Riverboat company staged surprise christening ceremony

By Patti Pietschmann, Travel Diva

Tauck Andorinha christening

Guests get to attend normally exclusive christening in Barca d’Alva

Passengers embarking on the inaugural of Tauck’s stunning riverboat, ms Andorinha got a big surprise. After spending two-nights in a Madrid hotel they went to the board the ship in Barca d’Alva and found themselves participating in the line’s pop-up christening ceremony.

It was quite a send off to a  12-day the journey down the Douro.


Surprise stops


“‘We enjoy spicing up  our itineraries with and unanticipated experiences.  It’s gratifying to surprise  guests with a sense of wonder and delight,” says  company CEO Dan Mahar.

Tauck  christenings are usually exclusive affairs for  company executives, local dignitaries, travel advisors, partners and  the media.  Which makes this recent passenger participation  unique.

Godmothers on hand

Andorinha christening

Godmothers Jennifer Tombaugh and Sharyn Cannon

Passengers were also surprise to Andorinha’s  godmothers Jennifer Tombaugh and  Sharyn Cannon in attendance.

 Cultural inspiration

  The Douro River-specific riverboat is enough to thrill any passenger. Her décor and design are stunning and a tribute to local culture and climate through traditional painted ceramic tiles, or azulejos.

The ship’s name springs from local culture. Andorinhas are a species of small migratory swallows that travel to Africa in winter and back to Portugal in spring.

Knock out reception area

The Andorinha’s reception area features a huge, domed ceiling light entwined with brass “branches” custom-cast from actual grapevines.

Andorinha’s highlights

The show-stopping Sun Deck oozes with comfort with  canopied Balinese day beds w and an infinity-style pool five times the size of those on other Tauck riverboats. It’s a special sanctuary for relaxing and enjoying food from the  outdoor grill and drinks at the bar. Tauck Andorhina launch

Adding to the ambiance is Arthur’s. It’s a sort of  pop-up restaurant  that  rises from  hydraulic lifts and takes its name from Tauck chairman Arthur Tauck Jr.  The food is a mix of steak house-style classics and regional fare.

Tauck Andorhina launch


Tauck’s newer riverboats feature more suites and more spacious public areas. They also offer a more intimate onboard ambiance. The 42-cabin Andorinha accommodates 84  guests, versus up to 112 passengers – or 33% more people – on other cruise lines’ Douro ships of the same approximate size.


There are two Douro River itineraries aboard the Andorinha in 2021. One is the 12-day “Exploring the Douro, plus Lisbon & Madrid” journey that bookends a seven-night Douro cruise. That one includes  two-night hotel stays in Lisbon and Madrid.

The other itinerary lasts eight days during “Villages and Vintages: Cruising the Douro River Valley.”

To get you rolling down the Douro on Andorinha just call a Pavlus at 800-528-9300 or go to pavlus.com.



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