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Wander through the preserved structures of Dubrovnik

Cruising the Dalmatian Coast and the Ionian Sea: Venice to Athens – with Smithsonian Journeys

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Le Jacques Cartier
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Set sail on a stunning voyage to experience the best of the Dalmatian Coast and the Ionian Sea. Board Le Jacques Cartier in Venice, Italy. Explore this sublime city, wandering its canals and bridges, before cruising toward the Croatian coast. Here you'll wander the cobblestone streets of Rovinj, sample the local cuisine in Hvar, and admire the incredible architecture and scenery of Dubrovnik. Stroll through the Medieval streets of Kotor, Montenegro before sailing toward the islands of Greece. Learn about the unique mix of Greek, Byzantine, and Venetian architecture in Corfu, tour ancient temples in Itea, and cross the historic Corinth Canal. Your journey concludes in Athens, the heart of the ancient Classical world, today a vibrant modern city that embraces its rich cultural history. 
Enjoy a gondola ride through beautiful VeniceCape Drastis at Corfu island in GreeceTurquoise sea of Hvar islandView of Hvar harborLandscape of old Perast, Kotor bayRelax on the beaches of the Greek MediterraneanThe caryatids of the Erechteion temple overlooking AthensWander through the preserved structures of Dubrovnik
Highlights
  • Cruise between the Adriatic, the Ionian, and the Aegean Seas
  • Discover Mediterranean highlights in Italy, Croatia, Montenegro and Greece
  • Explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites that preserve ruins of the ancient world
  • Sail through the Panorama of the Croatian islands: Rovinj and Hvar
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Venice, Italy | Embark

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.

Day 2: Rovinj, Croatia

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Rovinj is located in Istria, a region bordering Slovenia. This becomes apparent as you walk through its old cobblestoned town. There are many monuments of Venetian influence here. If you study the Balbi arch, you will see the winged lion, symbol of Venice. The bell-tower erected beside Saint Euphemia Cathedral was designed like the bell of St. Marc in Venice. From the top of the tower, you can scan the entire historical district. To absorb its quaint atmosphere, take a walk in the ochre and sepia-colored streets leading to bustling squares and terraces shaded by canvas awnings.

Day 3: Hvar, Croatia

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Off the coast of Split, Hvar will surprise you by its traditions that haven’t 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. 

Day 4: Dubrovnik, Croatia

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

Day 5: Kotor, Montenegro

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 colorful costumes are often organized.

Day 6: Corfu, Greece

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Named after the island, Corfu is the most famous city in the Ionian islands. Protected by citadel fortifications, its old city, designated UNESCO World Heritage, displays unusual Greco-Byzantine and Venetian architecture. Above the water stands Saint George’s church, looking uncannily like a classical temple. The picturesque Pontikonisi, a stone’s throw from the southern point of the town, is the legendary island where Odysseus landed.

Day 7: Itea, Greece | 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 whose ancient ruins are surrounded by steep mountains.

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 8: Athens, Greece | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
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. 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.

Disembark after breakfast and continue on your independent travels or begin your journey home. 

Ship/Hotel

Le Jacques Cartier

Swimming pool
Relax aboard
Bar

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$4,470
Cabin
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Deluxe Stateroom
19 m² area featuring a 4m² Private balcony, individually-controlled air-conditioning, King-size bed or twin beds, Shower
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Prestige Deck 4
19 m² area featuring a 4m² Private balcony, individually-controlled air-conditioning, King-size bed or twin beds, Shower
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Prestige Deck 5
19 m² area featuring a 4m² Private balcony, individually-controlled air-conditioning, King-size bed or twin beds, Shower
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Prestige Deck 6
19 m² area featuring a 4m² Private balcony, individually-controlled air-conditioning, King-size bed or twin beds, Shower
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Deluxe Suite Deck 3
27 m² area featuring, 6m² private balcony, individually-controlled air-conditioning, King-size bed or twin beds, 1 sofa, shower
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Deluxe Suite Deck 4
27 m² area featuring, 6m² private balcony, individually-controlled air-conditioning, King-size bed or twin beds, 1 sofa, shower
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Deluxe Suite Deck 5
27 m² area featuring, 6m² private balcony, individually-controlled air-conditioning, King-size bed or twin beds, 1 sofa, shower
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Deluxe Suite Deck 6
27 m² area featuring, 6m² private balcony, individually-controlled air-conditioning, King-size bed or twin beds, 1 sofa, shower
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Prestige Deck 5 Suite
38 m² area featuring an 8m² Private balcony, individually-controlled air-conditioning, King-size bed or twin beds, Shower
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Prestige Suite Deck 6
38 m² area featuring an 8m² Private balcony, individually-controlled air-conditioning, King-size bed or twin beds, Shower
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Privilege Suite Deck 6
32 m² area featuring an 8m² Private balcony, individually-controlled air-conditioning, King-size bed or twin beds, Shower
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Privilege Suite Deck 5
32 m² area featuring an 8m² Private balcony, individually-controlled air-conditioning, King-size bed or twin beds, Shower
Cabin
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Grand Deluxe Suite Deck 6
45 m² area featuring, 40m² private balcony, individually-controlled air-conditioning, King-size bed or twin beds, Bathtub
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Owner's Suite
45 m² area featuring an 30m² Private balcony, individually-controlled air-conditioning, King-size bed or twin beds, Shower

Notes

Included Features:
  • Transfer and luggage handling from the airport in Venice to the ship on the day of embarkation
  • Comprehensive 7-night cruise aboard the deluxe Le Jacques-Cartier, with all the amenities for which PONANT ships are famous
  • One included shore excursion in each port of call 
  • Transfer from the ship to the airport in Athens at the end of the cruise on the morning of disembarkation
 
Not included:
  • Independent meals and beverages ashore
  • Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, etc.)
 
Notes:
  • This voyage is offered on a space available basis
  • Program is subject to change without notice

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