River Cruise Tauck relaunches Sapphire and Emerald after redesigns By Michelle Baran / April 19, 2017 Share 1 Tauck CEO Dan Mahar speaks to guests and crew at a reception celebrating the Sapphire's relaunch. -- Tauck welcomed the river vessels Sapphire and Emerald back into its fleet this month, following what the company described as a "massive reconfiguration" of the vessels' interiors. The Sapphire, which relaunched in Paris earlier this month, was the first of Tauck's four 361-foot ships to complete the transformation, which put an emphasis on creating fewer and larger staterooms -- on the middle deck, 30 of the vessel's 150-square-foot cabins were replaced by 20 larger cabins measuring 225 square feet each. The total number of cabins was reduced from 59 to 49, dropping the capacity from 118 passengers to 98. On the reconfigured vessels, cabins measuring 225 square feet or larger now account for 69% of all the accommodations.The Sapphire sails France's Seine River. Its relaunch was followed by that of the Emerald, which sails on the Rhone and Saone rivers in the south of France. On the ships' upper deck, what was formerly the alternative dining venue called The Bistro has been renamed Arthur's (a tribute to company chairman Arthur Tauck Jr.) and now has its own kitchen and chef. Arthur's features an expanded menu and will continue to provide a more casual alternative to the fine dining offered in the ships' main Compass Rose restaurant. Two sets of connecting cabins have been added, each connecting a 183-square-foot cabin with an adjacent 300-square-foot suite. The connecting cabins are intended for families and groups. Tauck's two remaining 110-meter ships, the Treasures and Esprit, will undergo identical enhancements next winter and return in time for the 2018 sailing season. Tauck's 443-foot vessels already feature Arthur's and the larger staterooms that are now being added to the company's smaller vessels.