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Tauck: On to new heights and down with discounting!

May 24, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Tauck, the renowned 92-year-old upscale guided travel operator, launched a campaign yesterday to engage more closely with the trade in Australia and to get the company’s name on the lips of Aussie travel agents dealing with clients seeking soft-adventure luxury travel.

The famous travel company announced plans to strengthen links with cruise partner Ponant, double its small-ship cruising capacity within the next four years through strategic fleet expansion and deepen trade partnership programs. It also launched new itineraries.

Tauck is currently doing well in Australia and can see even brighter horizons ahead.

At a media briefing in Sydney yesterday, Tauck’s vice president for global sales, Steve Spivak, and the company’s Australian partner Travel the World, represented by managing director Andrew Millmore, outlined plans for the future.

Spivak revealed Tauck’s European river cruising plans for 2018 – and also lashed out at discounting. The coming year will see the launch of two new cruise itineraries. Tauck will double its small ship cruising capacity within the next four years through strategic fleet expansion, deepened partnership programs and new itineraries.

Tauck tour to Poland – Krakow skyline

Spivak said small-ship cruising was booming and Tauck did “small” better than anyone else.

“You can’t take 500 people into the Vatican after hours,” he noted.

Tauck concentrates on the baby-boomer market, now generally aged between 55 and 75. The company is vehemently opposed to discounting, which Spivak says risks destabilising the standing of the industry “and undermining travel agents”.

“Discounting does nothing to expand the market,” he declared. “We will never be about price.”

Instead, Tauck invests two years in developing its superb itineraries. It emphasises value. An advertising campaign in Britain, with the tagline “The best never goes on sale” had elicited a tremendous response, Spivak said.

Tauck is using Ponant’s new fleet, with ships carrying about 184 passengers, to open up parts of the world big ships can’t reach.

In North America touring, Tauck is concentrating on seaboard states. “There is nothing for you in the middle!” Spivak quipped.

Millmore said that by “listening to our travel agent partners and our customers and Steve [Spivak] at head office level we are capitalising on a buoyant market”.

The result was excellent growth, Millmore said. Plans and strategy had been put into effect and were now achieving results: growth better than anywhere else in the world.

Spivak said Millmore and his family had put 35 years into ensuring the brand would resonate in Australia.

In Sydney yesterday, Tauck’s vice president for global sales, Steve Spivak, and Andrew Millmore, managing director of Tauck’s Australian partner Travel the World  

“We have grown exponentially because we have a great partner.”

“If you choose the right partners, family businesses like Travel the World, you will be successful.”

Tauck has announced plans to double its small ship cruising capacity within the next four years.

Tauck president, Jennifer Tombaugh, has disclosed that Tauck Small Ship Cruising “is our first product line to sell out each year”.

“By adding new destinations and expanding our capacity with Ponant, we are able to provide more choice and more availability in order to better serve the current and growing demand,” Tombaugh said.

Ponant, the French-owned cruise line, will debut four new luxury expedition yachts in 2018 and 2019.

As part of an expanded partnership, Tauck will leverage all four Ponant new builds starting with Le Lapérouse in northern summer 2018.

The first Tauck sailing on Le Lapérouse departs on 3 July 2018 with the seven-night ‘Iceland: Land of Fire & Ice’ round-trip from Reykjavik stopping at off-the-beaten-path towns, tiny villages and isolated islands and priced from AUD 9990 per person twin share.

“Today, Tauck utilises five Ponant ships for 10 itineraries. By 2020, we’ll be sailing on nine Ponant ships further supporting our investment in growing the category,” Tombaugh said.

Tauck Small Ship Cruising is also adding a 10-day journey throughout Cuba departing 14, 23 and 28 December 2018 aboard the 3-masted schooner, Le Ponant.

Tauck announced the debut of two radically redesigned ships, and added enhancements to the shore excursions featured fleet-wide.

New for 2018 are itineraries on the Danube and Rhine: 14-day ‘Royal Danube, Berlin & Krakow’ and 11-day ‘Rhine Enchantment, Milan to Amsterdam’.  Tauck has also merged two itineraries on the Rhone – ‘French Waterways’ and ‘A Taste of France’ – to form the 10-day ‘Savouring France: Paris, Lyon & Provence’ which includes two nights in Paris and a 7-night Rhone River cruise aboard the company’s ms Emerald riverboat.

The ‘Royal Danube’ itinerary (from AUD 7490 per person) begins with an included 3-night hotel stay in Berlin at Hotel Adlon Kempinski, complete with two full days of guided Tauck sightseeing.

Guests then travel by high-speed train to Nürnberg, where they embark Tauck’s ms Savor riverboat to begin a 7-night cruise along the Danube visiting Bayreuth, Kelheim, Straubing, Linz, Krems and the Wachau Valley before arriving in Vienna.

Along the way, guests can enjoy a choice of sightseeing in each port of call, ranging from history-focused excursions exploring World War II to a walking tour of Jewish heritage sites and visit to a BMW automobile factory.  The itinerary concludes in Krakow, Poland with an included three-night hotel stay, again with guided Tauck sightseeing plus an optional visit to Auschwitz and a memorable subterranean farewell dinner at the Wieliczka Salt Mine.

Spivak said he had learned from his own parents that older people no longer wanted to travel the way they used to.

“They don’t want to sit on a bus and watch the world go by,” he said.

Written by Peter Needham

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