Three generations of Tauck family members gathered with local dignitaries, business colleagues and other special guests in Passau, Germany on Friday to christen the new MS Swiss Jewel, Tauck World Discovery’s third new riverboat to be launched since 2006. The ceremony alongside the Danube River included remarks by Passau’s Lord Mayor Jürgen Dupper, readings by Tauck family members, and music provided by a local brass band. The christening culminated with a blessing and the traditional breaking of champagne on the ship’s bow by the ship’s godmother, Kiki Tauck Mahar, daughter of company chairman Arthur Tauck, Jr. and wife of Tauck CEO Dan Mahar.
The Swiss Jewel joins its sister ships in Tauck’s growing riverboat fleet, comprised of the MS Swiss Sapphire launched last April, and the MS Swiss Emerald (launched in 2006). “Our goal is not to be the biggest river cruise line, but to be the best,” said Dan Mahar. “Having the Swiss Jewel enter service is another exciting milestone in our efforts. She lives up to the same award-winning standards set by the Swiss Sapphire and the Swiss Emerald, and we look forward to hosting our first Tauck guests aboard the Jewel in the coming days.”
The Jewel’s hull was constructed at the Vahali Shipyard in Belgrade, Serbia, and then towed to the Vahali facility in Gendt, the Netherlands, where its engines and other major components were installed. The remaining construction and final outfitting took place in Hardinxveld-Giessendam, the Netherlands.
Guests aboard the 361-foot Swiss Jewel will enjoy a relaxed and casually elegant atmosphere, as the ship accommodates just 118 guests, versus 150 or more on other similarly sized vessels. The Jewel offers a total of 59 outside-facing staterooms, including 14 suites and seven junior suites, or more than four-times the number of suites and junior suites typically found on European riverboats.
As on Tauck’s other vessels, the Jewel’s 300 square-foot suites are highlighted by floor-to-ceiling windows, French balconies, walk-in closets and marble baths with full size tubs. The additional 45 junior suites and cabins range from 150 to 183 square-feet, with 85% of all accommodations including floor-to-ceiling windows and French balconies. Each of the Jewel’s suites, junior suites and cabins feature plasma TVs, mini-bars, terry cloth robes, radios, safes, individual air conditioning and L’Occitane toiletries.
The Jewel also provides guests with a second onboard dining option, the Lido bar, where bistro-style food is offered as a more casual alternative to the ship’s main dining room. Other onboard amenities include a 24-hour Jacuzzi, lounge and wellness center. Along with a ship’s crew of 29, the Jewel also has an onboard staff of three Tauck Directors and one Tauck Cruise Director to ensure superior service and attention to guests’ needs.
Following the christening ceremony attendees boarded the Swiss Jewel for a celebratory overnight cruise along the Danube. The ship officially entered service two days later when the first Tauck World Discovery customers embarked on the cruise portion of the company’s 12-day “The Blue Danube” itinerary. The Jewel will also operate on four additional Tauck river cruise itineraries; “Budapest to Amsterdam,” “Budapest to the Black Sea,” “The Black Sea to Prague,” and the company’s transcontinental, 24-day “Grand European Cruise.”
Those interested in learning more about the Swiss Jewel and Tauck’s river cruises can visit their local travel professional, call 1 800 468 2825, or go to www.tauck.com.