25% 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.
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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*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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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.
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.
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 de Calabre 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.