In 1924 Arthur Tauck was a budding 26-year-old entrepreneur, selling aluminium coin trays of his own design to banks throughout New England. It was a fateful sales trip that brought young Arthur to North Adams, Massachusetts that autumn, where he spent the morning enjoying the local scenery.
The area’s fall foliage was in full display, and Arthur savoured the colours as he lunched at the Wigwam Restaurant on the Mohawk Trail, just east of the Berkshires. Given the beauty of the foliage, Arthur was surprised to notice that the restaurant’s only other patrons were travelling salesmen like himself. He concluded that there were no leisure visitors enjoying the scenery because few outsiders knew the area well enough to travel through it without guidance.
As Arthur later reflected on this insight, an idea grew in his mind. He possessed the expertise necessary to show people the beauty of New England he’d discovered on his travels. Intuitively he sensed that vacationers would gladly attempt a travel adventure if they could sign on with a knowledgeable guide. The guide would provide for their comfort and show them the sights on beautiful backroads they would otherwise be reluctant to travel independently. Arthur would be that guide, and his guests would simply travel along with him on one of his sales trips.
THE FIRST TAUCK TOUR
Arthur’s first “Tauck tour” was a six-day, 1,100 mile, all-inclusive trip that cost his six passengers $69 each. Travelling in a rented Studebaker, the group toured the Berkshire and Adirondack mountains and visited Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New York and Canada. More than 900 miles of the trip were over dirt roads, but the passengers didn’t seem to mind. The group travelled in the morning, and enjoyed afternoons at area attractions and resort hotels while Arthur made his sales calls to banks.
For Arthur, that initial trip was little more than a lark – a hunch that he’d indulged – and at first no additional trips were planned. But when word-of-mouth endorsements from his original six passengers prompted nearly 20 inquiries about future trips, Arthur knew he was onto something. Arthur planned additional trips, and his new business grew.
By 1929 Arthur had purchased several buses and begun to promote his tours in earnest, simultaneously serving as tour director, guide and driver. And Tauck’s signature style of travelling – an approach that still drives the company to this day – was developed and refined. Tauck journeys would provide authentic, engaging discovery of the areas they visited. A friendly, knowledgeable guide would highlight the sights and places along the way, providing in-depth insights into local culture, history, flora, fauna and more. And the trips would combine the indulgence of the finest hotels and superior dining with the ease and assurance of knowing that all the mundane chores of travel were reliably handled by someone else.
Some 85 years later, Tauck World Discovery is the world’s leading escorted travel operator. The company has been named the “#1 Tour Operator & Safari Outfitter” three times by the readers of Travel & Leisure magazine, and it enjoys the travel industry’s highest return-guest rate. Tauck is still a family company, and today Arthur’s son, Arthur Tauck, Jr., serves as company chairman. Arthur Jr’s. son-in-law, Dan Mahar, is the company’s CEO and a Board Director, and his daughter, Liz Tauck Walters, also serves on the Board.
Headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut, Tauck’s well-choreographed land journeys and cruises – one- and two-week+ land journeys, riverboat cruises, small ship cruises, and Tauck Bridges family travel adventures across the globe – are life enriching, inspirational and memorable, complemented by a dedicated do-it-all-for-you service that has been the cornerstone of the company – great value, from start to finish.