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Tauck cruises review

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Leisurely-paced small ship cruising with all-included perks.

Tauck offers river and small ship cruising around the world, with carefully planned daily itineraries, overnight hotel stays and complimentary amenities — from shore excursions to alcohol, gratuities and more. But its fine-tuned daily schedules aren’t for everyone. Read on to determine if Tauck is right for you.

2 ships

Number of ships

Price

No

Price matches

Details

Target demographic Families, Seniors, Honeymooners
Number of ships 2 ships
Contact options Phone, Email
Payment options American Express
Deposit required Deposit at checkout
Deposit required No price matching
Food Food included
Drink Alcohol included
Room service Room service included

Expert review

Amy Stoltenberg

Review by


Amy Stoltenberg writes about lifestyle and money for Finder, researching the best options for shopping, banking, insurance and authentic travel experiences. After studying writing and fashion at Savannah College of Art and Design, she worked designing apparel at a corporate behemoth before opting for a career with unlimited travel time. When her laptop’s closed, she can be found wandering the streets looking for happy hour and hole-in-the-wall eateries.

Expert review

Tauck cruises deliver your next vacation on a silver platter, taking care of every detail and leisurely-paced days both on and off shore. For some folks, that’s exactly what they’re seeking — but the structure may be a bit dull for more independent travelers.

Still, Tauck is known for sprinkling delightful surprises, which it calls lagniappe, throughout its itineraries. For instance, it might take you to a local French café where it’s paid for all the pastries and coffee your heart could desire.

Or it hires performers to serenade you in the middle of a free Venetian opera hall tour. Die-hard Tauck cruisers are people who love this kind of planned-with-a-twist experience.

Don’t expect high-energy entertainment or lots of free time to explore on your own. Tauck cruises aren’t for a people who like large ships with swimming pools, water slides or flashy evening entertainment, either. Its itineraries tend to be longer — 10 days or more — so look for something else if you’re working with limited vacation time.

All in all, Tauck cruises are quintessential all-included river cruises that pamper and aim to please.

Where do Tauck cruises depart from?

Tauck’s river and small ship cruising depart near and far. Here’s where you can begin your trip:

Amsterdam, Athens, Bali Denpasar, Barbados, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Dover, Dubai, Dubrovnik, Fort Lauderdale, Guam, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Keelung, Lima, Lisbon, London, Los Angeles, Mahe Island, Miami, Mumbai, New Orleans, New York City, Palma De Mallorca, Papeete, Puerta Caldera, Quebec, Rome, San Diego, San Juan, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney, Tokyo, Venice, Yokohama

Tauk cruises destinations

Tauck offers European cruises on some of the most famous intercontinental waterways, as well as small ship cruising in lakes and oceans worldwide.

We particularly like the one-of-a-kind, Great Lakes: Chicago and Toronto cruise. It also offers top-rated tours through the Alaska inside passage, and around the Galapagos Islands and Antarctica.

Here’s where you can cruise with Tauck:

Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Eastern Mediterranean, Europe, Hawaii, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, Mexico, Middle East, Northern Europe, Pacific, South Pacific, Transatlantic, Western Europe

What’s included in my Tauck cruise?

Tauck takes pride in offering bang for your buck. Both its river cruises and small-ship ocean cruises are all-inclusive. Here’s what’s covered by your fare:

  • Shore excursions
  • Alcoholic drinks, including premium wine, beer and spirits
  • Fine dining, at land and sea
  • Gratuities to Tauck crew, drivers, guides and more
  • Airport transfers for departure and arrival
  • All port fees and taxes
  • Wi-Fi

Even compared to its premium competitors, Tauck is one of the most all-inclusive options out there. The only thing it lacks is white-glove butler service.

How much do Tauck cruises cost?

Prices vary widely, depending on the itinerary you choose. But here are examples of prices for a few of its most popular itineraries, to compare how it stacks up against the competition. Here, we’ll compare it to Crystal, another luxury cruise line that offers both river and ocean cruises:

Tauck river cruiseCrystal River CruisesTauck small-ship cruiseCrystal Ocean Cruises
VoyageDanube Reflections (seven nights)Budapest to Vienna Danube River cruise (seven nights)Antarctica (13-day cruise)Ushuaia Roundtrip (11-night Antarctica cruise)
Ports visited-Vienna, Austria
-Bratslava, Slovakia
-Wachau Valley, Austria
-Regensburg, Austria
-Dürnstein, Austria
-Budapest, Hungary
-Bratslavia, Slovakia
-Dürnstein, Austria
-Melk, Austria
-Linz, Austria
-Krems, Austria
-Vienna, Austria
-Buenos Aires, Argentina
-Ushuaia, Argentina
-Antarctic islands
*includes sailing the Drake Passage
-Ushuaia, Argentina
-Antarctic Peninsula
*includes sailing the Drake Passage
Per-person price (double occupancy cabin, cheapest option)*From $3,990From $4,949From $11,990From $15,749
Daily priceDaily priceAbout $620, calculated based on eight days About $925, calculated based on 13 daysAbout $1,312, calculated based on 12 days

*Prices obtained January 2020 and do not include sale or promotional rates

What is the dress code on Tauck cruises?

Tauck doesn’t have a specific dress code that applies to all of its cruises. Instead, use the itinerary as a guide — but think “country-club casual.”

If you’ll be dining at a fancy land restaurant or going to an upscale concert, consider packing a dressier evening outfit. Most Tauck cruises have at least one gala night where passengers are required to dress up — suit coats for guys and dresses or a nice blouse for women. And there’s usually a welcome dinner that’s a bit more formal.

As a general rule of thumb: Shorts, tank tops, swim suits, lounge wear and jeans shouldn’t be part of your evening attire.

Mostly, make sure you’re wearing comfortable, weather-appropriate clothes with good walking shoes for shore excursions. Check the information included with your cruise confirmation for more details specific to your trip.

Why you should (or shouldn’t) cruise with Tauck

Still trying to figure out if Tauck is right for you? Weigh the pros and cons:

Pros

  • All-inclusive
  • Tauck cruise directors have an excellent reputation
  • Small ships with an intimate atmosphere
  • Hot tubs on most decks
  • Regionally-inspired meals
  • Known for five-star customer service
  • Well-balanced itineraries, with special surprises
  • Transfers to and from your port

Cons

  • Fare can be pricey — especially if you don’t drink alcohol
  • Fewer onboard activities than larger cruise lines
  • Its ships don’t have typical swimming pools
  • Daily itineraries tend to have a slower pace, catering to older passengers
  • Reviews claim the quality of the food is just OK

    Also keep in mind that most Tauck travelers tend to be older than 55 — that could be a pro or con, depending on your preference.

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