Tauck announced that it will offer its first-ever sailings on the Douro River, Portugal, in 2020, and that its 3 new itineraries will sail onboard a riverboat that is being designed and constructed specifically for the Douro.
With the new vessel, ms Andorinha, the cruise line continues to defy the industry practice of maximizing guest capacity in order to boost revenue and instead offers more spacious public areas, more suites, and the more intimate experience that results from having fewer passengers onboard. In fact, Tauck is noting that with a guest capacity of just 84, ms Andorinha is due to carry fewer travelers than any other ship currently operated by a major cruise line on the Douro River.
Even though ms Andorinha will have far fewer passengers than other ships, it will boast more director-level personnel in order to ensure Tauck’s customers enjoy the highest levels of service. As on Tauck river ships fleet-wide, the newbuild riverboat is to be staffed by a Tauck Cruise Director and 3 Tauck Director guides.
MS Andorinha will also have a number of unique design features to make it suited to cruising on the Douro. Tauck is teaming with Scylla AG (shipowner) on vessel's design and building. The hull will be fabricated at Serbia's Vahali Shipyard, while final outfitting will be done in Hardinxveld (Holland) before the launch in 2020-Q1.
The newbuild will have 36 crew members and will measure 263 feet (80 metres) in length with a beam of 38 feet (11.6 metres). Passengers will be accommodated in 42 cabins, of which 12300 ft2 (1143 m2) suites on the upper Diamond Deck, and 20225 ft2 (1879 m2) staterooms primarily on the mid-level and Ruby deck. The remaining accommodations include six 200 ft2 (18.6 m2) cabins and four 150 ft2 (14 m2) cabins that will be on the Emerald or the lower deck.
MS Andorinha will feature a Compass Rose restaurant for fine dining, a second dining venue serving more casual fare, Arthur’s (named for the chairman Arthur Tauck Jr.), Panorama Lounge, two bars, and a pool.
The Portuguese word “andorinha” is used for a species of swallow (a migratory bird) which return to Portugal in spring after spending the winter in Africa.
Tauck will offer 3 new itineraries on Douro River aboard ms Andorinha, including a 12-day sailing that bookends a 7-night Douro sailing with 2-night hotel stays in Madrid and Lisbon, an 8-day “cruise-only” Douro itinerary, and an 8-day Tauck Bridges voyage specifically designed for families with 4 departures in late June/early July 2020. Additional itinerary details and pricing are to be announced later in 2019.