Seasonal Cruises for Families -- 2009 (Part 5)

| March 6, 2009

Here's how a summer adventure sailing can bring your family closer together.

Tauck Bridges The Tauck Bridges division of Tauck World Discovery Tours offers family-oriented land and sea adventures. This has been one of the fastest growing segments of Tauck's business over the past few years, so Tauck has increased its family departures by 45%.

According to Tauck CEO Dan Mahar, "We build each Tauck Bridges trip around what we call 'shared enrichment,' in which the different generations build bonds -- or bridges -- by experiencing the joys of travel together."

This summer, Tauck Bridges features a Galapagos cruise aboard the 90-passenger Santa Cruz. Tauck Directors who accompany the cruises are chosen for their ability to work with kids and offer group activities aboard ship. On land, naturalists gear their talks and walks to children and focus heavily on the wonders of the Galapagos Islands.

The Santa Cruz has a number of triple and quad staterooms as well as common space for kids to congregate for child-oriented group activities. The Galapagos departures for this year are February 14; March 14 and 21; April 11 and 18; June 6 and 27; July 4, 18 and 25; August 1, 15 and 22.

Children 11 years and under who share a cabin with two adults receive a $350 discount. The line requests that children be at least three years old, and notes that those age eight and older will have the best experience in the Galapagos.

Tauck Bridges also offers a family cruise along the Danube River from Budapest, Hungary to Regensburg, Germany; with departures June 21 and July 4; and cruises are aboard the 118-passenger Swiss Emerald and Swiss Sapphire. These ships have triple staterooms but no quads.

Cultural highlights and activities for children on this itinerary include cycling along the Danube River; a trip to Vienna Prater amusement park; strudel making class; and a sports rally including white-water rafting, scavenger hunt and cross-bow shooting at a castle.

Children 11 years and under sharing a cabin with two adults receive a $100 discount on this cruise. There are additional discounts for triple cabins.

Tauck specially selects its tour directors for Tauck Bridges departures, looking for those who like to work with children. Each child on a Tauck Bridges trip receives a Tauck Bridges backpack that includes a disposable camera and other mementoes.

Uniworld Grand River Cruises Uniworld Grand River Cruises is again offering two seven-day family itineraries this summer. These cruises focus on multi-generational family travel, and introducing the wonders of Europe to children and teens for the first time. The two itinerary options are Castles along the Rhine, between Amsterdam and Basel; and Paris and Normandy Grand River Cruise roundtrip from Paris.

Highlights of the Rhine River cruise include a mini-tram ride to Siegfried's Mechanical Museum, home of one of the largest collections of self-playing musical instruments in the world; and a visit to Speyer Technical Museum, which features a walk-in Boeing 747 and a German Navy submarine.

The French river cruise includes highlights like visiting Monet's house at Giverny coupled with an Impressionist painting workshop on board; a hike to the stronghold of Richard the Lionheart's Chateau Gaillard; and standing on the beaches of Normandy to witness where World War II history was made.

Youth activities are geared to youngsters eight to 18 years old. These departures offer a children's menu of cheeseburgers, French fries, and ice cream. There is also a game room for youth activities on the ships.

Children age eight to 18 receive 50 percent off cruise-only rates when accompanied by an adult. The Rhine and French river cruises depart throughout the summer.

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