Tauck will sail its first cruises on the Douro River in Portugal next year, aboard a brand-new riverboat that’s being designed and built specifically for the Douro.
Three new Douro River itineraries will be offered aboard the ms Andorinha: 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. Itinerary details and pricing will be announced later this year.
Ms Andorinha will offer more suites, more spacious public areas, and a more intimate ambiance, thanks to a capacity of just 84 guests, Tauck said.
Riverboats sailing the Douro typically accommodate as many as 130 passengers, noted Tauck CEO Dan Mahar, and average 260 feet in length. “That’s 55 percent more guests in the same space,” said Mahar, “and you just can’t deliver the same level experience or ambiance with those kinds of numbers.”
The new ship will have a crew of 36, and it will measure 263 feet in length with a beam of 38 feet. Guests will be accommodated in 42 cabins, including 300-square-foot suites on the upper Diamond Deck (12 of them), and 225-square-foot staterooms primarily on the vessel’s Ruby or mid-level deck (20 of them). The remaining accommodations – six 200-square-foot cabins and four 150-square-foot cabins – will be on the lower or Emerald Deck.
The ms 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 is again teaming with its longtime partner Scylla AG on the design and construction of the ms Andorinha. The ship’s hull will be fabricated at Vahali Shipyard in Serbia; and final outfitting will be done in Hardinxveld, the Netherlands, prior to the ship’s launch in the spring of 2020.
The newbuild will be staffed by a Tauck cruise director and three Tauck director guides.