Riverboat company staged surprise christening ceremony
By Patti Pietschmann, Travel Diva
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.
“‘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
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.
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.
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’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.