The Tauck River Cruise Experience
We were lucky enough to be invited by Tauck to join them on a taster cruise down the Danube from Munich to Frankfurt. We spent five days on board the new MS Savor which in my opinion was simply stunning.
We flew into Munich and were greeted by a very polite Tauck representative who escorted us to our coach. We had a nice easy flight and our bags were almost out before we arrived at the carrousel. Tauck have a policy that they do not use any coach over three years old to eliminate risk and maximize clients comfort. The transfers were an absolute pleasure. We enjoyed fantastic views of the German country side and small picturesque towns resembling quaint ski villages in the alps.
When we arrived at the ship there was a real sense of excitement and adventure as people were being welcomed onboard by the smiles of crew members and Tauck colleagues. Our bags were taken from the coach to our cabin without us lifting a finger. We then enjoyed some light snacks and cool refreshments in the beautiful lounge area.
The cabin quite frankly blew us away! As our images show this is no ordinary river ship cabin. The space management and attention to detail is like nothing we had ever seen. The bathroom resembled that of a new build house and the towels and toiletries were second to none.
We were initially docked in a town called Regensberg.
We were given a small tour of the town and experienced some free time to prepare ourselves for the journey that was to come. We decided to have a sit down and a bite to eat in what happened to be Germany’s original sausage house, the Alte Wurstküche. We experienced some incredible wood fire smoked sausage with traditional sauerkraut and believe me it tasted as good as we expected when first catching a smell of the aromas seeping from the windows and door. In true German style we also ordered a specialist local beer that was just as impressive.
After our introduction to the ship and the local culinary delights we enjoyed a spot of golf on the top deck whilst enjoying a glass of champagne and the staggering view of a conversation stopping sunset meeting the river’s water glistening on the horizon.
After our dinner we sampled some cocktails in the main lounge and enjoyed the company of some of the other guests on board. The atmosphere was eloquent yet extremely comfortable and everyone was fully enjoying the hospitality of MS Savor. We retreated to bed to find information detailing the following day’s itinerary and other nice touches including the following days weather report and of course a nice little chocolate to end a delightful day.
We woke to a fantastic view of the Danube meandering off into the distance. We sat on top deck and enjoyed a short peaceful cruise through the crisp morning air before heading down to the extravagant breakfast display including cooked and continental selections.
As we docked for the first time since leaving Regensburg we took a moment to look back and admire the ship we had the pleasure of travelling on. Our first stop was a small town outside the city of Nurnberg. We then boarded the excellent coaches again and enjoyed a short ride to our first excursion where we were treated to some intriguing local and ww2 history. The tour guides were exceptional and really made it that extra bit special. Tauck provide each guest with a radio receiver and earphone specially developed for communication between tour guides and guests. We had a dedicated radio channel which really is a superb way to communicate with the group without being distracted by surroundings and other tour groups. The small earphone sits on the outside of the ear without obstructing you in any way. This way you can clearly hear your tour guides information but at the same time you can communicate with the people around you just as normal. In my opinion this was a great innovation and really took the tour i was expecting to the next level.
Our first real taste of a Tauck excursion was a trip into Nurnberg, the historical site of ww2 propaganda and the base of Hitler’s regime. The tour guide was extremely informative and approachable with any questions we had. The organisation from leaving the ship to returning to our cabin could not be faulted.
After seeing the sites that Nurnberg had to offer we resided to a local bar/restaurant for more sausage and sauerkraut accompanied by another fantastic local beer.
Our next stop was the beautiful town of Bamburg. Famous for its ‘bacon beer’ we were incredibly excited to visit this small town. The bacon beer is exclusive to the town of Bamburg. It gets its bacon like taste at the first stage of its production when the barley is smoked. The town itself was beautiful and relatively quiet. It is a very traditional town holding on to its heritage and original features.
Our next excursion was to the fairy tale town of Rothenburg.. While we were walking around the town locals were busy putting up shop and street decoration in preparation for their local Christmas markets. The markets are a big deal in these small German towns and it really would be nice to visit them in full flow at the end of November/ December time. We also visited a hotel that managed to avoid any bombing in the war and was still in its original state. As the town is relatively close to Nurnberg the centre of Hitler’s operations, Rothenburg was mostly ignored and escaped any meaningful attention. It was a unique experience to enjoy our lunch in a traditional environment with genuine local people and genuine local food.
A truly incredible experience tasting wines in the cellar of The UNESCO World Heritage Site Wurzburg Palace. We were hosted by a local expert (Karl) who’s passion and tone of voice made the experience that much more special and authentic. The cellar was lit mainly by candle light; the atmosphere was like nothing i have experienced before. The perfect setting to wind down with a few speciality wines in the evening. Words cannot describe the feeling we experienced while in the cellar however these few images may help to paint a picture.
Every time we would leave the ship Tauck provided us with as much bottled water as you could carry and a superb map of the specific area we were about to visit. The maps detailed key locations like museums, church’s and meeting places. The level of detail in organisation from the Tauck team was exceptional, you almost did not have to think for yourself as Tauck had every tiny detail planned out for every possible scenario.
The farewell dinner was a really delightful evening with stunning food and a champagne reception before the evening’s entertainment in the lounge.
Our return journey was no different to the rest of the trip. It was totally hassle free as Tauck still had everything under control down to who was departing from which terminal and your bags being at the doors as you depart the coach and say goodbye.
Dan Hadfield - RiverCruising.co.uk