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September 30, 2008

Tauck World Discovery’s New Luxury Riverboat, MS Swiss Sapphire, About To Set Sail

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

NORWALK, CT – European river cruising is one of the fastest-growing segments of the global travel industry, and Tauck World Discovery, a world leader in escorted luxury travel, is ready to accommodate discerning travelers aboard an elegant new river vessel, the MS Swiss Sapphire. In April the new ship celebrated its christening and VIP inaugural cruise in Belgium, before hosting guests on six different European river cruise itineraries. The 361-foot ship, which sails exclusively in Europe, accommodates 118 guests and feature two hot tubs, a bar and lounge, restaurant and wellness center.

“River cruising has been our fastest-growing travel category and the debut of the MS Swiss Sapphire underscores our commitment to surpassing the needs and expectations of our guests,” said Robin Tauck, president of Tauck World Discovery. “We were excited to add this luxury riverboat to our fleet, as it enhances guests’ experience when sailing the continent’s great inland waterways.”

Reflecting its Sapphire name, the vessel embodies elegance and sophistication. Like its equally luxurious sister-ship, the MS Swiss Emerald, the Swiss Sapphire boasts 14 luxury suites with 300 square-feet of living space, full-sized marble tubs, walk-in closets and floor-to-ceiling windows. Guests are also accommodated in 45 additional outside-facing cabins and mini-suites from 150 to 183 square-feet. All cabins are finely appointed with plasma TV, mini-bar, radio, safe, individual air conditioning and L’Occitane toiletries.

Guests feasts on gourmet cuisine at the ship’s restaurant. Other MS Swiss Sapphire amenities include two whirlpools, a spacious topside sun deck, steam room, 24-hour Jacuzzi as well as a lounge and teak-lined Lido Bar boasting live piano tunes nightly and a 180 degree glass wall that fully opens for inside-outside cocktails. Tech-savvy guests can stay connected at the Internet Station in the Lido Bar, or via Wi-Fi throughout the ship.

Travelers can sail aboard the Sapphire on “Budapest to the Black Sea” (from $3,090), “Budapest to Amsterdam” (from $4,990), “The Black Sea to Prague” (from $7,290), “The Blue Danube” (from $2,690), or “Holland & Belgium In Spring” (from $2,840). Those looking for a true getaway can sail aboard the Sapphire on Tauck’s “Grand European Cruise,” a 24-day cruise traversing the entire European continent (from $8,090). Pricing includes all taxes, most meals, all shore excursions, all gratuities, wine with onboard dinners, admission to attractions, entertainment, and more. All-inclusive itineraries are priced seasonally and prices are per person, based on double occupancy, and do not include airfare.*

For more information about the MS Swiss Sapphire and Tauck World Discovery, please call (800) 468-2825 or visit “http://www.tauck.com”

*Rates are based on availability, season and do not include roundtrip airfare.

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