage! France Family River Cruise” (10 days, from $4,690 per person plus airfare) begins with an included two-night hotel stay in Paris complete with guided city sightseeing. Guests then travel via high-speed train to Lyon for a seven-night cruise along the Rhone that includes a private visit to a working ranch in the Camargue, a cycling excursion in Lyon, and a lesson at an award-winning French cooking school.
And new for this year is Tauck’s “Castles on the Rhine: Family Riverboat Adventure.” It begins with a ride on the world’s steepest cogwheel train to the 7,000-foot summit of Mt. Pilatus in the Swiss Alps, then sails from Basel, Switzerland to Amsterdam, the Netherlands (8 days, from $3,790 per person plus airfare).