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Tauck’s ms Sapphire, First Riverboat Reconfigured During Two-Year Initiative, Returns to Service
     
  Redesign Emphasizes Guest Comfort Over Passenger Count    
     


WILTON, CT (April 5, 2017) Tauck officially welcomed the ms Sapphire back into its riverboat fleet in Paris, France, on Monday following a massive reconfiguration of the vessel’s interior spaces. The Sapphire is the first of Tauck’s four 110-meter ships to complete the radical transformation process. The company’s ms Emerald was also reconfigured over this past winter and will return to Tauck’s fleet later this week. The ms Sapphire sails on Tauck’s Seine river cruises, while the ms Emerald is deployed on the Rhone. The two remaining 110-meter ships, the ms Treasures and ms Esprit, will undergo identical enhancements next winter and return prior to Tauck’s 2018 sailing season.

With the redesign, Tauck continues to prioritize creating larger cabins and roomier public areas for its guests, rather than taking the more conventional approach of maximizing passenger count. The Sapphire was fully gutted in a “down-to-the-studs” refurbishment, with its most significant change occurring on its Ruby (middle) Deck, where 30 150-square-foot cabins in the ship’s original configuration were replaced by 20 larger cabins measuring 225 square feet. With the total number of cabins reduced from 59 to 49, the Sapphire’s overall capacity thus drops from 118 passengers to 98.

“The reconfiguration of the ms Sapphire and our other 110-meter ships underscores our commitment to providing our guests with the most spacious cabins and the most relaxed, intimate ambiance on board,” said Tauck CEO Dan Mahar, who noted that the110-meter ships each have 14 300-square-foot suites, in addition to the 20 new 225-square-foot cabins. “We firmly believe that we have the finest, most elegant riverboats on Europe’s rivers, and that our guests’ onboard experience is perfectly complemented by Tauck’s 92 years of destination expertise, which ensures they also enjoy the very best experiences ashore.”

On the reconfigured Sapphire (and on Tauck’s three other 110-meter ships, following their reconfiguration), cabins measuring 225 square feet or larger will now account for 69% of all accommodations – the highest percentage of such cabins on any 110-meter riverboats in Europe. Despite the reduced passenger count, Tauck will continue to staff each ship with a Tauck Cruise Director and a full complement of three Tauck Directors.

NEW ARTHUR’S RESTAURANT AND CONNECTING CABINS ON DIAMOND DECK
Another significant enhancement can be found on the Sapphire’s Diamond (upper) Deck, where the ship’s second dining venue, The Bistro, has been upgraded with its own dedicated kitchen and chef. The Bistro has been renamed Arthur’s in tribute to company chairman Arthur Tauck Jr., and its expanded menu will continue to provide more casual alternatives to the fine dining selections offered in the ship’s main Compass Rose restaurant. Tauck first introduced the concept of a second riverboat dining venue in 2006, and the enhanced Arthur’s restaurant is already featured on Tauck’s four 135-meter ships.

Two sets of connecting cabins have also been added to the Diamond Deck, each connecting a 183-square-foot Category 5 cabin with the adjacent 300-square-foot Category 7 suite. These connecting cabins are perfect for families, with the suites already boasting pull-out couches that can accommodate younger children. Tauck has four river cruises designed specifically for families, with the ms Sapphire featured on “Family Fun Along the Seine” and the ms Emerald sailing on “Bon Voyage: France Family River Cruise” on the Rhone.

Those interested in more information can contact their local travel professional, call Tauck at 800 468 2825, or visit the company’s website at www.tauck.com.
     
     
     
   
     
     
 
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http://cruisereport.com/crNews.aspx?id=2797   |  7/24/2017 11:27:48 AM