Tauck has unveiled details about the interiors of its new river cruise ship which are influenced by elements of Portuguese culture
Tauck has released the first images of the ship’s interiors that reveal décor and design details inspired by Portuguese culture, befitting a ship that has been purpose-built to sail exclusively along the Douro River.
"Andorinha is a truly beautiful vessel," said Tauck chief executive Dan Mahar, "and I love the fact that while it is distinctly different from every other ship in our fleet – it will still be instantly recognisable as a Tauck riverboat to guests who have sailed with us before. We have successfully brought our intimate and casually elegant style of Tauck river cruising to the Douro," Mr Mahar concluded, "while still incorporating authentic local influences that truly inform and enhance the experience."
Tauck says that a recurring design theme on Andorinha is the traditional painted ceramic tiles, or azulejos. These adorn several areas of Andorinha, including its main Compass Rose restaurant and Arthur’s, an alternative dining venue on the ship’s Sun Deck. Fabric facsimiles of the tiles accent one wall of each cabin, with the cabin’s throw pillows and carpeting continuing the theme. Within the ship’s atrium, railings, carpeting and lamps suspended from the ceiling all boast curving patterns reminiscent of azulejo designs.
Tauck added “The azulejos are perhaps most dramatically presented, however, in a hand-painted tile mosaic map depicting the Iberian Peninsula and its surrounding oceans. Located in Andorinha’s reception area and reminiscent of early navigational charts, the three-foot mosaic pays tribute to Portugal’s rich maritime heritage of the 15th and 16th centuries.”
A second recurring theme aboard Andorinha is grapevines, reflecting Portugal’s 2,500 years of winemaking traditions. Cabins and suites all feature wall lamps with decorative metalwork suggestive of grapevines, and each lamp is backed by accenting wallpaper panels that also echo the theme. Andorinha’s reception area features a large, circular, domed ceiling light entwined in grapevines. Some four feet across, the fixture was crafted exclusively for Andorinha with brass ’branches’ that were custom-cast from actual grapevines.
Throughout Andorinha, furnishings have been sourced from top-tier Portuguese suppliers, ranging from some of the ship’s lighting fixtures and furniture to the Portus Cale toiletries provided in each cabin.
Andorinha is set to sail on its first cruises along the Douro in April, following its christening in Porto on 31 March. It will accommodate 84 guests.