Tauck River Cruises

Tauck River Cruises Review

Tauck is a well-established tour operator founded in 1925 in New England. Today, this global travel company offers over 150 options for land tours, river cruises, and small ship cruises on every continent. Tauck started offering river cruises in 1992 and today offers a fleet of 9 vessels, operating over 25 itineraries on 5 European rivers.

Pros
  • Unique Routes
  • Choice of onshore excursions, all included
  • Family-friendly
  • No supplemental charges to solo travelers

Cons
  • Refund of deposit only available with an additional fee for insurance

Tauck River Cruise Routes and Destinations

Tauck offers tours of seven major European rivers, including the Danube, Douro, Moselle, Rhine, Rhône, Saône, and Seine. Each tour visits stops along the riverway it travels, so most of the boats stop in multiple countries and cities.

The various boats in the Tauck River Cruises fleet travel on specific riverways, with itineraries offering visits to multiple countries for onshore sightseeing tours. The luxury tour boats are different sizes, with smaller boats holding 84 passengers and the largest holding 130, the smallest guest capacity in Europe. All ships were built or renovated in the past six years to ensure customers receive the most convenient amenities.

Tauck River Cruises Destinations
Austria Germany Portugal
Belgium Hungary Romania
Bulgaria Italy Serbia
Czech Republic Luxembourg Slovakia
France Netherlands Switzerland

Cruise Boat Amenities

With multiple decks, restaurants, onboard entertainment venues, bars and other features, Tauck River Cruises’ boats are smaller versions of sizeable elaborate cruise ships. When you book a tour with Tauck River Cruises, you can choose the type of accommodation with options ranging from 300 sq. ft. suites to 150 sq. ft. staterooms.

Most Tauck boats include:

  • Sun deck putting green
  • Bicycles for onshore use
  • Plunge pools or whirlpool spas
  • Fitness centers
  • Professional massage services

Onboard entertainment includes enrichment lectures, nightly piano music, culinary demonstrations, in-room movies, and more. Multiple dining options on each boat include 2 restaurants as well as al fresco dining on sun decks, weather permitting. Guests also enjoy unlimited complimentary beverages such as regional wine, beer, spirits, coffee, water, and soft drinks.

Tauck River Cruises Costs

All river cruises with Tauck are all-inclusive, with one upfront cost for onshore excursions, meals on and off the boat, entertainment, and gratuities. Ticket prices range from around $3,000 to over $20,000 per person, depending on factors like boat choice, tour itinerary, time of year and stateroom selection. Payment for the river cruise is due in full 90 days before departure.

Cruise and Event Protection Package

Optional Cruise and Event Protection from Tauck River Cruises is available with payment due at the time of booking. This trip insurance costs $599 per person and offers significant savings if you have to cancel your cruise. The package includes 24-hour telephone assistance with travel- or medical-related emergencies while in another country and a Cancel Fee Waiver. The waiver allows you to cancel your trip for any reason before departure and receive a full or partial refund. The sooner you cancel, the higher the refund.

The following chart shows cancellation penalties with and without the optional Cruise and Event Protection policy.

Compare Cancellation Fees
Tauck River Cruises Cruise and Event Protection
Cancellation Date Before Departure Per Person Fee with Cruise and Event Protection Per Person Fee Without Cruise and Event Protection
90 or more days Full refund $900 per person
89 to 46 days 25% of cruise cost 50% of cruise cost
45 to 1 day 50% of the cost of the cruise 100% of cruise cost

How to Purchase Tauck River Cruises

You can book a trip directly with Tauck River Cruises or through a travel agent. To find available cruises, you can use the Tauck River Cruises website to filter all available trips by departure date, destination, trip length, and the particular ship you’d like to board. Then, you can call the number on the website to talk to a Tauck representative and book your tickets.

In addition to deciding whether you want to purchase airfare, a hotel or trip insurance through Tauck, you will need to have the following information available when you call to book your cruise:

  • Tour and departure date you want to book
  • First and last name of all travelers, as they appear on passport or driver’s license
  • Address and phone number for everyone you are buying tickets for
  • Emergency contact name and phone number

It’s a good idea to do your research in advance of calling for reservations so you can compare air or hotel rates to those a Tauck representative quotes.

Tauck River Cruises Complaints

Tauck River Cruises online reviews are mostly positive. On CruiseCritic, consumers give Tauck River Cruises a total of 4.3 out of 5 stars. Reviewers like the ease of the planned excursions and all-inclusive billing. Some customers complained about an overscheduled tour, and the challenge involved to get a refund on a deposit or money paid toward a cruise if they had to cancel.

Tauck received nominations in several travel categories in Travel Weekly Reader’s Choice Awards, winning the 2018 award for Canadian tours. Most TripAdvisor readers rate Tauck River Cruises a 4 or 5 on a 5-star scale, with the occasional disappointed customer.

Tauck River Cruises Q&A

  • How many Tauck staff are onboard each River Cruise?
    3 Tauck Directors and 1 Cruise Director, the most director-level staff on the river.

  • How many decks can I expect on Tauck River Cruises ships?
    Each boat in Tauck’s river cruise fleet has four decks, including a sun deck.

  • Is a deposit required to book a Tauck river cruise?
    Every cruise requires a deposit of $900.

  • What type of shore excursions can I expect on a Tauck River Cruise?
    Tauck includes a choice of all-included shore excursions in almost every city. Guests can expect exclusive receptions in grand palaces, private access to museums and unique, cultural connection with locals.

  • Does Tauck offer family River Cruises
    Yes, Tauck has 6 river cruises designed specifically for families; 2 in France, 2 on the Danube (including a special Holiday Markets itinerary), 1 on the Rhine and 1 on the Douro.

  • Are hotel stays included on Tauck itineraries?
    Yes, more than half of Tauck River Cruises begin and end with stays on land in premium hotels ideally located within city centers.

  • Are Tauck River Cruises handicap accessible?
    Most Tauck River Cruises cannot accommodate wheelchairs or motorized chairs, and service animals aren’t allowed. Sightseeing tours require brisk walking, and the boat is miles away from land much of time, creating safety issues for those who are unable to walk on their own or who are not in good health.

  • Will my health insurance cover me while on a Tauck river cruise?
    Speak to your insurance agent to see if your health insurance extends to Switzerland, where Tauck River Cruises is registered. You can purchase traveler’s insurance if you don’t have medical coverage, and some Medicare Supplement plans provide coverage while traveling abroad as well.

Conclusion

Tauck River Cruises specializes in fun, memorable trips with land excursions offering an educational element and diverse shopping. You can explore the rivers of the world in luxury with Tauck River Cruises, but consider adding trip insurance to your travel budget.

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