Dear Tauck Family of Friends,
The Taucker newsletter was created and written in the 1930s by Arthur Tauck Sr. as a means to stay connected with his “far-flung” patrons. The Taucker name now graces our Tauck blog where we bring together many ways we’ve stayed connected during this period of suspended travel. One result of a major disruption is that you see ways to innovate and to think more creatively. The best part is that some of these new ideas will make sense on the “other side” and that makes us even more excited about our future. We have learned and grown together – just like we do when we travel. Many sessions have been held with Tauck Directors and past guests in virtual Zoom gatherings. Weekly lectures from Tauck TDs and partners with expertise on many different topics have brought Tauck experiences into your homes. Our Compass emails and Colin Treadwell columns have been read by hundreds of thousands over the past several months. And collectively, over 10,000 hours have been spent watching newly created videos since April. It’s not quite the same as traveling together, but I am glad we’re staying connected.
We were planning to restart in September but have made the decision to suspend operations further. Our Worldwide Operations team, working with our valued partners, had reviewed and planned for each element of the itineraries selected to operate. Our Tauck Directors were ready and excited to get back out there. However, several factors across our country over the past six weeks have led us to the conclusion that the time is not right. That said, I’m pleased to share that our partner is now operating four Tauck riverboats in Europe serving European guests. Satisfaction is high and our accumulated learnings will be valuable to our future cruises.
Much of our attention is focused on 2021. People are adjusting personal and collective standards to enable a gradual reopening of many parts of our world in a new normal state. We are heartened by the extraordinary efforts and collaboration of the scientific community globally. Several vaccine candidates are already in large scale Phase 3 clinical trials where they will be evaluated for both safety and efficacy across a broad range of persons. Further, several drugs are in development to treat patients to limit severe impacts. It’s expected that solutions on each front will be realized later this year.
We are also appreciative of the confidence of many of our guests to confirm reservations for 2021 and 2022. We are now at a point where 50% of our available space is reserved. We will begin sharing some digital brochures later this month and select 2021 brochures will be mailed in September and October. We have a number of new highlights to share. Our ms Andorinha on Portugal’s Douro river will finally be christened next Spring before she sails her first season. We have a new 11-day Jordan and Jerusalem program. Our longtime favorite and best-selling small ship itinerary, Treasures of the Mediterranean Isles, is back and will sail on a new Explorer vessel from our partner Ponant. And after much interest from guests, a new river cruise exploring Holland in more depth will be offered.
We appreciate your support during this time. Our team is #taucktough and committed to doing whatever necessary to be there for you. We sustained a large team of over 60 persons in our Reservations and support areas to ensure we could respond in a timely fashion to your questions, reschedule existing reservations to 2021 and confirm new reservations too. Our Tauck family met for its annual gathering last week and much pride was expressed in the work done to date by our team, and like you, much hope and optimism exists that we will be traveling together soon. We are grateful for those who came before us. Tauck’s conservative financial philosophy over decades enabled us to persevere through these times as we had zero debt and a war chest for rainy “days” – or a year, like this one. It hasn’t been easy on anyone, but I cannot imagine a company more prepared. Our family would also like to share with you that 100% of all guest deposits are completely safe, and kept in separate accounts from funds used to operate our business. “Tauck Trust” is something you have always been able to count on and it remains so today. We want you to feel absolutely confident making reservations for travel in 2021 or 2022.
2020 is our 95th anniversary and this wasn’t quite the year we had planned for, to say the least. But we also have perspective from prior storms, like World War II, 9/11 or the Financial Crisis, and remain confident that our immersive and joyful experiences will be desired individually or with families when the time is right.
The faith and trust you place with Tauck fuels our jets each day. We will be here when YOU are ready.
Daniel W. Mahar, CEO
PS: Travel with Peace of Mind Tauck has always endeavored to provide a degree of a “bubble” when traveling, in terms of “care and concern” for our guests, supported by an experienced Global Response Team. This depth of planning and care is more important than ever in our new normal world. While processes will evolve, I would like to share a link to Tauck’s “Health & Safety” protocols at https://www.tauck.com/travel-updates for up to date information on how Tauck will support travel in this environment.