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 travellers 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.
The eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea – the Dalmatian Coast – is rich in the culture and art of ancient, medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque worlds and home to some of the most charming and welcoming towns and villages to be found anywhere.
Your voyage begins when you depart Athens, transit the Corinth Canal, and arrive in the small port town of Itea the following morning. You may choose to visit Delphi, home of the oracle of Apollo, whose massive ruins dominate an entire hillside. Or travel to St. Lucas Monastery, which, like Delphi, is a UNESCO World Heritage site—one of the most important monuments of Middle Byzantine art and architecture in the world.
A cruise along the shores of the Ionian Sea brings you to the Albanian port of Sarandë, from which you may travel to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Butrint, whose ruins span 2,500 years and include the remains of a Greek acropolis, Roman theater, and 19th-century fortress.
Be on deck as Le Lyrial sails into the deep, fjord-like Bay of Kotor to reach the port town of the same name, also a UNESCO World Heritage site, located at the head of the bay beneath towering mountains. This delightful town is the pride of Montenegro, and you will have a full day to explore its richly varied history.
Set on a rocky peninsula jutting into the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik, despite a devastating earthquake in 1667 and the ravages of many wars, is one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval cities and a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. Discover Dubrovnik's old city on a guided tour or visit the surrounding countryside before enjoying time at leisure to explore this marvelous city on your own in the evening.
The port of Ploče serves as your gateway to the Bosnian city of Mostar, which under the Ottoman Turks became a thriving administrative and cultural center. Severely damaged in the military conflict of the 1990s, the town was declared a World Heritage site and now showcases what the restoration work of UNESCO can accomplish.
During your time on the island of Hvar, tour the island’s charming principal town. Or you may choose to visit a lavender farm in the countryside and enjoy some of the most beautiful views available along the Croatian coast.
Your journey comes to an end as your ship sails into Venice's famous lagoon.
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Included in your cruise
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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Important trip details
The evolving COVID-19 health formalities are available in real time by clicking here.
Given the particularly changing international sanitary context, this itinerary as well as the land programmes and shore excursions may have to evolve according to port authorisations and governmental regulations in force at the time of your trip.
Therefore, for even greater peace of mind, we strongly recommend that you book your land programmes and flights before and after your cruise with PONANT.
Health formalities related to COVID-19 will be confirmed to you before your departure.
In this exceptional context, your safety remains our first priority. The effectiveness of our procedures, our cutting-edge medical equipment and the smaller scale of our ships means we can offer maximum safety so that you can relax and enjoy your cruise. The revised passenger circuit and our enhanced hygiene measures can be found on this page: https://en.ponant.com/sail-with-confidence.
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.
Depending on the itinerary and the program of your cruise, 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 programme 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 17/09/2023 from 16:00 to 17:00
Departure 17/09/2023 at 18:00
The Greek capital city is located on the edge of the Saronic gulf, in the east of the country. It bears a plural name in reference to the first villages that surround the Acropolis. You will be enchanted by the rocky plateau presided by its monuments listed as UNESCO World Heritage. In the city below, you can visit some of the liveliest districts in Athens: Plaka, with its maze of colourful streets, and where, in the evenings the drifting aroma of moussaka and garlic prawns will tickle your taste buds. The National Archaeological museum and the Cycladic Art Museum are also some of the city’s key attractions and allow visitors to discover Athens’ cultural past.
Arrival 17/09/2023 evening
Departure 17/09/2023 late evening
The Corinth Canal cuts through the Isthmus of Corinth, turning the Peloponnese into an island as it separates the region from the Greek mainland. Inaugurated in 1893, the canal is a little over six kilometres long and enables merchant vessels and passenger to avoid a long 400-km detour around the peninsula. The two sides of the canal reach a height of approximately fifty metres. From the exterior decks, don’t miss this unique opportunity to watch the ship as it navigates along the narrow strip of water encased between tall, ochre cliffs. What an experience!
Arrival 18/09/2023 early morning
Departure 18/09/2023 early afternoon
Tucked away in the Gulf of Corinth, this little port is situated in continental Greece, north-west of Athens. Take an easy stroll along the old cobblestone quays, while gazing at the summits encircling the Bay of Itea. We wouldn’t be surprised if you are tempted by a visit to the Delphi Sanctuary. The sanctuary is located on a plateau on the slope of Mount Parnassus, just ten kilometres from Itea. A listed UNESCO World Heritage site, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience whose ancient ruins are surrounded by steep mountains.
Arrival 19/09/2023 early morning
Departure 19/09/2023 mid afternoon
An historical harbour town on the south-west coast of Albania, Saranda is built on a lush green spur. Its streets lined with palms and maritime pines border the beaches of the Ionian sea at the mouth of Corfu Strait. This very ancient town has archaeological ruins dating from Antiquity, which you can visit as you walk along the waterfront.
Arrival 20/09/2023 early morning
Departure 20/09/2023 late afternoon
Situated in one of Montenegro’s most beautiful bays, the medieval city of Kotor is a small town full of charm, truly imbued with the traditions and stories of another time. Built between the 12th and 14th centuries, this village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has preserved many historical monuments from this epoch. During your stop, be sure to admire the impressive castle that dominates the town, and let yourself fall under the charm of its maze of small streets and intimate squares on which folk festivals featuring magnificent colourful costumes are often organised.
Arrival 21/09/2023 late afternoon
Departure 21/09/2023 late evening
Emblem of the Dalmatian coast, Dubrovnik is magnificently positioned on a rocky spur. History is sovereign here, in this ancient city, now a listed UNESCO World Heritage site. You will perhaps be surprised by the proportions of La Placa, the central drag through the city. The sheer width of it can be explained by the fact that it straddles a former lagoon. The elegant houses along La Placa are built in the legendary travertine stone. At Pile gate, you will be greeted by the statue of the patron saint of Dubrovnik, and you can admire the coastline as you walk along the ramparts. But what’s inside Fort Saint John, adjoining the outer walls? A maritime museum and an aquarium featuring rare fish from the Adriatic.
Arrival 22/09/2023 early morning
Departure 22/09/2023 late evening
Ploče is a port that shares with nearby Makarska a reputation for great beaches, upscale seafront promenades, and a vibrant nightlife. Ploče's Rupe Ethnographic Museum and Markaska's intriguing Shell Museum are both worth a visit. Ploče also serves as a gateway to the Bosnian city of Mostar, which under the Ottoman Turks became a thriving administrative and cultural center. Severely damaged in the military conflict of the 1990s, the town was declared a World Heritage site and now showcases the graceful Stari Most (“Old Bridge”), originally built in 1566, and the early 17th-century Turkish Tabacica Mosque, both carefully restored with help from UNESCO.
Arrival 23/09/2023 early morning
Departure 23/09/2023 midday
Off the coast of Split, Hvar will surprise you by its traditions that have not changed since Antiquity. The country’s oldest town, Stari Grad, is here on this Dalmatian Island. The town nestles by a cove on the north-west coast, surrounded by dry stone wall structures on the Stari Grad plains. These have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site because they were built in the time of the Ancient Greeks. From these parcels of land come wines and olive oil manufactured manually. In the upper part of town, it is possible to discover hams and cheeses made by local producers.
Arrival 24/09/2023 early morning
Disembarkation 24/09/2023 at 08:30
Proud and eternal, Venice has reigned on its lagoon ever since the 6th century. You may think you know this city before even setting foot here. You will inevitably fall in love with the charm of the innumerable treasures of the Serenissima: Saint Mark’s square, the basilica, Doges palace, the Grand Canal and the gondolas. Yet, secret Venice is also waiting for you to explore its little interlacing streets and canals, to ramble through its squares and to push open the doors of its churches. The city’s extraordinary heritage shouldn’t stop you from enjoying a glass of Spritz and a few tramezzini.
PONANT and Smithsonian Journeys have organised the following included programme 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.
No single supplement
FREE SINGLE SUPPLEMENT *
*The supplement for single usage of a double cabin is waived, according to availability and staterooms categories.
Athens is the birthplace of democracy and philosophy and home to the most enduring symbol of classical civilisation—the Parthenon. Join this specially designed programme to explore the incomparably rich legacy of this amazing city.
Day 1 – Athens, Greece
Arrive at Athens International Airport, where you will be met and transferred to the Hotel Grande Bretagne. A local representative will be present at the hospitality desk in the afternoon to welcome you and to offer suggestions for dining and independent exploration. Join fellow travellers this evening for a welcome cocktail reception. Dinner is on your own.
Day 2 – Athens | Embark
After breakfast at the hotel, your first visit will be at the New Acropolis Museum, opened to the public in 2009 and designed to house and showcase all of the artifacts found on the Acropolis since archaeological work at the site began. The result is the exhibition of some 4,000 objects dating from the Greek Bronze Age through the Roman and Byzantine periods. Your tour of the Acropolis itself includes the Propylaea, which serves as the entrance to the complex, the Temple of Athena Nike, or Wingless Victory, and the Erechtheum with its classical Porch of Maidens. And of course, there is the Parthenon, the most perfect example of classical architecture in the world, designed as a shrine to Athena and at one time housing a massive gold and ivory statue of the warrior goddess. At the end of this tour, enjoy time at leisure to stroll the pedestrian walkways of the Plaka, the ancient neighborhood at the base of the Acropolis, where you will find a variety of shops and cafés where you can browse and have an independent lunch before boarding your coach for the transfer to the pier to embark your ship.
Located in historic Syntagma Square, the 5-star Hotel Grande Bretagne is the perfect venue for a visit to Athens. Within walking distance of exclusive shopping areas, museums, and the business district, the hotel boasts 320 rooms and suites, two restaurants, and a spa. Its views of the city centre, from the Parliament building to the Parthenon, are unrivaled.
Your programme includes:
Your programme does not include:
Hotel contact information:
1 Vasileos Georgiou A' str.
Athens 105 64
Telephone: +30 210 333 0000
Total : 550 €
At the height of its imperial power, Venice justly referred to itself as La Serenissima, the most serene republic. Today, Venice still lays claim to the title, as the city basks in the enduring splendor of its history.
Day 1 – Venice, Italy
Disembark after breakfast and join your knowledgeable guide for an exploration of two of Venice's most emblematic crafts: fashioning the masks worn during the Venetian Carnival and manufacturing the gondolas for which the city is famous.
Your first visit is to the studio of an expert mask-maker, who will introduce you to the mysterious origins of the use of masks in Venice and their association with Carnival from the 13th century onward. You will learn how the masks are designed and produced and will see some of the splendid variety of their decoration.
A walk through some lesser-known neighborhoods of the city will bring you to one of the few remaining squeri—the workshops where gondolas are built and maintained. In the past, these boatyards were located all along the Grand Canal, attesting to the importance of gondolas in the life of the city. A local artisan will describe the traditional methods of designing a boat to meet the individual needs of each gondolier and will explain the history of this uniquely Venetian method of transport.
After your visit to the boatyard, follow your guide on a leisurely walk across the Ponte dell'Accademia and through the center of the city to The Splendid Venice hotel, your home for the next two nights. Official check in begins at 3:00 p.m. Lunch and dinner are independent and at your leisure.
Day 2 – Venice
After breakfast at the hotel, a walking tour explores nearby St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge’s Palace.
The Basilica, originally a private chapel, became the focus of the religious life of the city in 829, when the remains of St. Mark were brought from Alexandria and interred here. The interior is covered with 14,000 square feet of gold mosaics, mostly from the 12th and 13th centuries. Of particular note is the altarpiece known as Pala d'Oro, universally considered the most refined expression of Byzantine sensibility in the world.
A masterpiece of Gothic architecture, the Doge’s Palace is an impressive structure comprising layers of construction and ornamentation, from its 14th and 15th century original foundations to its Renaissance and Mannerist additions. It was the working center of Venetian government when Venice dominated the entire eastern half of the Mediterranean, and the grandeur of its chambers befits its role.
When your tour concludes, the remainder of the day is at leisure for you to explore Venice on your own. Lunch and dinner are at your leisure.
Day 3 – Venice | Home
Following breakfast and official check out by 10:00 a.m., transfer to the airport for your return flight home.
The Splendid Venice is a 5-star property in the center of the city, near St. Mark's Square and the Doge's Palace. It features 165 rooms, a restaurant, two lounge bars, 24-hour room service, marvelous views of the surrounding area, and all of the services you would expect from a luxury hotel in a major European city.
Your program includes:
Your program does not include:
Hotel contact information:
The Splendid Venice
S. Marco Mercerie, 760
Telephone: +39 041 5200755
Total : 960 €