The Tauck Difference: It’s the Tour Directors
I recently traveled with Tauck on their Royal Danube cruise with land extensions in Krakow and Berlin. There were 60 guests on the itinerary, and we had two Tauck Directors. They were passionate about the destination and delighting their guests, and they made our trip truly unforgettable.
A hallmark of Tauck Directors (TD) is surprising and delighting their guests. It’s the little things – you need to use the WC, and you realize you don’t have change – no problem because your TD has anticipated this and is ready with coins for the bathroom attendants. You have a fairly long bus ride (which can’t be avoided on some cruise tours), and you think a snack would be nice – one appears. You keep seeing a local candy and wondering what it is, and your TD starts passing out the local candy. You hear there is a local drink and think, “Hmm, I’d like to try that,” and it is as if they can read your mind, you’re trying the local drink. On a bike ride through the Wachau Valley wine region, of course, you stop at a small village and your TD buys you a wine spritzer made from a local wine, as a light refreshment.
Tauck Directors seem to take as much pleasure delighting us as we appreciate their treats. Before catching the train in Regensburg to travel to Berlin, we were all given 20 euros for lunch. On the hour-long train ride to Berlin, we were surprised with the soft pretzels they bought in town, and our TD’s opened the bar cart for beer, water, or coffee. They said, “Just tell them you’re with Tauck.” Who does that?!
Time and again local guides told us how much they love working with Tauck. We had a special Tauck-only music rehearsal in Vienna. That night we had dinner at the private Palais Pallavicini and were told that for the last 15 years, only Tauck guests have had this privilege. At this special dinner, musicians and opera singers from the Viennese state opera gave us a private performance. We dined above the parliament building in Berlin and enjoyed a special dinner in Krakow in the depths of a salt mine. Traveling with Tauck means one special and delightful experience after another.
Apropos of our tour, our Tauck Directors told us personal stories about their families and how communism affected them. On the ship, we had a communism lecture from our 32-year-old Romanian TD. His personal stories of tragedy and triumph moved us. Tauck is also known for having great local guides and experiential itineraries. I had been wanting to visit Auschwitz since I was a teenager, and our Auschwitz guide was incredibly knowledgeable and sensitive to the surroundings. In Berlin, we did a bike tour of local highlights, and our guide took us to Checkpoint Charlie so we could get a picture in front of the iconic communist-era landmark.
For our Danube cruise, we sailed on the MS Joy. I had a Category 6 French balcony cabin. My favorite feature was the Nespresso machine. The bathroom was spacious, and the 225-square-foot cabin was very efficient with the space.
There’s a reason Tauck has been in business for almost 100 years. They know guests’ happiness starts and ends with their Tauck Directors. Arthur Tauck, Sr. was the first director in 1925 with a tour of New England. He set the bar, and I am so glad he set it so high. Thank you, Mr. Tauck!