Tauck Announces Godmothers for New ms Andorinha Riverboat
Two of Tauck’s top executives, each with more than 20 years tenure with the company, will serve as co-godmothers when Tauck’s new ms Andorinha riverboat is christened next month in the small Portuguese village of Barca de Alva.
Company President Jennifer Tombaugh and Chief Culture Officer Sharyn Cannon will share the honors when the new ship, designed specifically for cruising along Portugal’s Douro River, officially enters Tauck’s fleet during the first week of August.
“Jennifer and Sharyn are the embodiment of Tauck’s ethos of caring for others, which has been the cornerstone of Tauck’s success for 96 years,” said Tauck CEO Dan Mahar. “Their deep care and concern for our guests, for our employees, and for our travel advisors and supplier-partners guides all that they do and how they do it. I know I speak for the entire Tauck family when I say that the honor is truly ours to have Jennifer and Sharyn serve as the Andorinha’s godmothers.”
Tombaugh joined Tauck in 2001, and today oversees the company’s Worldwide Operations, Brand Management, Reservations, Guest Relations and Sales teams. During her Tauck career she has been responsible for the launch of Tauck Bridges (the company’s family travel brand), Tauck’s groundbreaking partnership with acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns, the redesign of the company’s reservation systems and website, and the formation of Tauck Ventures, focused on new business development.
Cannon joined Tauck in 1999 as the Director of the company’s Reservations Sales Center. Today she leads a number of key departments including Human Resources, Tauck Director Management and IMPACT (Tauck’s philanthropic efforts), all with special focus on the engagement of Tauck’s employees and stewardship of Tauck’s unique culture. She also co-leads the company’s Global Response Team (crisis management).
Designed specifically to sail on Portugal’s Douro River (and originally scheduled to be christened in March of last year), the Andorinha is named for a species of small migratory swallow that returns to the same nests in Portugal each spring after wintering in Africa. With travel finally resuming after the Covid-19 pandemic, that symbol of resilience and renewal is especially meaningful for Tombaugh and Cannon.
“After such a long pause in travel and with the disruptions in all of our lives, the launch of the Andorinha and the start of our journeys on the Douro take on a much deeper meaning of restart, renewal and rebirth,” said Tombaugh. Cannon agreed, noting that “in Portuguese culture the andorinha symbolizes love, loyalty and faithfulness, and I can’t think of a greater symbol for these times, for our employees and for our guests.”
THE TAUCK ONBOARD EXPERIENCE: FEWER GUESTS, MORE SERVICE STAFF
Rather than designing the Andorinha to maximize passenger capacity (and revenues), Tauck has again focused its energies on delivering a superior onboard experience to its guests. As with Tauck’s other riverboats, the Andorinha will feature more suites, more spacious public areas, and a less-crowded, more intimate onboard ambiance.
The new ship 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 two Douro River itineraries aboard the Andorinha in 2021; a 12-day journey that bookends a seven-night Douro cruise with two-night hotel stays in Lisbon and Madrid, and an eight-day “cruise-only” itinerary along the river. “Douro Discovery,” an eight-day Tauck Bridges cruise designed specifically for families, will debut in 2022.