Tauck has announced that it will offer its first-ever cruises on the Douro River in Portugal next year, and that its three new itineraries will sail aboard a riverboat that’s being designed and built specifically for the Douro.
According to the officials, the new ship, the ms Andorinha, will offer more suites, more spacious public areas and an intimate ambiance that naturally results from having fewer guests on board. Tauck notes that with a capacity of just 84 guests, the Andorinha will carry fewer guests than any other vessel currently operated by a major line on the Douro.
“At Tauck, we measure success by the quality of the experience we provide our guests, and one of the best ways to ensure a warm, relaxing and engaging atmosphere on board is to avoid crowding too many guests into a limited space,” said Tauck CEO Dan Mahar.
As on Tauck riverboats fleet-wide, the newbuild will be staffed by a Tauck Cruise Director and three Tauck Director guides.
Mahar also hinted that the Andorinha will boast a number of unique design features to make it perfectly suited to cruising the Douro.
“The Douro is a very different river, and so we’ve been consciously deliberate with the ship’s design,” he said. “We won’t be the first company to operate on the Douro when we launch next year, but in terms of infrastructure, we’re excited to have some surprises in store that will truly differentiate us.”
The new ship will have a crew of 36 and will measure 263 feet in length with a beam of 38 feet. Guests will be accommodated in 42 cabins, including 12 300-square-foot suites on the upper Diamond Deck, and 20 225-square-foot staterooms primarily on the vessel’s Ruby or mid-level deck. The remaining accommodations – six 200-square-foot cabins and four 150-square-foot cabins – will be on the lower or Emerald Deck.
The Andorinha will also feature a Panorama Lounge, Compass Rose restaurant for fine dining, and a second dining venue, Arthur’s (named for company chairman Arthur Tauck Jr.), serving more casual fare.
Tauck will offer three new Douro River itineraries – a 12-day journey that bookends a seven-night Douro cruise with two-night hotel stays in Lisbon and Madrid, an eight-day “cruise-only” itinerary along the river, and an eight-day Tauck Bridges cruise designed specifically for families with four departures slated for late June/early July 2020.