Andorinha atrium, showing azulejo-inspired ceiling lamps, railing and carpeting (Image: Tauck)
Tauck’s newest river cruise ship, Andorinha, is to feature décor, furniture and furnishings inspired by elements of Portuguese culture to reflect the fact that she has been purpose-built to sail exclusively on Portugal’s Douro River.
Andorinha, which will be christened in Porto on 31 March and begin her maiden season in April, has been named in honour of andorinhas, the small swallows that return to Portugal every spring and are the national symbol of family, fidelity and home.
Many of the ship’s interiors will be decorated with traditional painted ceramic tiles, known as azulejos, which gained widespread popularity in Portugal during the 1500s. The tiles will be visible in the main Compass Rose restaurant, the al fresco Arthur’s dining venue, the cabins and in a hand-painted mosaic map depicting the Iberian Peninsula and surrounding oceans in the reception area. Similarly, the carpets, railings and ceiling lamps in the atrium all reflect the curving patterns of azulejo designs.
Grapevines will also feature heavily in Andorinha’s interiors, paying homage to Portugal’s 2,500 years of winemaking traditions. For example, the circular domed ceiling light in the reception area will feature brass ‘branches’ that were custom-cast from real grapevines. Meanwhile, the wall lamps in the guest suites and cabins will feature decorative grapevine-like metalwork, as well as wallpaper panels that echo the theme.
The ship will also be filled with fixtures, furniture and furnishings from Portuguese suppliers.
“Andorinha is a truly beautiful vessel and I love the fact that – while she’s distinctly different from every other ship in our fleet – she’ll still be instantly recognisable as a Tauck riverboat to guests who’ve sailed with us before,” said Dan Mahar, Tauck CEO. “We’ve successfully brought our intimate and casually elegant style of Tauck river cruising to the Douro, while still incorporating authentic local influences that truly inform and enhance the experience.”
Andorinha will sail three Douro River itineraries in 2020, including an eight-day ‘cruise only’ itienary along the river and a 12-day voyage that bookends a seven-night Douro cruise with two-night hotel stays in Lisbon, Portugal and Madrid, Spain. The vessel will also offer eight-day Tauck Bridges cruises for families.
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