Tauck Small Ship Cruising Cruise Highlights
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Passengers sailing on Tauck itineraries tend to bond quickly. That's partially because transit is always on an intimate ship and because travelers tend to have similar interests that lead to quick friendships. Tauck Directors are also engaging individuals and lead onboard discussions and shore tours most days. The shared camaraderie is felt from day one, and everyone is genuinely excited to see how the vacation unfolds.
Tauck's level of inclusivity also fosters a sense of exclusivity. You may pay a bit more for your voyage, but it will include services and experiences that you couldn't get if you didn't book through Tauck. Your fare will generally include airport transfers, a pre- and/or post-cruise hotel stay with guided sightseeing, all shore tours, internet access, gratuities (for ship's crew, the Tauck Director, local guides and drivers), port charges and onboard beverages. Even shoreside meals are packaged into the price. You'll be treated to personalized service and will bond with other Tauck travelers during complimentary events like onboard cocktail parties and on-deck gatherings during sail-aways.
Among Tauck's other main selling points is the fact that its ships can go where the big ships can't. The company also provides uncommon access to the most compelling sights onshore. For example, in Rome cruisers are treated to a special after-hours visit to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. Seeing these bucket-list sights without the crowds is nothing short of spectacular.
Destination immersion is another facet of Tauck Small Ship Cruising that gets high marks. The company programs an array of excursions that help travelers really get to know a place and meet some locals. That might mean a guided walk across the Arctic Circle in Grimsey, Iceland, followed by a visit to a family farm, or lunch at a Peruvian Paso horse ranch and dinner at a private home in Lima that dates back to colonial times. A Tauck Director always leads shore tours, along with knowledgeable local guides, and is available to answer questions and provide unique insights into every stop along the way.
Tauck doesn't simply rely on its own expertise, however. Tauck has partnered with BBC Earth natural history experts to develop exotic voyages called Earth Journeys. Onboard, you'll watch special Tauck film vignettes about the destinations you'll visit and attend in-depth enrichment lectures that give more context to the upcoming experience. You'll also get to play with various pieces of field equipment provided by Tauck Directors and local guides. Depending on your itinerary, that could mean putting an FLIR thermal-imaging camera to work, trying out a GoPro video camera or utilizing special microphones that can pick up underwater sounds. Earth Journeys focus on Tauck's more exotic itineraries with visits to Antarctica on Le Soleal or Le Boreal; the Panama Canal and Costa Rica aboard Star Pride or Star Breeze; and Peru and the Galapagos Islands or an in-depth exploration of just the Galapagos Islands aboard Isabella II.
No matter where you wish to sail, Tauck probably has an itinerary that will fit your bill. Tauck Small Ship Cruising offers tours to Antarctica, Asia, Australia and Europe, and it also offers Panama Canal transits and trips to the Galapagos Islands. Itineraries often include a mix of land-based accommodations and a cruise ranging in length from six to 10 nights.
Tauck says that "inquisitive seekers of knowledge" are drawn to its small-ship cruise itineraries. Passengers are primarily well-traveled Americans who can afford the best when it comes to their vacation options. You'll travel with like-minded individuals who want an intimate oceangoing ship that can visit both off-the-beaten-path and marquee ports of call. Every passenger is invested in learning about each destination's culture and is passionate about immersion travel. On any given Tauck expedition, you'll meet solo travelers, couples and families (although mainly of the older, multigenerational variety). Families wishing to travel with Tauck should look specifically at Tauck Bridges, itineraries crafted with children in mind.