Infinite Dreams, Oceans and Seas
Sailing the seven seas… Magical words that have inspired us since childhood to go beyond our imaginations and set sail ourselves in search of those seaworthy destinations we fell in love with in books and movies; those fanciful places best accessed by sea. There are “sailing” words used by authors and film writers that evoke a passion to be part of a legacy that harkens back to ancient times – words like maritime, nautical, seafaring, voyage, yachting… Jacques Cousteau wrote: “The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” Cruising the world’s great oceans by small ship – to us, it’s the key to going beyond our imaginations and turning those long-ago dreams into travels of a lifetime.
Small Ship Cruising
Across the world’s horizons
We couldn’t imagine any better way to begin this edition than with a video that defines what our small ship cruising is all about. Ocean cruising aboard a smaller vessel unlocks special access to the world – and an opportunity to experience it in ways that will, in turn, be locked in your memory forever. Take a look at a few of the places you’ll sail to and the unique moments to go local. Smaller ships mean bigger opportunities to experience an authentic “day in the life” – and when you explore ashore, both on and off the beaten path, small ship access personifies a maritime version of “the road less traveled.”
Prehistoric visions in the Galápagos
Meet Tauck Director Marcos Santos and discover a wildlife mecca
Mr. Charles Darwin and his expeditionary voyage aboard H.M.S. Beagle put the remote Galápagos Islands on the map – both figuratively and literally as the voyage included charting coastal areas of the world previously uncharted. He was most looking forward to making geologic observations on the volcanic islands – but what he discovered, instead, changed the course of natural history forever. The Galápagos Islands are probably best known for unique wildlife, from land and sea birds to penguins, iguanas (several varieties), tortoises and fish. We bring you a fabulous, up-close look at Marine Iguanas – and a collection of curated content, from podcasts to documentaries, on Charles Darwin, his expedition, and the wonderful wildlife that call the Galápagos home.
Tauck’s Commitment to Cruising
For nearly three decades, we have embarked on the horizon and traveled the world’s oceans by small ship – elegant vessels from long-standing, trusted partners – that allow for uncommon access to ports of call in six continents. Beginning in 1993, Tauck set sail with Compagnie du Ponant’s flagship vessel, Le Ponant, connecting travelers to beautiful harbors, culturally rich sites, and the historical isles of France and Italy with our first journey, Treasures of the Mediterranean. Not long after, we crossed the Atlantic to drop anchor in the world-renowned San Blas, sharing the jewel-like waters of Central America with travelers on Panama & Costa Rica.
Over subsequent decades, interest in Tauck’s unique approach to cruising – smaller groups, special access, on board experts, and culturally immersive excursions – has grown, and with it, new journeys to waters as diverse as the Aegean, Baltic, Antarctic, and Sea of Japan. Similarly, our fleet has expanded, improved, and advanced. Conceived and designed by some of the best minds in naval architecture, the latest 2018 Ponant Explorers series is comprised of six exceptional yachts, with just 92 staterooms each employing the latest technology, cutting-edge design, and a holistic approach to sustainable operations, allowing for a world-class cruising experience for guests and a lower-footprint impact on the environment. In fact, this year, the fleet was honored to be named the most environmentally-friendly cruise in the world by the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union.
Whether connecting with your family as you explore Galápagos’ inlets, enjoying local wines with newfound friends after setting off from Venice for the Dalmatian Coast, taking in the wilds of Alaska from your stateroom, or treasuring a moment alone on deck under Iceland’s starlit skies, small ship cruising brings you to destinations in ways unexpected and truly memorable. At Tauck, we are honored to share the high seas with our guests and are dedicated to protecting them for decades to come.
Where a wish for the perfect cruise becomes reality
Our newest cruise is actually our flagship cruise, reimagined for a new decade and a new year in cruising – Treasures of the Mediterranean Isles. Passenger cruising itself began nearly 200 years ago in these waters – and those earliest Mediterranean journeys of the 1830s and ’40s called on many of the ports and islands we know so well, such as Elba, with stunning coastlines, fine wines, excellent beaches – and Napoleonic tales. Corsica, where centuries of intrigue and mysteries unfold behind iconic white cliffs and hidden harbors. Sardinia, where “La Dolce Vita” thrives amidst timeless treasures from the ancient and prehistoric past. Intriguing stories of knights and secret societies on the island of Malta. Our cruise is aboard Le Bougainville, part of Ponant’s Explorer Series; she takes her name from the admiral, explorer and diplomat Louis Antoine de Bougainville, the first Frenchman to circumnavigate the globe. For an indepth look at the islands, we’ve put together a collection of videos, podcasts and presentations ranging from historic insights to art, wine, cuisine and more.
Small Ship Cruising with Captain Marchesseau
Exploring the world up close aboard Le Soléal
Meet one of our Ponant captains, Captain Patrick Marchesseau, who shares a look at life aboard Le Soléal and the destinations around the world she has cruised to. You’ll experience the best of land and sea aboard Le Soléal and her sister ships, where a new day promises new discoveries – whether it’s a cultural journey through Old World Europe or an expedition in remote polar regions. Local experts, artisans, and naturalists share their skills and knowledge on all-included shore excursions where you’ll get to know their hometowns through their daily lives. And it’s these unscripted moments that turn a voyage of discovery into a voyage of a lifetime.
Preserving Earth’s Most Precious Resource
Eco-friendly conservation efforts across the globe
As previously mentioned, Ponant is our longstanding small ship cruising partner in destinations spanning the globe. Finding the right balance between global explorations and protecting the destinations traveled to is just one of the commitments to sustainable travel shared by Ponant and Tauck. We’re focused on doing our part to preserve the places we travel to for the enjoyment of future generations – and Ponant recently received a top rating by the Nature and Biodiversity Union (NABU, one of the largest environment associations) as an environmentally-friendly cruise line. Our curated collection of videos and podcasts provides insights into some of the challenges currently faced by destinations across the planet and the efforts underway to protect them.
Enjoy last week’s presentation by award-winning wildlife filmmaker Peter Bassett
If you missed last week’s presentation Antarctica with award-winning wildlife filmmaker and Tauck partner Peter Bassett, please click the link below to view the recording.