(BPT) - Ask any travel agent, pick up a travel magazine or put the question to a travel expert, and you’ll learn that river cruising continues to be the hottest trend in travel. When something enjoys this kind of tremendous growth and popularity, you can be sure that it’s changing rapidly as customer tastes evolve, and companies strive to differentiate themselves from the competition with new innovations.
That’s certainly true with river cruising. Tauck (ranked No. 1 in Travel + Leisure magazine’s list of the “World’s Best River Cruise Lines”) highlights some of the exciting new developments that continue to fuel river cruising’s incredible popularity:
New ships. Companies are continuing to build new riverboats at a breakneck pace, with Tauck launching two new vessels in 2014, the ms Inspire and the ms Savor. Together the two riverboats comprise Tauck’s new Inspiration Class of ships. Each features a high percentage of luxurious suites, a maximum of just 130 passengers for an intimate, relaxing ambiance (other ships of the same size hold 190 travelers, or 46 percent more), and a Tauck Cruise Director and three Tauck Directors to attend to guests’ every need.
New itineraries. With all these new ships comes the opportunity to add more itineraries and the chance to expand to additional rivers. For 2014, Tauck is adding four new itineraries, including its first-ever cruises on the Seine in France (where the company has seen tremendous growth in recent years) and an additional cruise on the Danube – Tauck’s most popular river. Special “themed” cruises are also popular, and Tauck offers cruises designed just for families, for food and wine aficionados, and for devotees of classical music.
New inclusions. Anyone who’s taken an ocean cruise will appreciate the fact that, with a river cruise, far more is typically included in the cruise price. Tauck, for example, actually sells zero options on their cruises! What’s more, Tauck is now offering unlimited beer, wine and premium spirits throughout the day aboard its riverboats. Also included with Tauck are all shore excursions, all gratuities, airport transfers, luggage handling, the majority of meals, and much more.
New and innovative features. With all the new riverboats being built, the river cruise lines have taken advantage of the opportunity to add exciting new features and innovative touches to the designs of their ships. Tauck’s two new Inspiration Class ships, for example, each feature eight lower deck cabins that offer an innovative “loft” design. “One of the most innovative concepts we have ever seen on any ship” (in the words of one travel writer), the loft design features an oversized window that allows fresh air and natural light to fill the cabin. With conventional lower-deck cabins, small, eye-level windows let in minimal light and are sealed shut to the outside air. Along with the loft cabins, Tauck’s new Inspiration Class ships also feature a second, steak house-style restaurant in addition to their more formal main dining rooms.
For more information on Tauck’s river cruises, visit your local travel professional, call (800) 468-2825, or go to www.tauck.com.