Ten years after Tauck saw exceptional bookings for its European river cruises featuring the Floriade International Horticultural Expo, the Connecticut-based company is preparing to capture even stronger anticipated demand for the 2022 iteration of the Netherlands’ once-every-decade festival. Where Tauck offered just a single itinerary that visited Floriade in 2012, it will feature the festival next year on a total of four different river cruises.
According to Tauck CEO Dan Mahar, the basis for the company’s bullish enthusiasm is two-fold. “Our excitement is rooted in both our past experience with Floriade, and in the really incredible plans we’ve seen for the 2022 expo,” said Mahar. “Our guests’ interest in attending Floriade is such that we essentially – and rather quickly – sold out our entire inventory in 2012,” he explained. Mahar also noted that the 2012 edition of Floriade drew more than 2,000,000 total visitors, or some four times the attendance at the 2010 performances of the Oberammergau Passion Play, another popular, once-every-decade cultural event featured on Tauck river cruises.
Next year’s Floriade, explained Mahar, will be far more than a simple flower show. The expo’s theme is “Growing Green Cities,” and it will showcase elements ranging from green architecture and environmentally-friendly food production to renewable energy and healthy living. The expo will be situated on 148 acres of land in the city of Almere that was raised and reclaimed from the sea, and following the festival’s conclusion late next year, its various buildings and facilities will collectively function as an enduring, environmentally-friendly urban center. “An apt comparison for the 2022 Floriade and its forward-looking emphasis on the cities of tomorrow would be Walt Disney’s vision for EPCOT,” said Mahar, noting how closely the EPCOT acronym (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) aligns with Floriade’s “Growing Green Cities” focus.
The Floriade expo will have more than enough to satisfy those with strong horticultural interests, including landscapes, gardens and greenhouses highlighting a vast collection of flowers, trees, shrubs, plants and crops from more than 40 countries. The festival will also feature live entertainment, themed cultural programs and exhibits, a host of international pavilions, a range of restaurants, food trucks and specialty tastings, and a diverse campus connected by gondolas, trains, bridges and walkways.
Early Admission and A Private Small-Group Tour
Tauck guests will enjoy a full day at Floriade, highlighted by early-access admission one hour before the expo opens to the general public, and a 90-minute, small-group guided tour of key attractions hosted by a Floriade expert. Each guest will also receive a Tauck-issued, 25-euro Floriade credit card allowing them to enjoy lunch in their choice of dining venues, or purchase mementos of their visit if they prefer.
Tauck has also secured docking privileges in nearby Huizen, a short ten-minute drive from the Floriade grounds. For guests’ convenience and flexibility, private round-trip shuttles will be provided between the riverboat and the expo campus. The visit to Floriade, including expo admission, shuttle transportation, and the Floriade credit card, is included in Tauck’s cruise pricing, as are all other shore excursions, all gratuities, all onboard wine and spirits, airport transfers, luggage handling and more. The four Tauck river cruises featuring a visit to the Floriade expo include two 15-day itineraries, “Amsterdam to Budapest by Riverboat” and “The Rhine and Moselle,” along with two eight-day trips, “Belgium & Holland in Spring” and the new-for-2021 itinerary “Cruising the Dutch Waterways.”
Lessons from the Oberammergau Passion Play
Information on Tauck’s four 2022 river cruises featuring Floriade has recently been posted on the company’s website, and can also be downloaded in an eight-page e-brochure. As Tauck begins to ramp up its promotional efforts for Floriade, CEO Mahar is urging those interested to make their plans quickly. “For most travellers, attending something like Floriade or the Oberammergau Passion Play is a true once-in-a-lifetime experience, and because they’re only available once every ten years, the opportunities to attend are really quite limited,” said Mahar. “Understandably, that creates a real sense of urgency among our guests that prompts them to act fast. With the Oberammergau Passion Play, we were 90% sold out before we started to actively promote it, and we’re fully expecting our Floriade trips to generate that same kind of response.”
For more information, visit Tauck.ca.
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