Oasis Travel’s MD, Sandra Corkin, has her finger firmly on the pulse when it comes to luxury cruising. Last year, she got to experience a fact-finding Rhine Cruise with the unashamedly high end Tauck River Cruising, long celebrated as the cruise provider of choice to the rich and famous.
Here’s what she had to say…
When it comes to cruising the word ‘luxury’ tends to be liberally bandied about and, indeed, most cruise vacations have at least an element of ‘luxe’ about them, but, if you want the real thing, drop in to Oasis Travel for advice.
The Tauck approach to river cruising takes spaciousness and luxury to a whole new level, with an uncompromising attention to detail that, frankly, takes the breath away. Perfection is the name of the game and, from the moment you step on board, you are treated with the discreetly elegant, personal service which is the hallmark of true luxury.
The company’s European river cruises are all painstakingly choreographed so that guests – no more than 130 on any cruise - connect daily with people, places and cultural traditions under the skilful management of four highly experienced Tauck Tour Directors. Their local knowledge is priceless and it opens the doors for passengers to enjoy fabulous experiences, many of which aren’t readily available to tourists. Think of an exclusive reception hosted in the Unterlinden Museum in Colmar … dinner and entertainment at the 15th Century Schloss Ehreshoven … a guided tour of the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart or a visit to the curious and wonderful Siegfried’s Musikkabinett, a museum of self-playing musical instruments.
These are shore excursions unlike any I have ever enjoyed before and the small numbers on board each ship means that the atmosphere is rather like a country house party. Tauck’s Tour Directors gave us incredible insight into the region we visited and were superbly well qualified to suggest bespoke outings to suit individual interests.
My taste of Rhineland elegance whisked me on a journey of discovery which started in the Swiss capital of Bern, taking in Lucerne and Basel before sailing through the Alsatian region (justly famous for its fine wines) to Stuttgart, taking in Rüdesheim and Köln on one of the most famously historic stretches of the river, then onward to Dortrecht with its scenic Kinderdyke Windmills to the final port of Amsterdam.
The MS Grace which was my ‘home’ for the ten day vacation was fabulously well equipped and laid out, making the most of the stunning river views, whether from my perfectly-appointed and roomy cabin or from the sun deck, lounge or dining areas. Life on board is so comfortable and relaxing that most of us were ready to enjoy every moment of every tour we could possibly pack in, but of course you determine your own pace and style.
Everything in a Tauck cruise is included in the cost, from flowing wine and champagne and superb regional cuisine to shore excursions and even gratuities. When they say it’s all-inclusive it really is, right down to providing you with an allowance when a shore excursion runs over lunch time … the guides even carry coins just in case you need to avail of public toilet facilities while you’re on land! That’s what I call attention to detail.
Feel free to contact any of our local Oasis Travel branches where our travel specialists can advise you on our exclusive deals for Tauck river cruises.