Visit the magnificent Italian Mediterranean coast by way of the French island of Corsica. Rich in history and in natural wonders, indulge yourself on this luxurious cruise though the sparkling Mediterranean Sea.
Day 1 : Nice, France / Embark Day 2 : Girolata / Scandola - Porto, Corsica - France Day 3 : Bonifacio, Corsica - France Day 4 : Sailing Bonifacio / Santa Amanza, Corsica - France Day 5 : Portoferraio - Elbe, Italy Day 6 : Lerici, Italy Day 7 : Portovenere, Italy Day 8 : Nice, France / Disembark
Arrive in Nice. Board Le Ponant between 5 and 6 PM. Settle in to your cabin and familiarize yourself with the ship and her crew.
Day 2 Girolata / Scandola - 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. Since joining the UNESCO World Heritage list, Girolata is at the center of a vast protected area. The Gulf of Girolata is also among the most beautiful bays in the world.
On an optional excursion, explore the Calanques de Piana aboard a semi-rigid inflatable boat in a small group (maximum 12 people). The "calanches," otherwise known as Les Calanques de Piana, are magnificent red-rock formations. These are without doubt one of the most extraordinary sites in Corsica. This stunningly beautiful part of the coastline stretched several kilometers between Porto and Piana and along the way plunges dramatically into the sea. 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.
Day 3 Bonifacio, Corsica - France
Built on an exceptional site, Bonifacio is Corsica'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.
Join an optional excursion to view this city from the sea and to explore the nearby Lavezzi Island. Board a small motor boat to sail out through the narrow harbor entrance called the Goulet, pass the deep rocky inlets with its clear aquamarine waters and the magical Grotte du Sdragonatu which is entered through a narrow and low passage. Further along reach the Lavezzi archepelago, which is formed by a group of small barren granite islands located 7 miles southeast of Bonifacio. Spend an hour enjoying the beautiful shell sand beaches and azure sea on this island, which is a classified nature reserve. Keep your eyes peeled and camera ready for the island's rare species of wild flowers like the yellow-horned poppy and white sea daffodil.
Day 4 Sailing Bonifacio / Santa Amanza, Corsica - France
Port details pending.
Day 5 Portoferraio - Elbe, Italy
Port details pending.
Day 6 Lerici, Italy
The origins of Lerici date back to the Etruscan period. In the Middle Ages the town came under Genovese control and later became involved in a series of conflicts between Genoa and Pisa. One of the main sights of Lerici is its notorious castle, which controls the entrance of the Gulf of La Spezia. Today the castle contains a museum of paleontology.
Join an optional excursion which starts with a panoramic drive to Sarzana, passing by Montemarcello, to offer beautiful views of pine woods and olive groves. The scenery changes as you descend to Ameglia where the green land of Versilia stretches before you at the foot of the craggy peaks of the Apuan Alps. Cross the river Magra to reach Sarzana. Visit the local cathedral, walk along Garibaldi street where your guide will point you out the beautiful palazzi and churches, admire the Teatro degli Impavidi (Theatre of the Fearless Ones) with its wrought-iron facade, and finally take pictures at the Napoleon Bonaparte family palace.
Day 7 Portovenere, Italy
Portovenere is a town and municipality located on the Ligurian coast of Italy in the province of La Spezia. It comprises the three villages of Fezzano, Le Grazie and Portovenere, and the three islands of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto. In 1997, Portovenere and the villages of Cinque Terre were designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Clinging to the Ligurian cliffs on the west coast of Italy are five castles at nearly the same distance from one another: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. On an optional excursion, see them as the ancient mariners did - from the sea. Marvel as you approach the beautiful coast with villages suspended above the sea, almost defying gravity.
Day 8 Nice, France / Disembark
Following an early breakfast on board, disembark in Nice. Transfer to airport to continue your travels.
Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!