Tauck is revealing some of the amenities on board its new riverboat, the MS Andorinha.
The ship is currently undergoing sea trials in the Netherlands, but Tauck is showcasing some of its exciting attributes ahead of the Andorinha’s March debut.
Purpose-built for the Douro River, the new ship’s design capitalizes on the destination and the unique cruising experience the river provides.
“Unlike other rivers, the Douro is closed to navigation at night, so all cruising is done during daylight hours,” said Mahar. “Also, the Douro has fewer towns and cities along its banks than other major rivers, so the landscapes are more pastoral and scenic. Finally, the Douro Valley is renowned for its beautiful warm and sunny weather.
“When you combine those three factors–extensive daytime cruising through gorgeous landscapes in wonderful weather–you have a unique opportunity to create a ship that really embraces the local climate and showcases the surrounding environment,” added Mahar.
So it makes sense that the Andorinha’s sun deck is full of innovative new features.
Canopied Balinese day beds offered shaded lounging and views of the passing landscapes. An infinity-style pool is five times the size of those on Tauck’s other riverboats, and the deck has an outdoor grill for barbecues as well as a full-service bar.
The piece de resistance, however, is the “pop-up” restaurant, Arthurs that literally rises from the stern of the ship on hydraulics. The eatery is named for Tauck’s chairman Arthur Tauck Jr., and will offer a mix of steakhouse-style classics as well as a selection of regional fare.
The interior of the ship is also stunning. There is a glass-ceilinged atrium that spans the Ruby and Diamond decks, and the ship has been infused with Portuguese culture and traditions in the form of decorative tiles, food and wine. The ship is also named for a native species of migratory swallow that returns to Portugal each spring.
Accommodations are spacious, something Tauck’s river product is known for. There are more suites onboard and larger public spaces. There are a total of 42 cabins on board, including 12 300-square-foot suites on the upper Diamond Deck and 20 225-square-foot staterooms primarily on the vessel’s Ruby or mid-level deck. On the Emerald Deck, there are six 200-square-foot cabins and four 150-square-foot cabins.
Tauck is offering three different Douro itineraries in 2020. Travelers can book a 12-day journey that bookends a seven-night Douro cruise with two-night hotel stays in Lisbon and Madrid. There is also an eight-day “cruise-only” itinerary along the Douro, and families can select an eight-day Tauck Bridges cruise.
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