|Photo by Freeimages.com/Cynthia Bettridge|
Tauck has announced that three long-time employees will serve as godmothers to the company’s newest river cruise ship, the Joy, when it is christened in Vienna June 21. All three of those chosen initially served the company in the role of tour director, or Tauck Director in company parlance, and have since been promoted to managerial positions.
The three godmothers for the new Joy will be Jacque Moran (Recruiting & Training Manager, Tauck Director Operations), Mary Murrin (North America Account Manager, Tauck River Cruising), and Kristin Robinson (Tauck Director Manager, Tauck River Cruising). Together, the three godmothers share 18 years of combined Tauck Director and Tauck Cruise Director experience, as well as 35 years of combined tenure at Tauck.
According to Tauck CEO Dan Mahar, the decision to have former Tauck Directors serve as the Joy’s godmothers underscores the role that Tauck Directors play in delivering the company’s travel experiences.
Moran joined Tauck in 1998, and she is charged with recruiting, hiring and training new Tauck Directors. She worked as a Tauck Director for nearly a decade herself, leading tours in Scandinavia, New England and the American West. Murrin is a former Tauck Director and Tauck Cruise Director on the company’s European riverboats. Now a member of Tauck’s sales team, she works to train and assist Tauck’s network of travel agents in marketing the company’s river cruises. Robinson is a manager supporting many of the Tauck Directors and Tauck Cruise Directors aboard the company’s riverboats, and she formerly served as a Tauck Director leading itineraries in France.
The Joy will be Tauck’s ninth European riverboat, and its launch will complete a 125 percent expansion of the company’s fleet over a two-year period. In 2013 the Tauck fleet consisted of four 110-meter ships, the Treasures, Swiss Jewel, Swiss Sapphire, and Swiss Emerald. In 2014 Tauck launched its first two 135-meter ships, the Inspire and Savor, and a fifth 110-meter ship, the Esprit, joined Tauck’s fleet last spring. A third 135-meter ship, the Grace, was christened in April of this year. Tauck recently announced plans to reconfigure all five of its 110-meter ships, and over the next two years each vessel will be enhanced with larger cabins, overall passenger capacity will be reduced on each ship, and each will also have its second onboard dining venue redesigned.
Tauck is also evolving how it deploys its fleet of riverboats – what the company calls its “Destination Fleet” – across Europe, matching each ship to those destinations and itineraries best suited for its specific length. On longer cruises that include a transit of the Main-Danube Canal, Tauck will deploy 110-meter ships because their shorter length allows for greater efficiency and flexibility in passing through the canal’s many locks. Tauck will also continue to position two 110-meter ships in France, the Sapphire on the Seine and Emerald on Rhone/Saône, where their modest length makes docking easier in France’s smaller or more crowded ports like Paris. Tauck’s four 135-meter ships will be assigned to itineraries specifically on the Danube River, or on the Rhine and Moselle Rivers.
Each Tauck ship has a Tauck Cruise Director aboard who is in charge of the overall guest experience, working closely with the ship’s maritime, hotel and restaurant staff and managing the team of three Tauck Directors assigned to each riverboat. The Tauck Directors in turn provide onboard commentary and service, assist in the delivery of the onboard guest experience and lead Tauck’s exclusive shore excursions.