WILTON, CT - Guests traveling on Tauck’s “Antarctica” cruise were treated to a surprise champagne toast in celebration of an important milestone: their group represents Tauck’s 850th trip since resuming operations last January. The toast took place at Tauck’s featured pre-cruise hotel in Buenos Aires, and the 13-day journey concludes next week in Ushuaia, Argentina.
“We’re celebrating not only our 850th departure, but also the fact that we’ve successfully operated 96 different journeys in 36 countries on five continents around the world,” noted Tauck CEO Dan Mahar. “It’s easy to forget that less than a year ago, 100% of our tours and cruises were still paused due to Covid, and that it wasn’t until January and February of this year that we resumed operations with our first departures of a single itinerary, our ‘Wonderland: Yellowstone in Winter’ trip,” he added.
Mahar said he is particularly gratified that Tauck’s 2021 restart spanned so much of the company’s global portfolio, including land programs across North America, South America, Europe and Africa, river cruises on the Rhine, Danube, Seine, Rhone, Douro and Nile, and small ship ocean cruises in Greece, Iceland, the Mediterranean, the Dalmatian Coast, the Galapagos Islands and Antarctica.
Mahar added that, despite Covid-related challenges this year, Tauck still provided its guests with travel experiences that lived up to the company’s high standards. “We track our guest satisfaction metrics with extraordinary care,” said Mahar, “and overall, our 2021 scores have been on par with our 2019 results. And in many areas – including our European land tours and river cruises, our small ship ocean cruises, and our journeys to exotic destinations – our 2021 scores actually exceeded 2019.”
Looking ahead to 2022
Looking ahead to the coming year, Mahar is optimistic. “The world is in a much better place in December 2021 versus December 2020, and so is our industry,” said Mahar. “Last year at this time, just seven million vaccine shots had been deployed globally, and borders were largely shuttered. Today, more than eight billion vaccine shots have been administered, borders are open and global travel has resumed in a meaningful way.”
Mahar pointed to the breadth and success of Tauck’s 2021 operations as a strong foundation for its business in 2022, which he says has the potential to reach 2019 levels. “The experience we gained this year positions us perfectly to continue our robust recovery in 2022, which will not only serve Tauck well, but also our guests, our travel advisor partners, and our supplier-partners around the world.”
Tauck has also been busy hiring in its Reservation Sales Center, bringing on additional staff to bring the call center close to 100% of its 2019 staffing level. Mahar also noted that Tauck has added substantial space in key regions for 2022, including Switzerland, Italy, Canada and the U.S. National Parks. Nonetheless, he cautioned that “a wave is coming, and I’d encourage guests and travel advisors alike to plan ahead and act soon to secure their preferred Tauck trips and departure dates.”
Gratitude to travel advisors and supplier-partners
Overall, Mahar was quick to note the critical role played by the company’s travel advisors and supplier-partners, and to praise the travel industry’s flexibility and resilience. “I’m tremendously proud of how we all came together to restart our industry. Collectively we demonstrated resilience and adaptability and we worked together in new and creative ways to serve our guests and resume our purpose of making the world a better place,” said Mahar. “Success in our business comes down to people and I’m deeply grateful and inspired by the collective care and commitment shown not only by Tauck’s own team, but also by our travel advisor partners and our global network of supplier-partners. Their collective efforts have enabled our successful restart, and have positioned our industry for continued growth in 2022.”