Deluxe Stateroom Deck 3
10% Ponant Bonus
In alliance with Smithsonian Journeys.
This cruise is part of a collection of PONANT voyages that are specially-tailored for English-speaking travelers who want to engage with the world. In addition to the usual elements of the PONANT experience, the listed price for these voyages includes transfers to and from the ship, talks and discussions aboard ship by world class experts, and a shore excursion or activity in each port of call that encourages guests to embrace the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of the local environment and culture.
This 8-day voyage in Sicily and Southern Italy aboard Le Bougainville visits some of the Mediterranean's most compelling ancient, medieval, and Renaissance sites while also offering extensive opportunities to sample the foods and wines that have made this part of the world famous for its cuisine. Because there is so much to see and do, the itinerary is designed to allow for maximum time ashore. As a special treat, acclaimed Italian chef Denny Imbroisi and his team will join you aboard to prepare authentic Italian dishes for you to enjoy during your voyage.
From Valletta, Malta, your experience of Sicily begins in Syracuse, where you may choose to focus on Ortygia, the ancient center of this once-powerful Greek colony, and on the city's extensive archaeological park; enjoy a tasting at a nearby winery; or join excursions that combine exploration of historical sites with samplings of Sicilian arancini, cheeses, salamis, breads, and desserts.
The beautiful resort town of Taormina, perched high on a cliff overlooking the Ionian Sea, is home to a stunning Greek theater, an Odeon from Roman times, buildings blending Arab and Norman cultures, and villas built by European aristocracy in the 18th and 19th centuries. It is also your gateway to Mt. Etna and the vineyards that thrive in the rich volcanic soils of its slopes.
Reggio di Calabria, just across the Strait of Messina from Sicily, is home to the National Archaeological Museum of Magna Graecia and the world famous Riace Bronzes. The surrounding area, both along the coast and in the interior mountains, boasts a number of intriguing castles and many wineries. During your time here, you may visit the hilltop Norman Castle in Vibo Valentia, the Ruffo Castle overlooking the Messina Strait, or the Aragonese Castle in the village of Pizzo, enjoying a variety of local food specialties whichever excursion you choose, including the native citrus bergamot and the ice cream and fruit delight called tartufo.
From the port of Agropoli, about 30 miles south of the Amalfi peninsula, travel to Paestum, founded by Greeks in the 6th century BC and one of Italy’s most important archaeological sites, containing Doric temples that are among the best-preserved ancient monuments in the Mediterranean. The region around Agropoli is famous for the production of Campania mozzarella, and you will have the opportunity to see it being made and to sample the end product.
No visit to Naples is complete without the opportunity to explore Pompeii, destroyed by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD and frozen in time. No other site so acutely captures everyday life in the early Roman Empire. Other excursions include Herculaneum, which shared Pompeii's fate, and a working farm near Sorrento, where you can make your own version of what is perhaps the region's most famous food, Neapolitan style pizza.
Your final full day of discovery is spent in the Eternal City of Rome, where exploration of monuments like the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Vatican, and Villa Borghese competes for your attention with tastings of street food and making Rome's version of pizza.
Your voyage ends in Livorno, the gateway to Tuscany.
A voyage specially-tailored for English-speaking travelers including discussions with experts, transfers before and after your cruise, and an included excursion in each port of call. Engaging discussions...
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For more peace of mind, PONANT organizes your trip before or after the cruise. This package is included in the price of your cruise.
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*Price is per person, based on double occupancy, based on availability, and subject to change at any time. The category of stateroom to which this price applies may no longer be available.
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Albert Leonard is a Research Associate at the Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East, and Professor Emeritus in both the departments of Classical Archaeology and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Arizona. He is an archaeologist who specializes in the social impact of interregional trade among the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean World. For more than four decades, Al has directed excavations at a number of sites in Italy, Greece, Portugal, Egypt, Cyprus, Israel, and Jordan. Throughout his career, he has been active in educational outreach, and the Archaeological Institute of America has awarded him its Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award by which it “acknowledged and applauded the invaluable service that [he] has given to the archaeological community as an educator.”
As his alter ego, the Time Traveling Gourmet, Al combines a command of archaeological, historical, and literary material with culinary skills acquired at Le Cordon Bleu as well as the Culinary Institute of America (partially supported by a Robert A. Parker Wine Advocate Scholarship) in order to reconstruct (in the classroom or the kitchen) dishes described by such ancient authors as Archestratus of Syracuse, a 4th-century BCE Sicilian cook who has often been called the “Father of Gastronomy.” Al presently divides his time between Boston and California’s Russian River Valley, where he is a member of The Society of Wine Educators and the Northern Sonoma County convivium of Slow Food International. His latest book, Mediterranean Wines of Place: A Celebration of Heritage Grapes was published by Lockwood Press in the Spring of 2020.
Language spoken: English
Photo credit : ARR
Maureen Fant, a native of New York City is an internationally recognized cookbook author, food writer, translator, and published classicist. Her Sauces & Shapes: Pasta the Italian Way won an International Association of Culinary Professionals award and was a James Beard Foundation award finalist. Encyclopedia of Pasta, which she translated, won a James Beard for research. Cognoscenti still regard Dictionary of Italian Cuisine, which she coauthored in 1994, as the authoritative book on the subject. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times,The Times of London, Gourmet,and Saveur, among others. She wrote the Rome volume in Williams-Sonoma’s Foods of the World series. On the classical side, she is coauthor of the now-classic source book Women’s Life in Greece and Rome, whose fourth revised edition was published in 2016.
Maureen lives in Rome, across from the Colosseum, and loves to explain the food of Italy to visitors through classes on the food of ancient Rome, market-based private cooking classes, and the meals and food experiences of Elifant Archaeo-Culinary Tours, the company she cofounded in 2014. Known for her empathetic and humorous style, she also never loses sight of the food’s cultural context.
Language spoken: English, Italian
Photo credit : ARR
As is often the case in Italy, cooking was a family affair for Denny Imbroisi. For Denny, it began at the age of 14 in the kitchen of his father, who introduced him to traditional recipes in Mantua. His first preparation was candied tomatoes made of beautiful fruit ripened in the sun, olive oil from Italian terroirs, simple motions, and an ancestral recipe.
Denny then continued his journey in the first Italian restaurant to obtain two Michelin stars, San Domenico in Imola, where he learned the art of creating fresh pasta with rigor and precision. He then discovered modern cuisine at Corrado Fasolato in Venice before leaving Italy for France.
Denny perfected his skills for two years in the southern French town of Menton with chef Mauro Colagreco (now a three-Michelin-star chef and winner of the first World’s Best Restaurant award), while accompanying Chef Colagreco on his travels and discovering different herbs and flowers that they picked together every morning in the restaurant’s garden. Denny then met William Ledeuil (a one-Michelin-star chef in Paris) and worked in his restaurant Ze Kitchen Galerie for two years. There he discovered new textures, combinations of flavors, and cooking methods. This rich learning experience allowed Denny to join the French edition of Top Chef, a culinary marathon where his inventiveness and technique made him a formidable competitor.
At the end of the competition, Denny was 24 years old and joined the famous Jules Verne restaurant at the Eiffel Tower as a sous chef under the famed French Chef Alain Ducasse. In addition to learning the classic fundamentals of French gastronomy, Denny also joined a large team of 30 people and gained business acumen, including in cost management.
As a culmination to his previous restaurant experience, Denny embarked on a new adventure in 2015 by opening of his signature restaurant, IDA, located in the 15th arrondissement of Paris, where he offers gourmet cuisine based on the seasonality of products and a perfect combination of Italian flavors and French techniques. Eager to share Italian cuisine and promote traditional recipes from different regions, Denny then opened his second restaurant, EPOCA, in October 2017, and his third, MALRO, in 2019.
In his restaurants, Denny offers authentic, generous cuisine with unique and comforting flavors in spaces that promote community and true joie de vivre.
Language spoken: French, Italian
Photo credit: Alban Couturier
Subject to withdrawal in case of force majeure
Important trip details
Boarding conditions and passenger travel abilities
We invite you to read our boarding conditions and passenger travel abilities by clicking here.
Any new reservation implies the acceptance of these conditions.
To guarantee your entry into one or several countries, you must ensure that you comply with the formalities and health requirements specific to each destination. In just a few clicks on our online search engine, find all the formalities you must complete prior to your departure (visas, entry authorisations for each country, vaccinations, etc.).
The international situation can change rapidly, so be sure to check this information regularly prior to your departure. However, please note that we always recommend our guests contact the relevant national immigration and customs and border control authorities directly to find out what rules apply to their specific situation. PONANT is not responsible for any decisions made by guests based on the information provided by the online search engine.
The information below is current but subject to change at any time without advance notice from government authorities. Please consult your respective government agencies for visa and health information.
Passport valid for at least six (6) months beyond the completion of your trip. Passport must contain at least two completely clear, blank, unused visa pages for each visa required, not including any amendment pages. Visa pages with stains or ink from other pages in the passport are not usable. Guests who deviate from the scheduled embarkation or disembarkation port should research the foreign entry requirements for the port country. Due to government regulations, regrettably, Ponant will have to deny boarding to any guest who fails to obtain the appropriate travel documentation for this trip.
List of items prohibited on board
To guarantee the safety and well-being of our guests, certain items are strictly prohibited on board. Should you have one of these products or objects in your possession, they will be confiscated immediately and will not be transported on the ship. When an item transported aboard is considered illegal, the relevant authorities will be notified systematically.
Click here for the full list of items prohibited on board.
Warning about the use of drones: the use of drones aboard PONANT ships, whether they are sailing at sea, at a port of call or anchored, is strictly forbidden. The use of drones on land in the Arctic and Antarctic regions is also strictly forbidden by international polar regulations. In other regions, it may be possible to use drones on land if permission has been obtained from the relevant authorities of each country and each region travelled through, as well as a pilot’s licence that should be obtained from your home country. Passengers are responsible for obtaining these permits; they should be able to present them at all times. Passengers who do not obtain these authorisations expose themselves to the risk of legal proceedings.
Ideal clothes for life on board:
During the days spent on board, you are advised to wear comfortable clothes or casual outfits. The entire ship is air-conditioned, so a light sweater, a light jacket or a shawl may be necessary. When moving about in the public areas of the ship and the decks, light but comfortable shoes are recommended.
In the evening, you are advised to wear smart-casual attire, especially when dining in our restaurants where wearing shorts and tee-shirts is not allowed.
For all cruises longer than 8 nights, an Officer’s Evening with a white dress code may be organized. Therefore, we encourage you to bring a stylish white outfit for the occasion (otherwise black and white).
During the cruise, two gala evenings will be organised on board. Thus, we recommend that you bring one or two formal outfits.
A small shop is available on board offering a wide range of outfits, jewellery, leather goods and many accessories.
A laundry service (washing/ironing) is available on board, but unfortunately there are no dry cleaning services. For safety reasons, your cabin is not equipped with an iron.
OUTFITS ON BOARD:
In your hand luggage, remember to bring any medicines that you need, and possibly a small spare bag of toiletries (in case of delay in the delivery of your baggage by the airline). Remember to always have your travel documents with you in case you need them: hotel vouchers, cruise vouchers, return flight tickets... Never leave them in your hold luggage.
All our cabins have a safe. We recommend not to go ashore with valuable jewellery.
Smithsonian Journeys is the travel program of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum, education and research complex, consisting of 21 museums, the National Zoological Park, education centers, research facilities, cultural centers, and libraries. Drawing on Smithsonian's resources dating back 175 years, these sailings will feature notable experts and experiences that embrace local cultures and dive deeper into a destination’s history, cuisine, language, environment, and wildlife. For more than 50 years, Smithsonian Journeys has been rooted in and focused on cultural immersion and discovery – with a goal of inspiring guests to become global citizens through travel.
Subject to withdrawal in case of force majeure
Embarkation 08/09/2024 from 16:00 to 17:00
Departure 08/09/2024 at 18:00
The whole of the Maltese capital Valletta is UNESCO World Heritage listed and occupies a peninsula in the north-east of the island. From the fountain of Tritons to Saint-Elme fort, there are as many majestic streets as there are narrow staircase vennels to explore. The painted loggia and carved corbels on the tall houses will accompany you in your explorations, and you’ll rarely be bothered by traffic. You can visit the Grandmasters palace decorated with coats of arms and frescoes. Saint-John’s cathedral and the ramparts which have guarded the city since the 16th century are also among the most emblematic sites of the city. Arranged in terraces, the Barrakka Gardens will punctuate your promenade with a green and floral experience.
Arrival 09/09/2024 early morning
Departure 09/09/2024 late afternoon
Its undulating rocky coastline, the endless sandy beaches, the menacing form of Mount Etna which surveys its island like a patriarch, the flowery gardens on the hillside... Sicily lays out its varied landscapes like a shopkeeper displays his wares. Described by Cicero as “the most beautiful city in the world”, Syracuse was one of the most prestigious cities in Sicily and at her height was even a rival for Athens. A central city of Ancient Greece, it was home to a succession of civilisations, each of which has left their mark. The blend of Arabic, Roman, Norman, Byzantine and Spanish cultures makes Syracuse a town that is extraordinarily rich in fragrances, colours and flavours.
Departure 10/09/2024 early evening
Located on Sicily’s eastern coast, in the province of Messina, the seaside town of Taormina is Sicily’s Saint-Tropez, boasting heritage sites, secluded beaches and luxury shopping. You can visit its medieval centre, suspended 300 metres above sea level, where terraces offer a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea. Another vestige from its past are the ruins of the Greco-Roman theatre. This extremely well-preserved site attracts visitors who are fascinated by the natural beauty of the area which overlooks a turquoise bay.
Departure 11/09/2024 late afternoon
At the southern tip of the Italian boot, Reggio di Calabria guards the eastern shore of the Strait of Messina. From the lungomare, the sea front promenade, there are magnificent views over Sicily, a little over 3 km away, and Etna. Rebuilt after the 1908 earthquake, Reggio is set out in a grid pattern and has Art Nouveau and Belle Époque architecture that add to its charm. And the fragrance of bergamot, the citrus fruit that dominates the region’s confectionery and perfumery. A visit to the National Archaeological Museum is a must. It is one of the most important in Italy and among its collections are the famous Riace Bronzes, the stunning Greek statues dating from the 5th century BC that were found off the coast in 1972.
Arrival 12/09/2024 early morning
Departure 12/09/2024 early evening
Located on the Cilento Coast along the Tyrrhenian Sea, Agropoli is an Italian town located in the province of Salerno in Campania. You will be seduced by the beauty of its coastline, its pristine nature and its fascinating history dating back to Antiquity. The Apennines (from the Celtic word “pen” meaning rocky summit) form the backbone of the Italian Peninsula and serve as a majestic background to a landscape composed of small bays and coves. Listed as World Heritage by UNESCO, the magnificent beaches of Trentova Bay contribute to making this small town a very popular seaside resort.
Departure 13/09/2024 late afternoon
More Italian than Italy itself, Naples is the capital of the beautiful region of Campania, and is an unusual city to say the least. Its gulf, dominated by Vesuvius, is one of the world’s marvels. Built by the Greeks and then occupied by the Romans, the city has retained the memory of antiquity, as Castell dell’Ovo illustrates. But Naples has another side to it with its hustle and bustle, narrow streets, clothes hung out to dry at windows, Caravaggio paintings on the walls of a church, and incessant rumour in an sleepless city. This is a head-spinning city to visit and savour: don’t forget to eat a slice of pizza Margherita.
Arrival 14/09/2024 early morning
Departure 14/09/2024 late afternoon
Built on an Etruscan site, between the Tyrrhenian sea and the Monti della Tolfa, Civitavecchia respires the dolce vita. This very modern and easy going town combines art and history with panache. You can also visit superb historical sites like Fort Michelangelo or the Cathedral of Saint Francis of Assisi. Just 80 kilometres from Rome, the town is a beautiful first step to the Italian capital.
Arrival 15/09/2024 early morning
Disembarkation 15/09/2024 at 08:00
On the ligurian coast, Livorno invites us to Tuscany, a charming region offering archaeological vestiges, Renaissance treasures, undulating landscapes and a pleasant way of life. When the Medicis arrived in the 16th century they developed the city, which became one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean. Cosmopolitan and multireligious, Livorno has welcomed many immigrants and is a wonderful example of cultural diversity. Built during that period, Fortezza Vecchia and Fortezza Nuova attest to the city’s power. At the foot of the new fort, Nuova Venezia is an enchanting district with small canals and streets to stroll along to discover a few architectural treasures, such as the magnificent Santa Caterina da Siena church in the Tuscan baroque style.
PONANT has organized the following included program for you, which starts the day of embarkation.
Aboard your ship, an English-speaking lecturer will enlighten you about the culture and history of your destination to deepen your knowledge of the origins of local traditions, the history of emblematic sites, and stories involving famous personalities and those of major historical significance. During on-board lectures or on your shore visits, this expert will be there to share their precious knowledge with you throughout your PONANT cruise.
Enhance your cruise and extend your trip with a specially designed program.
Day 1 – Valletta, Malta
Arrive at Malta International Airport. You will be met at the exit of the Arrivals hall. Look for the PONANT-SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS sign or a sign with your name on it. Transfer from the airport to The Grand Hotel Excelsior (or similar) and check in. Official check-in time is 3:00 p.m.
A local representative will be present at the hospitality desk in the afternoon to welcome you and answer any questions you may have.
Join your fellow travelers for a welcome cocktail reception this evening. An independent dinner is at your leisure.
Day 2 – Valletta | Embarkation
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. After check-out, depart on a walking excursion of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Valletta, Malta’s fortified capital city located on a hilly peninsula between two natural harbors. Visit the Upper Barrakka Gardens to enjoy panoramic views over the Grand Harbor. Proceed to the 16th-century St. John’s Co-Cathedral and view Carravaggio’s famous masterpiece, The Beheading of St. John the Baptist, during an inside visit. Walk to the Magisterial Palace, today serving as the office of the president of Malta. Here, visit the state rooms and the tapestry chamber.
Board your coach and drive to a local vineyard. Enjoy a wine tasting of some of the country’s most delicious wines. Proceed to a historic local restaurant for a lunch of traditional Maltese specialties. The chef will speak to you about Maltese cuisine and introduce the dishes that you will eat.
After lunch, reboard your coach and drive to the Hagar Qim Temples, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The temple complex dates to 3600 BC and is in a beautiful location on a cliff overlooking the sea. After a guided visit, transfer to the ship for embarkation.
The Grand Hotel Excelsior has a stunning location, overlooking Marsamsett harbor and Manoel Island. The hotel is just steps from the capital city of Valletta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its historic wonders, including St. John’s Co-Cathedral, are all within easy walking distance. The hotel boasts 433 rooms and suites combining classic and contemporary design, as well as several retaurants and lounges.
Your program includes:
Your program does not include:
Hotel contact information:
Grand Hotel Excelsior
Great Siege Road
Total : 530 €
On this post-cruise you will extend your encounter with Italian history and cuisine from Sicily and the south into the heart of Tuscany—exploring iconic monuments of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance from a home base in one of Italy's most elegant resorts. Visit or revisit the Renaissance glories of Florence and the medieval architecture of Siena and San Gimignano during the daytime, and retreat to the comforts of Castello del Nero in the evenings. Lunches are taken at award-winning organic farms and wineries, while dinners are at the hotel, including the farewell dinner at Michelin-starred La Torre.
Day 1 – Livorno | Florence | Castello del Trebbio | Castello del Nero Hotel & Spa
After breakfast aboard, enjoy a drive through Tuscany to Florence, where you will be met by an expert guide for a walking tour of the city's most important landmarks. Begin at the Piazza del Duomo, site of the massive Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, whose dome, built by Brunelleschi, is the defining feature of the Florentine skyline. Also in the Piazza are Giotto's Bell Tower and the Baptistery, whose famous doors, known as the "Gates of Paradise," were designed by Lorenzo Ghiberti.
Continue to the Piazza della Signoria, the historical political center of Florence. In addition to the city's town hall (Palazzo Vecchio), Piazza della Signoria is also an open-air museum of sculpture, including Cellini’s Perseus holding up the head of Medusa, Giambologna’s Rape of the Sabine Women, and a replica of Michelangelo’s David.
A short walk brings you to Ponte Vecchio, the only bridge in Florence to escape destruction during World War II. Today, it continues to host goldsmiths and silversmiths and their shops, as it has since the 17th century.
The final stop on your guided tour is Piazza di Santa Croce and the Franciscan Basilica that dominates this large square. Built by a succession of famous Florentine architects including Brunelleschi, Vasari, Giotto and Donatello, it is also the burial site for Michelangelo, Machiavelli, and Galileo.
Lunch at the Hotel Brunelleschi is followed by a scenic drive through the Tuscan countryside to reach Castello del Trebbio, a winery and agritourism estate in the heart of the Chianti Rufina region. Following a guided tour of the castle's medieval cellars, enjoy a tasting of wines from the vineyard before completing the day's journey at Castello del Nero Hotel & Spa, situated in the rolling hills of Tuscany halfway between Florence and Siena.
Dinner this evening is at the hotel's Pavilion restaurant, overlooking the spectacular hills, vineyards and olive groves of the castle.
Day 2 – Castello del Nero Hotel & Spa | Siena | San Gimignano | Castello del Nero Hotel & Spa
After your breakfast in the hotel, join your guide for a brief drive to Siena, often described as Italy's best-preserved medieval city. Your guided tour of this lovely hilltop town begins with a visit to the Church of San Domenico, founded in 1125 and closely identified with St. Catherine of Siena. Her chapel here features frescoes by the 16th-century artist Giovanni Antonio Bazzi, Il Sodoma. Continue to the spectacular Gothic-Romanesque Piazza del Duomo, home to Siena's massive Cathedral, which was built between 1136 and 1382 on the site of an ancient Roman temple. At Piazza del Campo, one of Italy's most beautiful squares, you will be surrounded by elegant palaces, before ending your tour at Palazzo Pubblico, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture that continues to serve as the Town Hall, where you will enjoy some time at leisure.
Depart Siena and drive toward San Gimignano, stopping along the way at Fattoria Poggio Alloro for lunch. The estate, which is dedicated to strictly organic agriculture, is famous for its traditional Tuscan cuisine, almost all of which is made from the produce of the farm itself.
After lunch, proceed to the walled hilltop of San Gimignano, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1990 because of its "feudal atmosphere and appearance," which it owes in large part to 14 medieval towers, built partly as fortification, and partly as a demonstration of the wealth of their owners. This afternoon, you will have ample time to explore the city center on your own, long after the large crowds of tourists have gone.
Return to your hotel, where dinner this evening is in the Michelin-starred restaurant La Torre.
Day 3 – Castello del Nero Hotel & Spa | Homeward
Start the day with a leisurely breakfast at the hotel before transferring by coach to Florence airport for flights homeward.
Castello Del Nero is situated among the rolling hills of Tuscany, in the world-famous Chianti wine region. The hotel's 50 rooms are spacious— some with original eighteenth-century frescoes—overlooking the surrounding hills, woods, and lawns. There are three dining venues at Castello Del Nero: Michelin-starred La Torre, casual La Taverna, and the 'al fresco' Pavilion. Each dining venue uses carefully sourced produce from around the Tuscan region, which is showcased in nourishing, flavorful menus.
Your program includes:
Your program does not include:
Hotel contact information:
COMO Castello del Nero Hotel & Spa
Strada Spicciano 7,
50028 Barberino Tavarnelle,
Phone: +39 055 806470
Total : 3.320 €