Valletta, Malta / EmbarkArrive in Valletta. Board Le Ponant between 5 and 6 PM. Settle into your cabin and familiarize yourself with the ship and her crew.
Gozo is a small island of the Maltese archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. The island is part of the Southern European country of Malta and is the second-largest island in the archipelago. Compared to its southeastern neighbor, Gozo is more rural and known for its scenic hills, which are featured on its coat of arms. For such a small island, Gozo has a high concentration of churches (46 in all). The Xewkija church has a capacity of 3000, enough for the entire population of the village; its dome is larger than that of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. The church bells are rung daily for the canonical hours Matins, Lauds, Terce, Sext, None and vespers.
On an optional excursion, tour this unique and historical island. Visit the village of Gharb where you can sample typical Maltese fare and sip locally-grown wines in a tranquil idyllic location looking out to the hills and the sea.
Trapani - Sicily, ItalyFrom the pier embark your coach for Erice, a delightful medieval village that dominates the city of Trapani and offers panoramic views of the sea. Feel a Norman influence in the village's towers and fortifications. After the visit and the walking tour of the center, enjoy some free time for shopping.
Villasimium - Sardinia, ItalyPort details pending.
Bonifacio - Corsica, France
"A pink pebble on the Mediterranean" is how Saint-Exupery described the beautiful island of Corsica and its astonishing variety of landscapes. From the mountain villages to the quintessential Mediterranean character of the ports, from the rocky promontories and coves to sandy beaches, Corsica’s unspoiled nature holds many surprises. Built on an exceptional site, Bonifacio is the island’s southern-most town. Walled in by fortifications, the old town is perched on a high limestone promontory sculpted by the wind and waves. It is separated from the shore by a ria, a long narrow inlet of 1,500 meters that ends at a delightful marina.
Board a local boat for an unforgettable trip along the extraordinary coastline of Bonifacio. On your optional excursion, take in the upper town buildings which overhang magnificent chalky cliffs to create the appearance that they are about to topple into the sea.
Girolata and Porto - Corsica, France
Girolata is located in a bay bordered in the South by the Monte Seninu, and in the North by Cap Sailor. This small village has the distinction of being accessible only by foot or boat and has no more than 15 year-round residents. Listed among UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, Girolata is at the center of a large protected area. The Gulf of Girolata is also part of the exclusive list of the most beautiful bays in the world.
The "calanches," otherwise known as Les Calanques de Piana, are extraordinary red rock foprmations and are without doubt one of the most extraordinary sites in Corsica. This stunningly beautiful part of the coastline plunges into the sea over several kilometers between Porto and Piana. A masterpiece combining all the elements of rain, sea, wind and sun, the cliffs and rocky inlets of the area offer a strange encounter between nature, sculpture and the imagination.
Take advantage of an optional excursion to explore the Calanques de Piana aboard a semi-rigid inflatable boat in a small. A half-hour stop for a dip in the natural pool at Capo Rosso is also on the program.
Huddled in the background of a remarkable bay, Porto is one of the best hidden resorts of Corsica and the most frequented of the island.
Porquerolles, FrancePort details pending.
Nice, FranceFollowing an early breakfast on board, disembark in Nice. Transfer to airport to continue your travels.