Tauck is adding two newbuilds to its fleet of European river cruise ships in 2014, bringing the total number of Tauck ships on Europe’s rivers to six.
The vessels, as of yet unnamed, are slated to launch in March and June of 2014.
This will be the first time Tauck is adding new ships to its fleet since it launched the 118-passenger Treasures in 2011. It will also be the first time that the company is launching two ships in the same year.
The move comes amid a ship-building boom in river cruising. Viking River Cruises, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection and Ama Waterways are among the companies that are rapidly growing their fleets.
The two new ships are being custom-built for Tauck and “will have features and amenities not found on our existing vessels,” according to Tauck CEO Dan Mahar, who did not elaborate.
Tauck also did not specify how many passengers the new ships would accommodate, but said that like its current ships, the newbuilds would accommodate far fewer guests than ships operated by competitors.
“By limiting passenger capacity, we’re able to offer a much higher percentage of suites,” Mahar stated.
In addition to the two new ships, Tauck is introducing four new itineraries in 2014 on the Seine, Rhine and Danube rivers, but Tauck didn’t provide any details on those itineraries.
Each of Tauck’s existing ships feature fourteen 300-square-foot suites and seven junior suites, all with floor-to-ceiling windows opening onto French balconies. There are two dining venues onboard in addition to some onshore culinary experiences that are included in the fare.
Tauck currently offers 14 itineraries aboard a fleet of four leased ships, including the Swiss Jewel (launched in 2009), Swiss Sapphire (launched in 2008) and Swiss Emerald (launched in 2006). Follow Michelle Baran on Twitter @mbtravelweekly.