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Tauck Swiss Jewel Photo Tour
Built in 2009, Tauck’s Swiss Jewel carries just 118 guests and 29 dedicated crew members. Like the rest of their elegant fleet, Tauck operates the Swiss Jewel in conjunction with Scylla AG. Rather than being a negative, this partnership has been a resounding positive: ships are built to Tauck’s exacting specifications, while Scylla provides the necessary technical and operational expertise.
The result is a beautiful ship that provides a truly one-of-a-kind river cruise experience. Interiors channel the elegance and detail of the grand age of ocean cruising, while staterooms boast all the modern amenities that river cruisers have come to expect, including comfortable beds, Molton-Brown toiletries, marble-clad bathrooms, and flat-panel television systems.
Onboard, Tauck’s Cruise Director ensures the cruise aspect of each guest’s journey proceeds flawlessly, while Tauck’s experienced Tour Directors take over the on-shore touring components.
The result is a cruise program that works flawlessly, both onboard and ashore.
The lowest accessible passenger deck aboard Swiss Jewel, the Emerald Deck is home to eight Category 1 river view staterooms, and one Category 2 river view stateroom. The Category 2 stateroom – number 101 – is a particularly good value, as it is nearly twice the size of the Category 1 staterooms on this deck.
Ruby Deck is home to Swiss Jewel’s Restaurant, as well as her Category 3 and Category 4 French Balcony Staterooms. These feature a full, floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door that can open to create a French Balcony, letting in the beautiful vistas of the passing Danube.
Category 3 French Balcony Stateroom
On my voyage, I occupied Category 3 stateroom 231, located all the way aft on the ship’s port side. Like room 232 across the hall, this room features a somewhat non-standard floor plan, with a triangular-shaped bathroom to accommodate for the adjacent staircase leading up to Diamond Deck.
However, this stateroom was just as spacious as other French Balcony accommodation on other lines, and I found the bathroom to still be on the large side for the river cruise industry. Fit and finish is impeccable, and little touches like custom-designed faucet handles, a rainforest shower head, and loads of plush towels make these staterooms a great choice.
In the main sleeping area, accent lighting can be turned on to highlight the headboard of the bed, which complements the included reading lights quite nicely. Overhead lights provide excellent illumination during the day, and a glass desk is ample enough to placing a small laptop on.
Elegantly furnished, the Restaurant is large enough to serve all guests in a single sitting. With attractive dark wood panelling, brass brightwork and frosted glass partitions, seating is ingeniously designed to offer an intimate ambiance that still provides all guests with a view of the passing scenery.
Bonus points here go to the cozy booth-style seating that surrounds the central buffet area; rather than having the room arranged with banquet-style seating, numerous table size options are available, from these larger booths to the cozy tables that surround the panoramic windows that surround the room.
Breakfast, dinner and lunch are held here, all of which are offered in comfortable open-seating environment. Like the rest of Tauck’s products, the food quality here is suitably high, with a variety of local wines and specialties on offer – all free of charge.
Diamond Deck is home to Swiss Jewel’s Reception are and main Lounge, along with four Category 5 suites and 14 Category 6 suites. These Category 6 suites measure 300 square feet, while the Category 5 suites are slightly smaller and placed at opposite ends of Diamond Deck. All suites offer French Balconies, floor-to-ceiling windows, marble bathrooms, flat-panel televisions and walk-in closets.
The first thing guests will encounter when they step onboard the Swiss Jewel is her elegant Reception Lobby. Spacious and airy, the reception area is flanked by wrought-iron railings and has an almost Victorian Arcade feel to it, with the Reception and Cruise Director’s desks flanked by wooden pillars and arches.
At night, the imaginative lighting arrangement reflects off the highly-polished floor, giving this area the same casual and relaxed feeling as the adjacent Panorama Lounge.
The Panorama Lounge
Situated all the way forward on Diamond Deck is the Panorama Lounge. With its polished woods, detailed light sconces, and golden-coloured seating, the Panorama Lounge soothes guests with its Victorian ambiance.
At the front of the room, a central bar area anchors leather-backed chairs and smaller tables geared towards sharing a glass of wine or a frothy pint. In addition to the 180-degree wraparound windows overlooking the bow, electric doors slide open on both port and starboard sides to allow access to a small area outside the Panorama Lounge that is perfect for viewing.
The Lido Bar
Swiss Jewel boasts something of a rarity in the river cruise industry: an aft-facing lounge that also doubles as a specialty restaurant at night.
In addition to offering light snacks and drinks, the Lido Bar also offers a computer workstation with an adjacent laser printer.
When weather conditions are right, the bay windows that face aft open up, creating a magnificent indoor/outdoor dining experience, all within the comfort of a single lounge.
The Swiss Jewel’s sun deck is, as you might expect, the perfect place to take in the sights of Europe’s waterways.
Forward of the pilot house is an area with plenty of wooden tables and seating, ideally suited for dining outdoors or perhaps enjoying a beverage from the bar in the Panorama Lounge below.
Further aft, shaded and un-shaded seating options are available, along with a jogging track, a putting green, and a hot tub that is flush with the ship’s deck.
THE SWISS JEWEL
Like the rest of Tauck’s riverboat fleet, the Swiss Jewel manages to successfully channel the golden age of travel with unexpected touches like marble bathrooms and floors, light sconces, and plenty of detailed woodwork throughout.
She’s also decidedly modern, and features nearly every creature comfort that modern cruisers have come to expect. To spend a week aboard her is effortless, made even moreso thanks to her talented and friendly crew.
Tauck’s marketing says, “Never Settle for Ordinary.” The Swiss Jewel, happily, is anything but ordinary.
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