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Ponders Lorraine provides a detailed account from her Tauck river cruise.

A Tauck river cruise on ms Savor from Regensburg to Würzburg, 1st-5th November 2014 I was very lucky to be asked by Tauck if I would like to experience a luxury European river cruise onboard one of their new ships. The ms Savor had just finished its 2014 season with guests, so Tauck had arranged a one off 4 night itinerary for invited travel agents, cruising on the Danube, Main-Danube Canal and Main rivers. There were 70 of us in the group and this wasn’t just a fun trip, but a Tauck Academy trip, which involved 6 modules of between 30 and 90 minutes each in addition to a final test.

Day One I flew from Heathrow to Munich and regardless of whether you book a ‘fly cruise’ or ‘cruise only’ Tauck includes transfers from the nearest airport or train station to your port.

ms savour

MS SAVOUR 2

Ms Savour Dining

Ms SAVOUR Dining 2

As soon as we boarded we had a light lunch in the Panorama Lounge and then checked into our category 7 suite. Our suite featured two floor-to-ceiling French balconies with sliding door, full-size bathroom with marble counters and large shower with rainfall shower head, walk-in closet with built-in shelves and personal safe, pillow top twin beds, 32″ LED television, coffee maker and hair dryer. These suites can each accommodate 3 people. All staterooms include premium bed linens, Molton Brown toiletries, terry-cloth bathrobes and slippers, iron and ironing board, under-bed luggage storage, telephone and individual climate control.
MS Savour BEDS
Our suite

MS sAVOUR lOUNGE
Seating area in our suite

We then headed off for a walking tour of Regensburg. It is a really pretty town, with lots of history and it was great having a knowledgeable guide. The VOX personal audio devices make the experience so much better. Back onboard for our departure to Nuremberg we had our first 75 minute training module, followed by a presentation from the cruise director and a safety briefing by the captain. During the evening there was a welcome reception, dinner and then some light music. Al fresco dining is also available on the sundeck, subject to weather conditions.
MS Savour Sun decks

Day Two There was a choice of an early breakfast in Arthur’s, the alternative dining venue which is aft on deck 3, or a full breakfast in the Compass Rose restaurant. The morning was then taken up by two 90 minute training modules, followed by lunch, again with the choice of dining venues. We docked early afternoon and coaches were waiting to transfer us to Nuremberg. Our first stop was at the Zeppelin Fields, which is where Hitler held many rallies and we then went to the famous Documentation Centre, where all the records are kept from the Nuremberg Trials. We then had a guided walking tour of the city centre, before heading back to the ship. Dinner this evening was open seating in the Compass Rose and tables could be reserved in Arthur’s, which serves a more restricted menu. After dinner we had an audience participation quiz.

Day Three After breakfast we had a 60 minute training module before heading ashore for the short drive into Bamberg. Another interesting town, built on seven hills and we got to see the main sites including the cathedral. Before splitting up for some free time we all tried the local smoked beer called Rauchbier. The best description would be drinking a glass of stout at the same time as eating smoky bacon flavour crisps. Back onboard for an early afternoon sailing it was time for lunch, followed by some relaxing time on deck, watching the world go by. We then had a 30 minute training module, after which we got to look around all seven categories of accommodation. We then had some delicious Gluhwein (warm mulled wine), followed by our last 60 minute training module. The evening was taken up by drinks and another top quality dinner, followed by karoke and music in the lounge.

Day Four Early breakfast again, followed by the Tauck Academy final exam. Then the ship arrived in Wurzburg and it was time for today’s excursion to the fairy tale town of Rothenburg, which was about a 90 minute drive away. Lunch was taken in the Eisenhut restaurant, before heading back to Wurzburg. Before actually getting to the ship there was some wine tasting to be done, which meant we made a visit to the intimate Hofkeller of the Residenz. This was an amazing setting for the sampling of some excellent wines and while other cruise lines take their guests to view the Residenz, only Tauck gets the private tasting session. Back onboard it was time for the cocktail hour in the lounge, followed by the Captain’s Farewell Dinner in the Compass Rose. After dinner it was the Tauck Awards ceremony, where I became a Tauck Certified Agent, followed by music in the lounge. Day Five After an early breakfast it was unfortunately time to board my transfer coach, for the journey to Frankfurt airport for my flight home. It was a very busy, but extremely enjoyable 5 days, with lots of new memories to keep.

Summary This truly has been one of the best trips I have been on as an agent and I really got to find out just how the people at Tauck are focused on giving every customer a memorable experience. The quality of the food was outstanding and this was enhanced by the quality of the drink brands available. The standard of the cabins and everything within them and the service given by all members of crew is excellent. The Tauck Difference Since the first Tauck Tour took place in 1925, the company has remained a family business and is now managed by the third generation of the Tauck family. They really do offer All-Inclusive river cruising – airport and train station transfers, all dining onboard, beverages onboard (local wines & beers, premium champagne & spirits, speciality coffee, teas, water and soft drinks), all gratuities (not only onboard but also to local guides and drivers), Wi-Fi access, all shore excursions, including Signature Experiences such as private wine tastings and musical performances, as well as a number of dining and tasting experiences ashore.

General information on European riving cruising The European river cruising fleet consists of 7 premium ships, split into two classes. The ship carries a maximum of 130 guests in 22 suites and has 45 cabins across 6 categories. Onboard you will find a boutique, fitness & massage area, hair salon, jacuzzi, spa and a lift. The category 7 suites are 300 sq ft in size, each with two floor to ceiling windows with French balconies, walk-in closet, minibar, 32” LED TV, coffee maker, large bathroom with a large shower containing a rainfall shower head and a queen-sized bed. Other cabins range in size from 150 sq ft to 225 sq ft, including 8 innovative loft cabins. These category 3 cabins are 225 sq ft in size and have an opening window which covers two decks to allow more natural light into them.

Category 7 suite
22 luxurious 300-square-foot Category 7 suites on the Diamond Deck boast two floor-to-ceiling French balconies with sliding door and large marble baths with double sinks.

Category 6 cabin
Sixteen elegant 225-square-foot Category 6 cabins, each featuring a floor-to-ceiling French balcony with one sliding door, are situated aft on the Ruby Deck.

Category 5 cabin Ruby Deck
Eight spacious, category 5 cabins on the Ruby Deck measuring 225 square feet.

Category 5 cabin Diamond Deck
Two 190-square-foot category 5 corner cabins are set extreme forward on the Diamond Deck.

Category 4 cabin
Two spacious 190-sq. ft. category 4 cabins are situated extreme forward on the Ruby Deck, featuring one floor-to-ceiling French balcony and bathrooms with marble counters.

Category 3 cabin
On the Emerald Deck, 8 innovatively designed, 225-sq. ft. category 3 loft cabins with large marble bathrooms extend from the first to second deck for additional views.

Category 2 cabin
Three category 2 cabins are located on the Ruby Deck, measuring 150 square feet and featuring one floor-to-ceiling French balcony with one sliding door.

Category 1 cabin
Situated on the Emerald Deck, six 150-square-foot category 1 cabins each feature a marble bath with shower with Molton Brown toiletries, a Tauck Exclusive.

All accommodation across the fleet has in-room movies, minibar, adjustable heating and cooling, exclusive luxury toiletries, tea & coffee making facilities, absorbent terry towel robes, fluffy towels and hairdryers. The sumptuous bedding consists of 400-thread-count linens, puffy white duvets, pillows of Mako cotton with hypoallergenic 90% down filling, 100% cotton blankets and pillow-top mattresses. There are also a good number of 110-volt and 220-volt outlets. Entertainment takes the form of enrichment lectures, nightly piano music, culinary demonstrations and tastings, as well as the great programme of shore excursions. For those looking for some exercise, in addition to the fitness area there is also a putting green on the Sun Deck and bicycles for complimentary use ashore.
Each ship has 3 Tauck Directors and 1 Tauck Cruise Director onboard, to ensure that all guests receive personal attention they even accompany the shore excursions, together with the local guides.

Itineraries range from one week to three weeks and take in many of the main rivers in Europe, including the Rhone, Saone, Seine, Danube, Main, Rhine and Moselle. Some itineraries include hotel stays pre and or post cruise, which are always of a very high quality Solo travellers benefit from there being no single supplement when booking a category 1 cabin.

Families are catered for with a selection of itineraries aimed specifically at multi-generational families and they are called Tauck Bridges. With a recommended age of 8+, these 7 night and 9 night itineraries include activities onboard and tailored excursions, specifically for families.

 

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