Talk to anyone who’s travelled with Tauck by land, river or sea. They’ll likely tell you they’re already planning their next trip. With life-changing experiences, exceptional service and journeys that go well beyond the ordinary, it’s the kind of travel we all seek but rarely find.
Claude Monet’s water lily pond is a trip highlight any time for visitors to Giverny, France. But when you can wander the gardens before the crowds arrive, the experience goes from ho-hum to extraordinary. Tauck guests’ before-hours access coincides with the light touching the lily pads just so. The same scene that inspired Monet to capture it on canvas 12 times at the same time of day.
If you don’t already realise how lucky you are, you’ll be reminded as you leave the gardens – just as the tour buses begin to arrive.
After hours, exclusive access to intriguing attractions
Gaining exclusive access to some of the world’s most intriguing attractions doesn’t just happen. The relationships Tauck’s local guides have with a destination have proven invaluable when it comes to opening doors. Even to the Louvre in Paris after hours.
“At the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, we’re one of the very few companies allowed to go in after hours,” adds Tauck Managing Director Australia David Clark. Without the crowds, guests are free to lie on the floor and gaze up at the chapel ceiling Michelangelo so painstakingly painted. “That’s an experience not everyone can do,” Clark says.
In Egypt, you can enjoy similarly extraordinary access. Melinda Gregor, an Australian guest joining Tauck’s ten-day Jewels of the Nile land tour, had been to Valley of the Kings and King Tutankhamun’s tomb before – just not like this.
“Having such a busy tourist site all to ourselves was simply amazing,” she says.
Travel the world with Tauck
You can go just about everywhere with Tauck: river cruise, small-ship ocean cruise or land tour. Journeys span 70-plus countries across all seven continents.
European river cruising is among the most popular of the trips on offer. But guests often return more than once to see different parts of Europe in new and refreshing ways. On a beyond-the-ordinary cruise from Krakow to Berlin, for example, where as well as visiting Auschwitz, you are treated to a private underground dinner in a salt mine. As well as a Gala Imperial Evening at a private Viennese Palace.
Or a cruise through the villages and wine regions of Spain and Portugal aboard a luxurious new riverboat. It’s custom-designed to sail on the Douro River – bookended by stays in Lisbon and Madrid. Life on board Ms Andorinha is an exclusive experience in itself. It accommodates just 84 guests in spacious staterooms and suites with incredible food, service and excursions.
As for land tours, these guided adventures on and off the beaten track allow you to roam around the world in ways you wouldn’t easily be able to on your own. To join Tauck’s 12-day land journey through Jordan and Israel, for example, is to explore this region’s civilisations, cultures, history, traditions, religions and the arts – with authentic local guides and a Tauck tour director by your side.
Memorable connections and like-minded companions
While all of Tauck’s journeys are designed to make an impact, travellers often say it’s the people they meet that makes their trip so extraordinary. Yes, it’s the friendships they forge with like-minded fellow travellers. It’s also the on-board staff and local guides they get to know on the way that leaves a lasting impression.
From Winston Churchill’s granddaughter to legendary American filmmaker Ken Burns, guest speakers and guides bring destinations to life with stories of their lives and travels. A Tauck tour director accompanies guests on each of the excursions led by local guides to deepen the experience still further.
Although Tauck’s guests hail from 40 different countries, most are from the US, Australia, Canada and the UK. The demographic is broadening as younger travellers fall in love with cruising. But most who travel with Tauck are energetic, curious, sophisticated travel lovers aged over 60.
Age aside, what Tauck customers also have in common is a desire to learn deeply about a destination, its customs and its people – rather than just a superficial whistle-stop tour.
“It becomes clear very quickly when you sit around the bar at the end of the day on a river cruise, and you have these amazing conversations with people about their lives and where they’ve been and places you want to go, that you’re travelling with interesting, well-educated people who have a real passion for travel – people like you,” Clark says.
What guests don’t experience as they mingle with their fellow travellers at the end of another exhilarating day is that sinking feeling you get when you find out a guest paid a lot less for their trip than you did. Tauck has a policy of not offering discounts and not increasing the price – just to make things fair.
Travel with the Tauck family
Tauck is owned by a family of passionate travellers intent on showing guests the world differently – a mission four Tauck generations have now pursued for nearly 100 years. Arthur Tauck Sr. launched the company in 1925 with a ‘motor tour’ through New England in the US. His desire to change people’s lives through travel is the same purpose permeating the now global company.
“Tauck is a really humble family-owned company,” Clark says. “We’re not a huge multi-national company, we’re owned by the Taucks – they’re an incredibly generous and kind family who care deeply about the travel experience.”
Another reason why most of Tauck’s guests aren’t just repeat customers – they’re often repeat customers every year.
“It’s such a privilege to see our customers come back over and over again – it makes what we do so rewarding,” says Clark.