Design and Décor Celebrate Portuguese Influences
WILTON, CT (January 15, 2020) After releasing the first exterior photos of its new ms Andorinha riverboat last November, Tauck has now unveiled the first images of the ship’s interiors. The images reveal décor and design details influenced heavily by elements of Portuguese culture, befitting a ship that’s been purpose-built to sail exclusively along the Douro River.
“The Andorinha is a truly beautiful vessel,” said Tauck CEO Dan Mahar, “and I love the fact that – while she’s distinctly different from every other ship in our fleet – she’ll still be instantly recognizable as a Tauck riverboat to guests who’ve sailed with us before. We’ve successfully brought our intimate and casually elegant style of Tauck river cruising to the Douro,” Mahar concluded, “while still incorporating authentic local influences that truly inform and enhance the experience.”
A recurring design theme on the Andorinha is the traditional painted ceramic tiles, or azulejos, which were brought to the Iberian Peninsula by the Moors and gained widespread popularity in Portugal during the 1500s. Azulejo tiles (Arabic for “polished stone”) adorn several areas of the Andorinha, including its main Compass Rose restaurant and Arthur’s, an alternative dining venue on the ship’s Sun Deck. Fabric facsimiles of the tiles accent one wall of each cabin, with the cabin’s throw pillows and carpeting continuing the theme. Within the ship’s soaring atrium, railings, carpeting and lamps suspended from the ceiling all boast curving patterns reminiscent of azulejo designs.
The azulejos are perhaps most dramatically presented, however, in a hand-painted tile mosaic map depicting the Iberian Peninsula and its surrounding oceans. Located in the Andorinha’s reception area and reminiscent of early navigational charts, the three-foot mosaic pays tribute to Portugal’s rich maritime heritage of the 15th and 16th centuries.
GRAPEVINES AND A UNIQUE CEILING LIGHT
A second recurring theme aboard the Andorinha are grapevines, reflecting both Portugal’s 2,500 years of winemaking traditions and the continued influence of viniculture on Portuguese society today. Cabins and suites all feature wall lamps with decorative metalwork suggestive of grapevines, and each lamp is backed by accenting wallpaper panels that also echo the theme. More prominently, the Andorinha’s reception area features a large, circular, domed ceiling light seemingly entwined in grapevines. Some four feet across, the fixture was crafted exclusively for the Andorinha with brass “branches” that were custom-cast from actual grapevines.
Throughout the Andorinha, numerous furnishings have been sourced from top-tier Portuguese suppliers, ranging from some of the ship’s lighting fixtures and furniture to the luxury Portus Cale toiletries provided in each cabin. Finally, and along with the Andorinha’s decor and furnishings, the ship’s name is also rooted in local culture. Andorinhas are a species of small migratory swallow that travel to Africa every winter and return to Portugal each spring. The birds mate for life and return each year to the same nest, and small porcelain figurines of andorinhas have become a national symbol of family, fidelity and home.
A CAPACITY OF JUST 84 GUESTS ENSURES AN INTIMATE AMBIANCE
The Andorinha is set to sail on its first cruises along the Douro in April, following its christening in Porto on March 31. As with its other riverboats, Tauck is again offering more suites, more spacious public areas, and a less-crowded, more intimate onboard ambiance, rather than maximizing passenger capacity and revenues.
The Andorinha will accommodate just 84 Tauck guests, versus up to 112 passengers – or 33% more people – on other cruise lines’ Douro ships of the same approximate size. Even with fewer guests aboard, the Andorinha will still have more director-level personnel to ensure Tauck guests enjoy the highest levels of care and service. Like other Tauck riverboats, the Andorinha will be staffed by a Tauck Cruise Director and three Tauck Director guides.
Guests sailing on the Andorinha will be accommodated in 42 cabins, including 12 300-square-foot suites on the upper Diamond Deck, and 20 225-square-foot staterooms primarily on the vessel’s Ruby or mid-level deck. The remaining accommodations (six 200-square-foot cabins and four 150-square-foot cabins) will be on the lower or Emerald Deck.
Tauck is offering three Douro River itineraries aboard the Andorinha in 2020; a 12-day journey that bookends a seven-night Douro cruise with two-night hotel stays in Lisbon and Madrid, an eight-day “cruise-only” itinerary along the river, and an eight-day Tauck Bridges cruise designed specifically for families. Those interested in more information can contact their local travel professional, call Tauck at 800 468 2825, or visit the company’s website at www.tauck.com (www.tauck.ca in Canada).
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PLEASE NOTE: High-res images available for download at www.tauck.com/mediaimages.