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Explore the colorful city of Valletta

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Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Le Bougainville
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This 8-day cruise aboard Le Bougainville offers an extraordinary opportunity to talk with leading thinkers and actors on the world stage about the current state of Western civilization and its prospects for the future. Meeting with CNN host Fareed Zakaria, former director of the CIA General Michael Hayden, and best-selling author and classicist Daniel Mendelsohn, allowing you to understand modern civilization and its importance. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Valletta | Embark
Day 2 : Catania, Sicily
Day 3 : Taormina, Sicily
Day 4 : Katakolon
Day 5 : Itea | Crossing the Corinth Canal
Day 6 : Nafplion
Day 7 : Hydra
Day 8 : Athens | Disembark

Highlights

  • Learn more about the contemporary world through lectures
  • Experience having meals with Fareed Zakaria, Daniel Mendelsohn and many more
  • Enjoy curated optional excursions to iconic ancient sites
  • Explore the Greek capital city - Athens

Ship

Le Bougainville

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Explore the colorful city of Valletta An abandoned theatre in Taormina, Sicily Explore ruins in Sicily Panoramic views of Hydra's harbor The towering ruins of the Acropolis rise over Athens

Day 1 Valletta | Embark

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. Among the city’s countless monuments, you can visit Saint-John's cathedral, the Grandmasters palace decorated with coats of arms and frescoes, not to mention the ramparts which have guarded the city since the 16th century. Arranged in terraces, the Barrakka Gardens will punctuate your promenade with a green and floral experience.

Day 2 Catania, Sicily

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sicily’s second city Catania is dominated by the majestic silhouette of Mount Etna. Nourishing and devastating at the same time, this giant crowned with smoke rings brought about the destruction of the city at the end of the 17th century. Catania was then rebuilt in the late Baroque style, and the many monuments of this epoch have earned its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The baroque churches of the harmonious Via dei Crociferi perfectly illustrate the riches of this architectural heritage. During your stop, be sure to visit Saint Agatha Cathedral with its apses made of lava stones and its square decorated with a fountain of the Elephant, the animal which allegedly has the power to calm the fury of Mount Etna.

Day 3 Taormina, Sicily

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 is 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 4 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 to the archaeological site of Olympus on the slopes of Mount Kronos.

Day 5 Itea | Crossing the Corinth Canal

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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.

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!

Day 6 Nafplion

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The engaging town of Nafplion is staggered up green hillsides of the Argolic Gulf, to the east of the Peloponnese. Don’t be surprised by its extremely varied cultural heritage. For instance, you’ll see the ancient agora on the plateau of Akronafplia, Italianate arcades in Syntagma square as well as the baroque fortress of Palamidi on a hillside of the same name. At the top of the hill, views of the gulf and the surrounding mountains are simply awesome. If you want to chill out by the water’s edge, walk along the Arvanitia promenade to a beautiful creek in the shade of cedars and cypresses.

Day 7 Hydra

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This unusual gem belonging to the Saronic islands is located to the east of the Peloponnese. There are no cars here. Named after the island, the harbor town is layered up the slopes of a mountainous bay. You may be surprised to see beautiful stone mansions. These are traditional here, as are the multi-colored caïquesalong the quays. Further along the shore, within the walls of the “Monastery of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary” is a museum of Byzantine art. Collections from Athens National History Museum are exhibited in the elegant villa Koundouriotis.

Day 8 Athens | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark after breakfast. Continue your travels on your own or head to the airport for your journey home.

Le Bougainville

Per person starting at
Cabin
Select a Date
Deluxe Stateroom
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² Private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
Cabin
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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
Cabin
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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
Cabin
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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
Cabin
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Deluxe Suite
Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 6m² private balcony
Cabin
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Prestige Suite Deck 5
Area: 38 m² 8m² private balcony King-size bed or twin beds
Cabin
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Prestige Suite Deck 6
Area: 38 m² 8m² private balcony King-size bed or twin beds
Cabin
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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
Cabin
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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
Cabin
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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

Notes

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.
**Quintessential Collection included cruise package​

Cruise fares are per person and include the following:
  • All meals while on board the ship
  • Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner
  • Gratuities to onboard crew, local guides, and drivers
  • Evening entertainment and events
  • 24h room service (special selection)
  • Highly experienced bilingual (French-English) Expedition team.
  • Water sports activities (except scuba diving) using the ship’s equipment, when permitted by local authorities and confirmed by ship Master according to safety and sea conditions onsite
  • Open Bar (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
  • Complimentary boot rental (except for guarantee deposit)
  • Complimentary polar parka for you to keep (no children sizes available)
  • Free and unlimited Wi-Fi (Internet access may be slower or in some situations interrupted, depending on certain geographic locations or other circumstances beyond our control).
Cruise fares do not include:
  • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned in each “Cruise, Flights & Transfers” package and for which details are available upon request
  • Optional pre and post cruise programs, overlands and excursions
  • Visa expenses (which may include additional administrative charges imposed by the authorities of a country) and/or immigration reciprocity taxes, if applicable
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional Spa package to be booked prior to your departure; please ask for more information
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned
  • Laundry services, hair salon, and à la carte Spa treatments
  • Personal expenses, on board medical consultations, and drug prescriptions
  • Cancellation/luggage/assistance/repatriation/medical insurance(s)
  • Dives when authorized by local authorities and feasible with ship equipment and Zodiacs®. Rates: €70 per standard dive; €80 per dive when local equipment or staff must be used, €80 for a “discover scuba dive” course, on some cruises a dive package might be on offer. In order to participate to diving sessions, guests must have with them a medical certificate less than 1-year-old and their up to date dive book.
**Quintessential Collection included cruise package​

Your Quintessential World Affairs Theme

Thursday
You will be met at the airport and transferred to the Grand Hotel Excelsior a premier destination among 5-star Valletta hotels, ideally located on the doorstep of a UNESCO World Heritage Site – the City of Valletta, with all its major attractions, culture, art treasures, and historical architectural gems.
The afternoon is free to rest and enjoy the amenities of the hotel or to explore Valletta on your own. In the evening, gather with fellow travelers for a Welcome Cocktail Reception at the hotel, where our guest experts and our Tour Manager will introduce you to the program ahead.

Friday
The Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, later the Knights of Malta, established a base at Valletta in the 16th century under the auspices of Charles V, and the city owes much of its charm and character to this religious order. After breakfast at the hotel, we explore the National Museum of Archaeology. A short drive takes us to the remarkable Tarxien Temples, which date back to 2800 BCE, and then on to Hagar Qim, an even older temple that stands atop a hill on the southern edge of the island overlooking the sea. Return to Valletta for time at leisure and an independent lunch. In late afternoon, we transfer to the pier to embark Le Bougainville and set sail for Sicily.

Friday
After breakfast aboard, disembark Le Bougainville and transfer to the airport in Athens.

Your Hotel:
Grand Hotel Excelsior is a premier destination among 5-star Valletta hotels, ideally located on the doorstep of a UNESCO World Heritage Site – the City of Valletta, with all its major attractions, culture, art treasures, and historical architectural gems.

Included features:
• All accommodations, meals, and excursion described above
• Transfers and luggage handling from the Malta airport to the hotel and from hotel to the ship on the program dates
• 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 Piraeus to the Athens airport at the end of the cruise on the morning of disembarkation

Not included:
• Meals and beverages other than those specified above
• Optional excursions
• Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, Internet, etc.)

Notes: program is subject to change without notice
Payment & Cancellation Policies
Travel Agents
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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!
Justin Chappelle

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