Kiki Tauck Mahar Is Guest Of Honor As Le Soléal Enters Service

Ship’s Godmother And Wife Of Tauck CEO Dan Mahar Joins
Compagnie Du Ponant Officials For Luxury Newbuild’s Maiden Voyage

NORWALK, CT (July 1, 2013)  Kiki Tauck Mahar, the wife of Tauck CEO Dan Mahar and the daughter of Tauck Chairman Arthur Tauck, was the guest of honor of Compagnie Du Ponant in Venice, Italy, over the weekend, joining company officials and other dignitaries for the maiden voyage of Compagnie Du Ponant’s new luxury small ship, Le Soléal.  Mahar is godmother to the new 264-passenger, 466-foot ship, which she officially christened last December.  This weekend’s celebratory overnight cruise concluded on Sunday, and Le Soléal embarked today on its first commercial sailing.

“It’s been a true honor to serve as Le Soléal’s godmother, and to help launch this beautiful new ship,” said Kiki Tauck Mahar.  “Le Soléal is a true testament to the architects who imagined her, the craftspeople who constructed her with such care, and to Jean-Emmanuel Sauvée and the leadership at Compagnie Du Ponant whose vision and passion are reflected in this incredible vessel.”

According to Ms. Mahar, the debut of Le Soléal is the just the latest development in a long and fruitful relationship between her family and Compagnie Du Ponant.  “Seeing Le Soléal enter service marks another great milestone in Tauck’s long and successful partnership with Compagnie Du Ponant.  Tauck has been providing superior travel experiences to our guests for 88 years, and the elegance, sophistication and quality of Le Soléal will allow us to continue that wonderful tradition.”

Tauck has partnered with Compagnie Du Ponant on small ship cruises since 1993, and the Connecticut-based leader in premium-quality guided travel is Compagnie Du Ponant’s single largest customer.  This year Tauck is offering seven itineraries on four different Compagnie Du Ponant vessels, including the new Le Soléal, its sister-ships Le Boréal and L’Austral, and the elegant 60-passenger sailing vessel, Le Ponant.

The Tauck itineraries that feature Compagnie Du Ponant ships are “Venice & the Dalmatian Coast,” “Treasures of the Mediterranean,” “Sicily, the Amalfi Coast & Rome,” “St. Petersburg & the Baltic Sea,” Treasures of Southeast Asia,” “Iceland: Land of Fire and Ice” and “Antarctica.”  Each is truly all-inclusive, with Tauck-exclusive shore excursions, all gratuities, airport transfers, onboard alcoholic beverages, most meals, and much more included in Tauck’s cruise prices.

THE ELEGANT NEW LE SOLÉAL
Le Soléal was constructed at the Fincantieri Shipyard in Ancona, Italy, and is the third entry in a new class of vessel.  Like its sister-ships L’Austral and Le Boréal (named "Best Newcomer of the Year in 2010") Le Soléal combines elegance and eco-friendly technologies with the highest standards for quality in design, décor and amenities.  Together, the three ships form an exemplary platform that allow Tauck guests to explore the world’s most interesting places. 

Le Soléal, L’Austral and Le Boréal  each feature six decks (all served by elevator) that include a chic main dining room serving French and international cuisine, a casual grill restaurant, three lounges offering bars and entertainment, a state-of-the-art theater for lectures and entertainment, fitness and beauty facilities, a medical center and multiple observation areas.  Suites ranging from 301 to 398 sq. ft. and state rooms (ranging from 200 to 210 sq. ft.) all provide ocean views, with 95% of all accommodations featuring private balconies.  Among other amenities, suites and staterooms also feature either two twin beds that can convert to a king-sized bed (or a sofa converting into a queen-size bed), individually-controlled air conditioning, flat-screen TV with satellite channels and video on demand, iPod docking station, electronic safe, minibar, and more.

Le Soléal and its sister ships have also been designed with the latest technologies to ensure minimal impact to the environment.  For example, the ship features a navigational positioning system that protects the sea bed by eliminating the need to drop anchor, wastewater and solid waste processing systems, and a detection system to help avoid collisions with whales and other cetaceans.

Even before its launch, Le Soléal had already garnered praise and attention.  Travel + Leisure magazine named Le Soléal one of the “Best New Cruise Ships,” citing its ambience, cuisine, service and spa.  Those interested in more information on Tauck’s small ship cruises may contact their local travel professional, visit www.tauck.com, or call 1 800 468 2825.

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