Tauck has announced plans to double its small ship cruising capacity within the next four years through strategic fleet expansion, deepened partnership programs and new itineraries.“We are destination explorers at Tauck and some destinations are best explored by both land and sea,” said Tauck President, Jennifer Tombaugh.“Tauck Small Ship Cruising is our first product line to sell out each year. By adding new destinations and expanding our capacity with Ponant, we are able to provide more choice and more availability in order to better serve the current and growing demand.”Ponant, the French-owned cruise line, will debut four new luxury expedition yachts in 2018 and 2019.As part of an expanded partnership, Tauck will leverage all four Ponant new builds starting with Le Lapérouse in summer 2018.The first Tauck sailing on Le Lapérouse departs on 3 July 2018 with the seven-night ‘Iceland: Land of Fire & Ice’ round trip from Reykjavik stopping at off-the-beaten-path towns, tiny villages and isolated islands and priced from AU$9990 per person twin share.“Today, Tauck utilises five Ponant ships for 10 itineraries. By 2020, we’ll be sailing on nine Ponant ships further supporting our investment in growing the category,” said Ms Tombaugh.New Cuba cruiseTauck Small Ship Cruising is adding a 10-day journey throughout Cuba departing 14, 23 and 28 December 2018 aboard the three-masted schooner, Le Ponant.The new people-to-people cultural sailing will be priced from AU$12,490 per person twin share calling on Cuba’s coastal gems between Havana and Santiago de Cuba and including a two-night stay in Havana, complete with guided Tauck sightseeing.BBC Earth JourneysTauck is further expanding its four-year partnership with BBC Earth, the award-winning filmmaker behind the 2017 acclaimed series, Planet Earth II. Starting in 2018, all Tauck Expedition small ship cruises become a part of the Tauck Earth Journeys portfolio featuring customised BBC Earth enhancements connecting travellers with wildlife and nature.The newest destination to be added to the Earth Journeys’ cruise collection is Iceland. Planned enhancements include BBC Earth experts on board select cruise departures and Tauck Director training and certification by BBC Earth filmmakers and historians.Currently, every land and sea Tauck Earth Journey features on-tour film vignettes custom-made by BBC Earth natural history experts, which Tauck guests view during their travels. Many Earth Journeys also incorporate BBC Earth-approved field equipment gadgets, such as sensitive long-range microphones, thermal imaging cameras, night-vision goggles, and self-activating camera traps. The vignettes provide exclusive insights and perspectives shared by BBC Earth experts, while the gadgets allow new and exhilarating ways for guests to interact with their surroundings, further enhancing and enriching the experience.Twenty-five years of small ship cruisesCelebrating 25 years in 2018, Tauck Small Ship Cruising offer a variety of intimate sailings to destinations across the globe. Leveraging its 90 plus years of land expertise to provide guests with more access and enrichment onshore, Tauck Small Ship Cruising itineraries include cultural journeys and expeditionary sailings. In the early 1990s, Tauck took its land model to the ocean in order to bring guests to destinations best explored by sea. By engaging various maritime partnerships, Tauck discovered that small ship cruises aligned most closely with the type of experiences their guests craved with an ability to reach locations big ships are unable to explore. Tauck’s first small ship cruise set sail in 1993 in the Mediterranean. Today, all Tauck small ship cruises offer flexible yacht-like cruising on vessels tailored to each destination and range from 40 to a maximum 300 guests. Each Tauck Small Ship Cruising itinerary is all-inclusive covering all shore excursions, gratuities, port charges and taxes, airport transfers, luggage handing, internet access, on-board meals and dining ashore opportunities. Most Tauck itineraries also include complimentary on-board beer, wine and cocktails, as well as pre and/or post-cruise hotel stays featuring guided Tauck-exclusive sightseeing.