Tauck Small Ship Cruising, known for intimate yacht-like luxury ships, all-inclusive packages and intimate shore excursions, is setting sail with four distinct European itineraries in 2018, part of Tauck’s global portfolio of 17 small ship cruises.From the warmer waters of the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas to the medieval ports along the Baltic Sea and the rugged coasts of the British and Irish Isles, these Tauck Cultural Journeys offer guests choices of one-of-a-kind shore excursions, extended stays in major port cities and all-inclusive pricing in the luxury of yachts that accommodate no more than 264 passengers.Tauck has also enhanced its shore excursions in 2018 by adding new choices in many locations to give guests the opportunity to select experiences that best accommodate their interests. For example, when visiting Trapani on the western coast of Sicily on the Sicily, the Amalfi Coast and Rome itinerary, guests can choose to visit the ancient town of Segesta and its wondrous antiquities before continuing on to the walled town of Erice, seat of the Roman goddess Venus; or, they can journey to Spagnola on the ancient Salt Route followed by a visit to a local winery. Every shore excursion is included in the fare of a Tauck Small Ship Cruise.Venice and the Dalmatian CoastTauck’s ultimate Dalmatian Coast tour begins with a visit to Venice’s richly-decorated Doge’s Palace, residence of the Republic’s rulers through the Renaissance. Other stops include the famed glass-makers on Murano, and a visit to the Adriatic island of Korcula to take in the local lifestyle at a family-owned estate. Additional highlights in Croatia include exploring the medieval town of Trogir, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; a visit to the majestic island of Hvar, known as an international playground for celebrities and royalty; along with countryside culinary and wine tastings. Guests will visit a first-century amphitheatre considered the best-preserved in the world in Pula on the Istrian Peninsula, and have the opportunity to explore other ancient Roman structures. The 10-day Venice and the Dalmatian Coast itinerary begins with a two-night hotel stay with guided Tauck sightseeing in Venice, followed by a seven-night cruise aboard the stylish Le Lyrial yacht. Tauck is operating six departures (8 and 22 May, 21 and 28 August and 4 and 11 September 2018) with prices commencing at AUD $9240 per person twin share plus airfare.St. Petersburg and the Baltic SeaThis 12-day itinerary launches with a two-night hotel stay in Stockholm, highlighted by a gala reception and dinner followed by a guided tour of the iconic City Hall (home to the Nobel Prize festivities) and a visit to Stockholm’s historic Royal Swedish Opera House. The following seven-night cruise on Le Soléal departs Sweden for a two-night stay in St. Petersburg with visits to the 18th-century Peter and Paul Fortress (the final resting place of Russian tsars), the famed Faberge Museum and a private guided tour of The State Hermitage Museum. After a visit to Estonia’s capitol city of Tallinn, the ship sails to Copenhagen for visits to the Tivoli Gardens and a trip to Roskilde, Denmark’s religious, cultural and political center dating back to the Middle Ages, among other sites. The cruise also includes a full sea day in the Baltic allowing guests to relax aboard the state-of-the-art Le Soléal, with upscale restaurants, lounges, bars, a fitness centre and stateroom ocean views. Prices commence at AUD $10,990 per person twin share plus airfare with departures 16, 23 and 30 May and 6 June 2018.Sicily, the Amalfi Coast & RomeThe 60-passenger, three-masted Le Ponant can bring passengers into ports not accessible by larger vessels. This 11-day trip begins with two nights in the heart of Rome with an excursion that is a Tauck Exclusive – a once-in-a-lifetime after-hours visit to the Vatican Museums to leisurely tour the Sistine Chapel devoid of the usual daytime crowds. Guests then board Le Ponant for a seven-night Mediterranean and southern Italy cruise that includes the remote Aeolian Isles, a visit to Herculaneum’s ruins and a spectacular night sail past Stromboli. Guests will also take a drive on the mountainous Amalfi Coast (considered one of the most spectacular drives in the world) and spend four days visiting various ports along the Sicilian coast before heading for an overnight stay in Malta. Prices commence at AUD $10,490 per person twin share plus airfare and Tauck will operate six departures on 13 and 19 June, 15 and 21 August and 12 and 28 September 2018.British and Irish IslesThe British and Irish Isles cruise takes explorers to major cities in Britain and Ireland as well as off-the-beaten-path island locations. Beginning with two nights in the heart of Dublin, the cruise includes historic Belfast (and the award-winning interactive Titanic Experience), followed by a visit to the Isle of Man, home to medieval castles and ancient mythologies. From there, it is a visit to Liverpool en route to the colorful Irish seaport village of Cobh, then the Isles of Scilly of the Cornish coast before reaching the remote island resort of Guernsey. There, history buffs can visit the German Occupation Museum, sports enthusiasts can hike the Guernsey Hilltops and spirits lovers can sample small batch gin produced by a century-old family dynasty. A visit to Portsmouth (England’s premier naval city) and London complete the itinerary. The 12-day British Isles itinerary begins with an included two-night hotel stay in Dublin followed by a seven-night cruise aboard the elegant, six-deck Le Soléal, and concludes with an included two-night hotel stay in London. Tauck is operating two departures on 25 April and 2 May 2018 with prices commencing at AUD $9990 per person twin share plus airfare.