Five Things to Know About Tauck's MS Inspire Cruise Ship
World's Best 2016 Awards Rank: #1 River Ship
Best for: Passengers who want a trip steeped in the culture and history of the destination, both on and off the ship.
Sails: Moselle River, Rhine River
At a Glance: A Travel + Leisure World’s Best 2016 winner, placing first in the River Ship category. Like its sister ship MS Savor, the MS Inspire debuted in 2014, winning raves for its in-the-know tour directors (there are three onboard), casual atmosphere, and roomy, cleverly-designed cabins.
The Cabins Are Spacious
There are only 67 earth-toned staterooms and 130 passengers onboard—fewer than many other river ships of this size—so you’ll have more room to move both in public spaces and in your cabin. Standard staterooms range from 150 square feet to 225 square feet, and 30 percent of the staterooms onboard are 300-square-foot suites with two French balconies. One of the most in-demand room categories is the new 225-square-foot Loft cabins, which feature a seating area on a raised platform with a one-and-a-half deck window—a rarity for lower-deck cabins, which usually only have a small narrow window near the ceiling.
You won’t have to skimp on cocktails, or wait until lunch and dinner to imbibe: A long list of spirits and wines are covered by your fare, and you can order them anytime. Excursions are also included (more on that later), so you can do as many or as few as you’d like.
The Excursions Are Next Level
All organized outings are wrapped into your cruise rate, and that includes more than just walking tours and visits to historic sites. During the ship’s Rhine and Moselle sailing, for example, passengers not only get to explore the medieval moated castle of Burg Satzvey, in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany, they also get to stay for dinner and entertainment. There’s also a tasting at the Schlagkamp Wine Museum in Cochem, a boat ride to Rhine Falls, and another tasting at the Karl Schaefer winery in Pfalz. Bonus: there’s a fleet of bicycles onboard, which are free to use whenever you’re in port.
There’s More Than Sun on the Sundeck
Like most river ships, the top deck of the MS Inspire is open to the elements, allowing passengers to soak in the sun and the sights along the riverbank. (Some sections are covered, and one is surrounded by glass walls to protect passengers on breezy days.) But unlike on other ships, the Sundeck is also home to a plunge pool, as well as a putting green so you can practice your game as castles and villages roll by.
The Food Is Local
Every night, passengers decamp to the red-and-ivory Compass Rose dining room for a multi course meal focusing on regional dishes and ingredients. During sailings in the Netherlands, for example, guests might sample carpaccio of Dutch salmon, and a cheese course that includes gouda, limburger and lerdammer. On select nights, Arthur’s, which offers casual fare like burgers and salads for lunch, becomes a steak house, serving up generous cuts of rib eyes and filet mignon.