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The ancient library at Ephesus

A Musical Odyssey in the Mediterranean

Example 9 Day Cruise aboard Le Bougainville
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An experience that combines some of the loveliest destinations in the Mediterranean with a series of private recitals by classical musicians: that is what is offered on this voyage from Athens to Rome. From Classical Greece to Imperial Rome, you have the opportunity to discover important sites everywhere along your way – sacred Patmos, where John the Evangelist recorded his visions of the apocalypse; the Apollo’s Oracle at Delphi, where men came to learn their fate; Olympia’s Sanctuary of Zeus, home to the Panhellenic Games; the Greek theater in Taormina overlooking Mount Etna; Pompeii, the Roman resort and spa both destroyed and preserved by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A.D. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Athens
Day 2 : Athens | Embark
Day 3 : Patmos
Day 4 : Kamares, Sifnos
Day 5 : Crossing Corinth Canal
Day 6 : Katakolon
Day 7 : Taormina, Sicily
Day 8 : Naples
Day 9 : Civitavecchia, Roma | Disembark


  • Enjoy a series of exclusively-designed, private concerts aboard the ship
  • Explore Athens’ Acropolis during a pre-cruise sightseeing tour.
  • Enjoy a private concert in the Duomo, Cathedral of Taormina
  • Experience optional excursions to iconic sites in the Mediterranean


Le Bougainville

Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

The ancient library at Ephesus The towering ruins of the Acropolis rise over Athens The Church of Seven Martyrs, Sifnos An abandoned theatre in Taormina, Sicily Naples at Sunset, Italy

Day 1 Athens

You will be met at the airport and transferred to your 5-star hotel (Grand Bretagne, Royal Olympic, or similar) located in central Athens.
The afternoon is free to rest or to explore Athens on your own. In the evening, gather with fellow travelers for a Welcome Cocktail Reception, where Michael Parloff, the musicians, and your Tour Manager will introduce the program ahead.

Day 2 Athens | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today begins with included breakfast at the hotel. After check out, join an excursion to the Acropolis, where you'll explore the stunning architectural marvel of the Parthenon, built in the 5th-century b.c. as a temple to the city’s protector, the goddess Athena. Tour the Acropolis Museum, an award-winning collection of artifacts from excavations of the Acropolis, housed in a modern state-of-the-art building specially designed for the purpose. In the afternoon, transfer to the pier in Piraeus to embark Le Bougainville.

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 colorful streets, and where, in the evenings the drifting aroma of moussaka and garlic prawns will tickle your taste buds. Don’t miss anything of the city’s cultural past. Pay a visit to the National Archaeological Museum, or the Cycladic Art Museum.

Day 3 Patmos

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Patmos is one of the legendary must-see islands in the Dodecanese. This is where Saint John resided, presumed author of the last book of the Bible. The cave of the Apocalypse and the Saint-John-the-Theologian Monastery are dedicated to him. These sites, which are listed by UNESCO as World Heritage, are located at the top of a hillside planted with vines and orchards. On the shore, the crystalline coves of Kambos and Lampi offer absolutely gorgeous swimming areas. You’ll be drawn to the bustle in Skala harbor and its taverns, famous for their fish soup and tiropita, which is a type of pasty filled with fresh Patmos cheese.

Day 4 Kamares, Sifnos

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Nestling in the Cyclades, the harmonious and much less crowded island of Sifnos is home to many treasures. Exploited since antiquity for its gold and silver mines, this little-known pearl boasts gentle landscapes and is a botanical paradise. The rich endemic flora can be admired along the island’s mountain paths that have been trodden for thousands of years. From the main port of Kamares, set off to discover the nearby sandy beach which runs along a lagoon and whose dunes are covered in sea daffodils. The picturesque fortified village of Kastro is another of the island’s wonders. Sitting on a hill overlooking the Aegean Sea, this spot, where people have lived since prehistoric times, is very much an open-air museum.

Day 5 Crossing Corinth Canal

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 kilometers 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 meters. 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!

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 kilometers from Itea. A listed UNESCO World Heritage site, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The ancient ruins are surrounded by steep mountains, and their Archaeological Museum is chock-full of cultural delights.

Day 6 Katakolon

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This picturesque village stretches along the Ionian sea in the west of the Peloponnese. Its main harbor offers a vast panorama of the coastline’s wooded hillsides. Dazzling white, the church of Saint-Nicolas houses a selection of sumptuous icons to feast your eyes on. You can also pay a visit the archaeological site of Olympus on the slopes of Mount Kronos.

Day 7 Taormina, Sicily

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Your call in Taormina begins with a tour of the Greek theater – offering dramatic views of Mt. Etna and of the Bay of Naxos – and time to amble among Taormina’s quaint streets and gardens. The highlight of your visit, however, will be a private concert at Taormina’s medieval Cathedral, featuring a selection of Sicilianos from composers including Bach and Fauré.

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 center, suspended 300 meters above sea level, where terraces offer a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea. Another vestige of 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.

Day 8 Naples

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 rumor in a sleepless city. This is a head-spinning city to visit and savor: don’t forget to eat a slice of pizza Margherita.

Day 9 Civitavecchia, Roma | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
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 kilometers from Rome, the town is a beautiful first step to the Italian capital.

Le Bougainville


Per person starting at
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Deluxe Stateroom
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² Private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 4
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 5
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Deluxe Suite
Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 6m² private balcony
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Prestige Suite Deck 5
Area: 38 m² 8m² private balcony King-size bed or twin beds
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Prestige Suite Deck 6
Area: 38 m² 8m² private balcony King-size bed or twin beds
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Privilege Suite
Area: 32 m² Capacity: up to 4 passengers per cabin 8m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Grand Deluxe Suite
Area: 45 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 30m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Owner's Suite
Area: 45 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 30m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds


Please note:
Fares are based on double occupancy and are capacity controlled. Rates may increase at any time as the ship sells out and are subject to change without notice.

*Rates are capacity controlled and are subject to change without notice.

Included features:
  • All accommodations, meals, and excursion described above
  • Transfers and luggage handling from the Athens airport to the hotel and from hotel to the ship
  • Gratuities to guides and drivers on included excursions
  • Comprehensive 7-night cruise aboard the deluxe Le Bougainville with all the amenities for which Ponant ships are famous.
  • Transfer from the ship to airport in Rome at the end of the cruise.
Not included:
  • Meals and beverages other than those specified above
  • Optional excursions
  • Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, Internet, etc.)
This voyage is offered on a space-available basis. 
The program is subject to change without notice.
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