Small Ship Cruising

Treasures of the Mediterranean Isles

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Days
12
From (per Person)
$10,990 USD
Journey Type
Small Ship
Cities & Landmarks
Valletta, Siracusa, Taormina, Mt. Etna, Marseille, Palermo
Taormina

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Uniquely Tauck

Experience with Tauck

 

Explore the Corsican citadel of Bonifacio, perched on soaring sea-cliffs, with its medieval fortress, maze of streets, churches, mausoleums, and unique history

 

Visit the prehistoric temple complex at Hagar Qim on Malta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site older than Stonehenge 

 

Discover Ortigia, a small island-city within the city of Siracusa – a romantic enclave of ancient temples and Baroque architecture

 

Explore the summit of Mount Etna, Europe's largest volcano, with an experienced mountaineer-guide, and savor some of the most dramatic panoramic views of Sicily and the Mediterranean

 

Tauck Value Includes

 

Visit the waterfront Museum of Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean in Marseille, chronicling centuries of Mediterranean cultural influences in Europe

 

Private Tauck Shore Excursions – $4,021 value!

 

Enjoy exclusive visits to private villas and art collections in Palermo, drinks and canapes included

 

 

SEE WHAT YOUR JOURNEY INCLUDES

Activity

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Guests should be able to easily walk one to two miles, which may include climbing one or two flights of stairs and walking over uneven pavement, groomed hiking trails or cobblestones. Standing up to one hour or more may be required.

Pace

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Moderately paced, and may include some early morning hotel departures, one or two on-tour flights, and extended motor coach travel.

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Cultural journeys and expeditions

Sail the Mediterranean to fabled islands of antiquity and romance... to turquoise seas, archipelagos, and out-of-the-way places where Jason searched for the Golden Fleece and Odysseus pursued Destiny. From the island of Malta to the South of France, enjoy world-renowned wine, local delicacies, and the cultural treasures of historic empires.
 

Cruise on an elegant small ship to the islands of Corsica, Sicily, Elba, Sardinia, and Malta, on a 12-day odyssey to medieval towns and baroque cities – including Catania, Noto, Valletta, Siracusa, Cagliari, and Taormina – where Greeks, Romans, Phoenicians, and Carthaginians have all left their mark. Discover ancient ruins and ornate cathedrals, palaces, monasteries, hidden gardens, coastal villages, and outstanding wineries. Admire the view from Napoleon's hillside villa in Portoferraio; immerse in the breathtaking panoramas at the top of Mount Etna; explore Bonifacio, a labyrinthine citadel perched on sea-cliffs above the dramatic Corsican coast; lose yourself in the rich Baroque art of Sicily, the intimate classical charm of Ortigia, and the charming village of Aix-en-Provence. You will also spend four nights on land, in luxury hotels in Marseilles and the island of Malta. Local guides and expert lecturers offer insights along the way, and your ship is designed to access small harbors and remote destinations where large ships can't go Read Less

Discover the Medieval harbor of Bonifacio on the island of Corsica

In the 12th century, Boniface II of Tuscany built a fortified town at the tip of Corsica, perched above soaring white cliffs and crashing surf. The town of Bonifacio was meant to guard the Tuscan coast from Saracens and pirates, and its brilliant defensive position defied foreign assaults for centuries. The fjordlike harbor is only accessible to small ships and private yachts – oh, like the one you'll be sailing! Once ashore, you can hop a minitrain for a ride up to the citadel, wander the maze of medieval lanes, marvel at the fort and the breathtaking views, and drink in its turbulent history.

Ortygia, the magical little island within the island of Sicily

Cicero called Ortygia the most beautiful of Grecian cities, but that was then. Today, it's typically called the most beautiful of Italian cities, tucked away in the heart of Syracusa, on a romantic urban island of labyrinthine alleys, Greek temples, Baroque churches, palazzos of honey-hued stone, elegant piazzas, fountains, outdoor cafes, sea walls and promenades, and 3,000 years of history. From the Temple of Apollo to the Arab marketplace, the Byzantine church, the harborside medieval castle, and the anomalous statue of Athena atop the Duomo, the faded glories of past empires blend in this lively, enchanting place, a step outside of time.

The Mysterious Megalithic Temples of Malta

Legend says they were built by giants, a reasonable assumption since the Megalithic Temples on Malta are typically made of 50-ton stone blocks, piled 15 feet high. But more likely the prehistoric people who built them were normal sized, with technical skills beyond our expectations, which is why the temple complexes at Hagar Qim and Mnajdra in Qrendi, older than Stonehenge or the Pyramids, are UNESCO World Heritage sites, cultural monuments where you can delve into ancient mysteries and the building blocks of civilization.

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Deck Plans

Welcome Aboard

Deck 7

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Deck 6

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Prestige Suite

(Two combined Prestige Staterooms)

Prestige Stateroom

Deluxe Suite

Privilege Suite

Grand Deluxe Suite

Deck 5

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Prestige Suite

(Two combined Prestige Staterooms)

Prestige Stateroom

Deluxe Suite

Privilege Suite

Grand Deluxe Suite

Owner's Suite

Deck 4

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Prestige Stateroom

Deluxe Suite

Deck 3

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Deluxe Stateroom

Deluxe Suite

Deck 2

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Find your tour

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Northbound: Malta → Marseille

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About Booking This Tour

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Travel Documents

If you are a U.S. citizen traveling internationally, you will need a passport valid for six months beyond the completion of your Tauck journey for entry into France, Italy and Malta; however, you will not need a visa for the short duration of this tour.

If you are a citizen of another country traveling internationally, please contact a consulate or embassy of France, Italy and Malta to determine what travel documentation is required.

Please Note: Longer stays abroad for any purpose may require additional travel documentation.

You will be issued a boarding card, which you must present before embarking the ship in each port. This security measure also ensures that only Tauck guests are permitted onboard.

International Maritime Security guidelines require that your passport information be provided to us prior to your embarkation. You need to provide this information to us as soon as you book your cruise or boarding may be denied. Once you board the cruise ship, your passport will be held by the purser until you disembark.

We recommend that you make at least two photocopies of all the travel documents that you bring with you. Include copies of the photo page of your passport that contains the date of issuance, the date of expiration and your citizenship. Secure one set of copies in the safe in your room while traveling and leave one set behind with someone at home who will assist you in the event your documents are misplaced, lost or stolen.

To facilitate Travel Requirements, destinations are increasingly utilizing online forms that require digital proof that you've successfully completed your submission (via an email, QR code, etc.) To ensure smooth travels and peace of mind, we strongly recommend all guests carry a personal smart phone and sign up for international data plans before traveling overseas.

TRAVELING WITH CHILDREN AS A GUARDIAN: If you are traveling as the guardian of a child/children, we strongly suggest that you carry a letter from both parents of the child authorizing emergency treatment in the event of illness or accident. For travel abroad, many foreign countries have specific entry requirements for children under 21 who are traveling internationally without BOTH parents. (These requirements are in response to the increased incidence of children being abducted and taken abroad.) PLEASE NOTE THAT TAUCK IS NOT RESPONSIBLE for the disruption of travel caused by improper documentation for children traveling without both parents.


How to Book a Tour

See your travel advisor, or call Tauck at 800-468-2825 to make a reservation.


At the time of booking, please have the following information ready for all members of your party:

  • Tour Name and Departure Date
  • Traveler's Name: First and last names as they appear on your passport or driver's license
  • Traveler's Address(es)
  • Email Address*
  • Traveler's Phone Number(s)*
  • Emergency Contact Information: Please provide the name and phone number of a relative or friend (not travelling with you) whom we could contact during the tour in the unlikely event of an emergency
  • Interest in purchasing a travel protection plan (US and Canada)
  • Interest in extending your trip by staying in a Tauck recommended hotel before your trip begins or after it ends
  • Interest in our specially negotiated airfares

 

* Required Fields

Deposits & Final Payment

Deposits

The deposit and the fees for the optional Protection Plan or Cancel Fee Waiver [CFW] coverage are due at time of booking.

The deposit amount is $1,500 per person

 

Final Payment

Final Payment is due to Tauck 60 days before departure for lands trips, and 120 days before departure for cruises and rail journeys. If your deposit was made by credit card, final payment will be automatic unless you opted out at time of booking. Bookings without full payment at this time may be subject to cancellation without notice. Failure to make payment will be a considered a cancellation by the guest and all applicable cancellation fees will apply.

Cruise Protection Plan

Effective for plans purchased as of July 1, 2021:

Tauck's Cruise and Event Protection

Tauck's Cruise & Event Protection provides you with cancellation protection before your journey begins as well as insurance benefits while you are traveling. It must be purchased within 10 days of your initial deposit. Guest Protection includes the following:

Cancellation Waiver – Provided by Tauck:

Under Tauck's Cancellation Fee Waiver you can cancel your tour for ANY REASON and Tauck will  reduce the regular cancellation fees outlined herein, provided we are notified of cancellation before your cruise departs. Certain terms and restrictions apply (see below*).

*Extreme Circumstances: In the event of an act of God, war (whether declared or undeclared), terrorism, accident, natural disaster, outbreak of disease, or other event or circumstance beyond our control that contributes to or results in cancellation rates above our historical cancellation rates in the absence of such event or occurrence, Tauck reserves the right to issue a credit to you in lieu of a money-back refund, applicable to a future Tauck journey. Travel Insurance Benefits – Underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company.

  • Trip Cancellation – Should you cancel for covered reasons, the plan reimburses cancellation fees imposed, up to your total trip cost. 

  • Trip Interruption – If you have to interrupt your tour for covered reasons, the plan provides reimbursement to catch up to your tour or return home.

  • Travel Delay – Provides reimbursement for missed, prepaid travel arrangements if you are delayed by a common carrier, natural disaster, unannounced strike, or other reasons as cited in the plan.

  • Medical Expense – Reimburses covered medical expenses incurred in the event you become injured or sick during your trip. 

  • Baggage / Personal Effects Protection – Provides reimbursement in the event your luggage or personal effects are, lost, stolen, damaged or delayed during your trip.

Worldwide Emergency Assistance Services – Provided by Carefree Travel Assistance; 24-hour emergency telephone assistance hotline for medical and travel related problems.

 

The cost of Tauck's Cruise and Event Protection is: $799 per person

 

This plan provides cancellation coverage for your trip and other insurance coverages that apply only during the covered trip. You may have coverage from other sources that provides you with similar benefits but may be subject to different restrictions depending upon your other coverages. You may wish to compare the terms of this policy with your existing life, health, home and automobile policies. If you have any questions about your current coverage, call your insurer, insurance agent or broker.

This optional Cruise and Event Protection must be requested at time of booking and fee must be included in initial payment. Details will be provided with written confirmation of your reservation. Cruise and Event Protection does not protect travel agent commissions. Reimbursements will be made according to original method of payment. The amount of any refund shall be reduced by any recoveries obtained by you from any third parties.


To obtain your state-specific Certificate of Insurance that contains the complete terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions of the certificate, visit affinitytravelcert.com/docs/TACCREINTL

 

If You Have To Cancel

If you cancel within 10 days of initial deposit

Within the first 10 days after you place your initial deposit, you may cancel your reservation for any reason with no cancellation fees.

If you cancel more than 10 days after initial deposit

Regardless of reason, cancellations result in costly charges from our travel and hotel providers covering penalties and fees incurred by canceling confirmed bookings. These fees vary from tour to tour. Therefore, the following fees apply for this tour.

 

Cancellation Fees with Tauck's Cruise Protection Plan:

120 days or more before departure:
Loss of cost of Tauck's Cruise and Event Protection fee per person

119 – 60 days before departure:
Loss of 25% of the cost of the cruise, not including air (if applicable), plus loss of Cruise and Event Protection fee, per person

59 – 1 days before departure:
Loss of 50% of the cost of the cruise, not including air (if applicable), plus loss of Cruise and Event Protection fee, per person

Cancellation Fees without Tauck's Cruise Protection Plan:

120 days or more before departure:
$1500 per person

119 – 60 days before departure:
Loss of 50% of the cost of cruise, not including air (if applicable), per person

59 - 1 days before departure:
Loss of 100% of the cost of cruise, not including air (if applicable), per person
Time of cancellation will be when notice is received in our Wilton Woods, CT office.

 

Tour Interruption Fees

If you have to interrupt your tour en route, you may be entitled to a refund for the unused land portion if it exceeds 24 hours; certain restrictions apply. Such refunds are based upon the number of overnights missed less a fee of $40 per person per day for unused transportation and other fixed expenses.

 

Partial Room Cancellation

A person who cancels or leaves a tour while a roommate remains constitutes a cancellation of one type of accommodation and rebooking of another type of accommodation. The price charged to the remaining person is the new, higher price for the new accommodation.


In the event of an unforeseen circumstance beyond our control, Tauck reserves the right to amend the cancellation and transfer terms outlined herein.

Note: All Guests, regardless of residency, who book a Tauck journey have the option of purchasing the Cancellation Waiver provided by Tauck in the event they need to cancel their trip after making their reservations. Tauck's Cruise & Event Protection, which includes both the Cancellation Fee Waiver and the Travel Insurance Benefits and Assistance Services described above, is not available to residents of Puerto Rico.

Travel Terms and Conditions

Click here to find Tauck's Travel Terms & Conditions.

Travel Requirements For This Tour

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Air Information and Luggage Restrictions

AIRFARE: Airfare to and from this destination is not included in the journey cost. If purchasing your air elsewhere, it is very important to provide us with your confirmed arriving and departing flight information no later than 3 weeks before your arrival date. Flight information can be submitted to Tauck (or verified, if you've already provided it) in the My Account section of Tauck.com.

TAUCK AIRPORT TRANSFERS are included at the start and end of the journey between the airport and the Tauck hotel. Airport transfers are available for any pre tour or post tour hotel stays immediately consecutive to the tour, providing flight information is received in the Tauck office no later than three weeks in advance. Details on locating your transfer upon arrival to the tour start city will be included in your final documents.

AIRLINES and CHECKED LUGGAGE: Due to space limitations during your Tauck journey, we ask that you please limit your checked luggage to one average-size suitcase per person. Besides complying with the Tauck restriction noted above, you should also be sure to research and comply with all airline baggage restrictions relating to your flights to and from your Tauck journey. Airlines have become much more strict in enforcing size and weight limits in recent years, and are free to revise luggage policies without notice. Researching and complying with airline luggage restrictions is the responsibility of the guest, and Tauck cannot be held responsible for any costs or disruptions to travel caused by the failure to research and comply with airline policies. PLEASE NOTE that if you are booked on a tour that includes on-tour flights, the checked luggage weight restrictions for these flights may be lower than the weight restrictions for your international flights.


Checked Luggage – General

Due to space restrictions, we ask that you please limit your checked luggage to one suitcase per person weighing no more than 50 pounds (23 kg) and with overall dimensions (length + width + height) not exceeding 62 inches (158 cm). 

Airlines are free to revise luggage policies without notice, and certain airlines have different baggage allowances for different classes of service. Researching and complying with airline luggage restrictions is the responsibility of the guest, and Tauck cannot be held responsible for any costs or disruptions to travel caused by the failure to research and comply with airline policies.

Tauck luggage tags will be provided by your Tauck Director on Day 1 of your itinerary. Please do not attach a Tauck luggage tag to any carry-on items, as the Tauck tags designate luggage that is to be handled and transferred by ground operators and hotel staff during your journey.

Health, Safety and Mobility

HEALTH CONSIDERATIONS

Please check with your health insurance provider to determine whether you are covered while traveling. If you will not be covered under your current policy, we strongly suggest that you arrange for adequate coverage while on tour.

All Ponant ships have a licensed and registered physician onboard for professional and emergency services, which are available at customary charges. The ship's small infirmary is designed to provide medical care for certain temporary illnesses and accidents, and is not intended to or capable of providing on-going treatment of pre-existing medical conditions.

Ponant ships are registered in France. If you have a medical condition that might limit your participation in activities, please consult your physician for pre-departure health advice and notify us as soon as possible, if you have not already done so. We will advise your Tauck Director accordingly.

If you have a medical condition that might limit your participation in activities, please consult your physician for pre-departure health advice and notify us as soon as possible, if you have not already done so. We will advise your Tauck Director accordingly.

MOBILITY

To enjoy this cruise you should be in good health and able to walk reasonable distances, often over unpaved and uneven surfaces. Some of the most memorable sightseeing can only be accomplished on foot. There is a moderate to significant amount of walking during our onshore excursions. For the most part, however, the amount of walking you do is at your discretion. 

PLEASE NOTE: We regret that this Tauck itinerary cannot accommodate wheelchairs or motorized scooters.  Likewise, we regret that we're unable to provide individual assistance to guests with walking difficulties or other personal needs.  The responsibility of the Tauck Director who accompanies your trip is to ensure that the larger group enjoys a relaxing and informative journey, and he or she cannot be relied upon to provide ongoing individual assistance to any one guest.  Guests requiring such individualized assistance must be accompanied by an able-bodied companion who can provide it.On board the ship, certain outer decks have been designated as non-smoking areas. There is no smoking permitted in the interior of the ship. These regulations pertain to e-cigarettes as well.

Some ship to shore transportation is by the ship's tenders. Occasionally you will get wet with spray.

Onboard ship, health and fitness devotees will find a spa and fitness center on Deck 7.

SPECIAL DIETARY REQUESTS

The restaurants, hotels, caterers and numerous other partners we work with all do their best to accommodate special dietary requests from Tauck guests. However, given the diverse nature of those food providers (from small wineries to grand hotels to world-famous restaurants in more than 70 countries worldwide), some of our partners are better able than others to accommodate such requests. We therefore cannot guarantee that all dietary requests can be accommodated at every meal. Also, please note that where dietary requests can be accommodated, choices will frequently be limited. Guests must advise Tauck at the time of booking any food allergies or special dietary requirements.

SMOKING

Smoking is not permitted on the motor coaches or inside the ship, including inside staterooms. Smoking is only permitted on the outer decks in the designated smoking areas. These regulations pertain to e-cigarettes as well.

Reading List

We have compiled a reading list of recommended books to give you more information about the destinations you will be traveling to on your upcoming journey!

You can view the reading list here.

Weather

Summer along the coast of Italy, France and in Malta ranges from very warm to hot, with temperatures often above 90°F (32°C) during the day and dropping only to 70°F (21°C) at night. In the fall the temperatures range from 60 to 80°F (16 to 27°C).

Rainfall can occur anytime throughout the year, though July and August are the driest months.

To read about current weather conditions, we suggest you log on to the Internet website, noaa.gov, by clicking here.

What To Pack

Bringing the right clothing for your trip is important – we've partnered with Necessary Gear who provide an "easy-to-use, one-stop shop" for your Tauck travel needs, specifically selected for this trip. Click here to visit their site.

Southern France, coastal Italy and Malta in summer have very warm, if not hot, days and warm evenings, though at sea the evening breezes do provide cooler temperatures. Dress for comfort and convenience with a wardrobe that is flexible and allows for layering. Casual, cotton clothing is always advisable. A light jacket or sweater for the evenings on deck is also recommended. Comfortable yet sturdy walking shoes that have already been broken-in are a must, as many of the sites visited were built in antiquity and have uneven surfaces, some steep inclines and many steps. For the welcome and farewell receptions, casual resort wear is appropriate; formal wear is never required for dining with your fellow guests at a Tauck provided dinner. When traveling abroad, you may have the opportunity to dine at an upscale restaurant on your own, which may require men to dress in coat and tie, and women in more elegant eveningwear.

Shipboard attire is casual and informal. The usual dinner dress aboard the Ponant ship is also casual and relaxed; while a jacket and tie is not required, shorts and bathing attire are not appropriate at meal times. However, the Captain's dinners aboard the Ponant ship are occasions for festive attire.

Valet laundry and dry-cleaning services are available for a fee at all the hotels on this itinerary. On board, valet laundry and pressing services are available for a fee.

We recommend that you pack an adequate supply of your prescription medication in its original container to last through your entire journey, together with a copy of your doctor's prescription or a letter from your health-care provider on office stationery explaining that the medication has been prescribed for you, a list of the generic names of your medication, your travel documents and a change of clothing in your carry-on bag to avoid any inconvenience in the event that your flight or luggage is delayed. No medications are sold on board the cruise ship other than those prescribed and stocked by the ship's physician.

Hairdryers are located in all hotel rooms and shipboard staterooms. Hair curling and clothes irons are not permitted onboard the ship for safety reasons.

Following is a list of recommended items to pack for a cruise in the Mediterranean:

  • Sturdy but comfortable walking shoes that have already been broken in
  • Casual daytime wear – shorts, slacks, long and short-sleeved shirts
  • Collapsible trekking pole or walking stick
  • An optional jacket and tie for men
  • Casually elegant evening wear for ladies
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen, hat
  • Swimwear
  • Gym wear
  • A light sweater or jacket for higher elevations or a breezy night
  • Binoculars (7x50 preferably)
  • Insect repellent
  • Camera, lenses, batteries, memory cards and chargers
  • Lightweight, comfortable, sturdy walking shoes that have already been broken-in
  • Travel alarm clock/cell phone with alarm function (many hotels do not have clocks in the rooms)
  • Rain poncho and collapsible umbrella
  • Reusable zipper-lock bags or other waterproof bags
  • Daypack for camera equipment
  • Sundries and toiletries that may be difficult to find en route
  • Copies of your travel documents that should be secured in the safe in your ship cabin while traveling

The Tauck Experience

Why Tauck?

Leave Your Worries At Home

One Upfront Price – No Hidden Costs

Tauck Directors – Simply The Best

Never Settle For Ordinary

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Book Today... And Travel Dreams Begin

Discover The World

Call us, or call your travel advisor, to book your preferred departure date today – and explore our beautiful brochures to find your inspiration for your next journey.

Book Today... And Travel Dreams Begin

Discover The World

Call us, or call your travel advisor, to book your preferred departure date today – and explore our beautiful brochures to find your inspiration for your next journey.

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