September 5 Eastbound

Just returned and wanted to provide some information when still fresh. This was our first Tauck cruise, previously we had been on small and regular land tours. I did not realize the group dynamics would be so different. Our Ponant ship, Le Champlain were all fellow Tauck clients. Ship , staff and tour directors did all they could to make a very memorable experience. Sites visited had been on my bucket list a long time. Weather was warm and dry mostly. Ship very smooth, the one night cruising the North Sea just felt a little sway. The Captain made himself very accessible to his guests throughout. He organized a surprise Zodiac outing to observe wildlife for any interested. Wow! I would take this cruise again but with a better understanding of what the logistics for 150 people required.
Our Welcome, Captain’s gala , and farewell dinner were one big seating. Food choice was limited and service was lengthy and slow. I no longer want to go to 3.5 +hr dinners. All our tour documents stated dinner on HMY Britannia, it was just cocktails. That visit felt rushed since they was a group coming in for dinner just not Tauck. Daily excursions were in multiple small groups that rotated among the sites. One day we left the ship, mid morning to go straight to a hotel for lunch,it was our first rotation? Another site,we only had 9 mins to visit and our tour guide suggested we not go up to the view point due to time! I didn’t come to tour the gift shop!
The small intimate atmosphere of getting to know your fellow travelers was diminished. I liked the people I interacted with, I just felt there were too many and was constantly trying to remember names. Great itinerary of sites to visit. I will adjust my expectations if we decide to take another Tauck cruise. I prefer the land tours at this time.Others may differ. Happy Travels to all setting out soon. Ellen


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    Thanks for your comprehensive and honest comments. I, as well, did not care for the Ponant experience (different tour) and probably will not take another voyage with them. We are extremely loyal Tauck travelers but found the small ship experience did not suit us. Everyone has different tastes.

    Just a thought, but you might try a Tauck river cruise. They are much more intimate in my opinion.

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