Cruise Tauck offering more small-ship cruises By Tom Stieghorst / March 15, 2017 Share 1 -- FORT LAUDERDALE -- Tauck said it will double its capacity for small-ship cruises over the next four years. The tour and river cruise company makes most of its small-ship offerings through a partnership with Ponant.Ponant will debut four new 184-passenger luxury expedition yachts in 2018 and 2019. As part of an expanded partnership, Tauck will leverage all four Ponant newbuilds starting with Le Laperouse in summer 2018. The first Tauck sailing on Le Laperouse departs on July 3, 2018, with the "Iceland: Land of Fire & Ice" itinerary. Tauck president Jennifer Tombaugh said at the Seatrade Cruise Global conference that the Iceland cruise has a waiting list already and will likely sell out in a day or two. She encouraged travel agents to book the cruise in 2019 if it isn't available in 2018.Tombaugh said Tauck will also offer six cruises to Cuba on Le Ponant, three in December 2018 and three in January 2019. The 10-day trip will include a night in Miami, a flight to Havana, two nights in Havana and a seven-day cruise that will visit Cienfuegos, Trinidad and Santiago de Cuba.Tauck said demand for its cruises currently exceeds supply. "Tauck Small Ship Cruising is our first product line to sell out each year," Tombaugh said. "Today, Tauck utilizes five Ponant ships for 10 itineraries. By 2020, we'll be sailing on nine Ponant ships, further supporting our investment in growing the category," added Tombaugh. In addition, Tauck is expanding its four-year partnership with BBC Earth, the filmmakers behind the series "Planet Earth II." Starting in 2018, all Tauck Expedition small-ship cruises will become a part of the Tauck Earth Journeys portfolio featuring customized BBC Earth enhancements that help connect travelers with wildlife and nature.Tauck also partners with Windstar Cruises and with Metropolitan Touring in the Galapagos.