Tauck's Brand New Ship Sets Sail for the Arctic, Alaska & Asia!
Posted by Robin Tauck
Posted in: Taucks on Tauck
Tags: Italy, Travel, Small Ship Cruising
What an Event! Words cannot express our exaltation celebrating 20 years in our beloved Italy at a major milestone for Tauck’s Small Ship Cruising – the inauguration of Le Soléal; as she set sail in July from the canals of Venice, through the Adriatic and Mediterranean Seas, headed to the ice-capped regions of Greenland, Iceland, Russia, Alaska and “beyond the Arctic Circle” to the most remote – Secret Arctic! And for 2014, she sails from the Secret Arctic – to Ancient Asia.
Now a splendid trio, Le Soléal joins sister ships, L'Austral (2011) and Le Boreal (2009), super sleek mega-yachts; each with 250 guests – in 132 spacious, all-balcony staterooms – decks galore; aft platforms – truly five-star yachting style. And, just-built in the finest Fincantieri Yard of Italy!
THE TAUCKS – IMAGINE THE FUTURE
I hope Tauck aficionados can imagine the thrill for our family and staff, including ship godmother Kiki Tauck Mahar, young daughter Ellie, Robin Tauck, Tauck management Phil Crosby and Rakesh Dewan – together with families, owners and principals of Compagnie du Ponant – our long time French partners… on this great and happy day.
On Le Soléal's stern during the ceremony, I shed a tear thinking back to 1992, when we first designed unique land and sea voyages on small ships “where the big ships can’t go.” Twenty years and some remarkable 40 unique itineraries later – we celebrate an exciting new chapter, which will bring you to all seven continents and scores of new coastlines, seas and archipelagoes, each with compelling culture. This is our dream and our passion.
ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN A NEW AGE OF EXPLORATION
During eloquent speeches, my mind drifted to the splendid sunset as Jean-Emmanuel Sauvé, Compagnie du Ponant’s managing director, and Captain Garcia led us on a vivid journey to the solitary ends of the world – where the fragility of our natural world demands that new ships are 100% sustainable and environmentally certified. Applause broke the silence when he announced that all three ships “achieved the highest of international standards.”
A former Prime Minister of France spoke of this historical event in French Maritime history; the all-French ownership team and he lauded the first American company to join them… Tauck.
How honored we were to feel the importance our partnership. Our good friend, Captain Le Maire stated, “Tauck and Compagnie du Ponant are like a marriage; a trusted partnership with the best customers in the world – all your guests truly understand and ‘feel the emotion’ of our small-ship style of exploration.”
As 3rd generation Taucks, we are asked, “what are your favorite trips?” For me, as a sailor since my twenties and having developed a few new itineraries, I love all our “Treasure Series.” Le Soléal debuts three series – with several must-see UNESCO World Heritage Sites: “Treasures of Southeast Asia” to Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam (Hoi An and Ha Long Bay are favorites) and Hong Kong. “Venice & the Dalmatian Coast” to Venice, Dubrovnik, Hvar, Korcula and the incredible fjords of Montenegro; and “Antarctica” – Imagine, all 3 ships here in 2014, amongst glacial landscapes and rare, up-close experiences with the prolific polar wildlife.
We are blessed to be in the business of making dreams come true. As our beloved Connecticut native Mark Twain said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Twenty years ago Tauck did just that. For 2014, the launch of Le Soléal joining her sister ships is an exciting time to Explore, Dream & Discover. Bon Voyage.