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An abandoned theatre in Taormina, Sicily

Islands and cities of the Mediterranean

Athens - Valletta - Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Le Bougainville
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Join Le Bougainville on an 8-day cruise between Greece and the majestic Maltese coast, exploring the Islands and cities of the Mediterranean. Leaving Athens and traveling towards Paros. Explore the little island of Hydra before sailing south to the picturesque Monemvasia. The ship calls at Pylos, where you will explore the ruins of the Palace of Nestor, one of the heroes of the Trojan War. Then you will take the sea to discover Taormina, overlooking Etna’s blanket of snow, and your voyage will end in Valletta.
The caryatids of the Erechteion temple overlooking AthensExplore the charming winding streets of the Greek islandsExplore ruins in Taormina within view of volcanic Mount EtnaStop in beautiful MaltaView of VallettaAn abandoned theatre in Taormina, Sicily
Highlights
  • Sail from Greece to Malta via the Sicilian coast
  • Explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the city of Valletta
  • Discovering Hydra, the jewel of the Saronic Islands
  • Visit the island of Kythira, a source of inspiration for many artists
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Athens | Embark

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.

Day 2: Paros

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Famous for its white marble, the island of Paros is located in the Cyclades. Along the quays of Parikia, its main town, you’ll see Byzantine churches and neoclassical buildings. To make the most of the turquoise waters, you can stop over in Naoussa. This little fishing port is bounded by a very beautiful cove.

Day 3: Hydra | Monemvasia

  • 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 caïques along the quays. Further along the shore, you will discover the Historical Archives Museum. Collections from Athens National History Museum are exhibited in the elegant villa Koundouriotis.

The jewel of the southern Peloponnese, Monemvasia is the romantic refuge for Athenians. Given the poetic nickname of the “stone ship”, this majestic peninsula is home to an incredible fortified medieval village, lying at the foot of its abrupt cliffs, which seems to have been cast by the gods from the Aegean Sea. Contemplate the horizon from its ramparts, a veritable walkway defying the azure waters, and stroll through its vaulted narrow streets with their thousand shades of ochre. At the crossroads of western and eastern influences and the maritime routes of the continent, Crete and the Cyclades, Monemvasia has preserved in this magical decor the treasures of Venetian and Byzantine architecture.

Day 4: Kythira

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Kythira, birthplace of Aphrodite according to mythology, has inspired poets and painters. Today, it is a charming port of call at the crossroads of Greece’s three seas: The Ionian, the Aegean and the Sea of Crete. From the deck of your vessel, let your gaze travel over the pine forests of the North of the island, the wild gorges in the South, and the red sandy beaches of Firi Ammos to the East. Villages of dazzling whiteness and unique architecture including Kythira, the capital, as well as the ruins at Milopotamos and Paleohora, are also worthy of a visit.

Day 5: Pylos

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The picturesque port of Pylos is located in the south west of the Peloponnese. Backed against the lush green hills of Messenia, it looks out onto the Navarino Bay. You can admire the gorgeous view as you walk uptown amid pink oleanders that cascade over the jetty. A stone’s throw away, the historical center’s winding streets will plunge you into a maze of houses with whitewashed facades and terracotta roof-tiles. On the attractive main beach, you will be able to relax in the shade of the age-old plane trees and taste the delicious local biscuits made of sesame and honey.

Day 6: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 7: 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 from its past are the ruins of the Greco-Roman theater. This extremely well-preserved site attracts visitors who are fascinated by the natural beauty of the area which overlooks a turquoise bay.

Day 8: Valletta | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
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. You can visit the Grandmasters palace decorated with coats of arms and frescoes. Saint-John’s cathedral and the ramparts which have guarded the city since the 16th century are also among the most emblematic sites of the city. Arranged in terraces, the Barrakka Gardens will punctuate your promenade with a green and floral experience.

Ship/Hotel

Le Bougainville

Le Bougainville Ship
Le Bougainville
Le Bouganville Restaurant

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$4,760
Rates are dynamic and fluctuate based on capacity. Contact us for a specific quote.
Cabin
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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
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
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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

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.
Included
  • 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Port Fees
  • Unlimited Wifi
  • Onboard Entertainment 
  • Captain’s Welcome Cocktail and Gala Dinner
  • Gratuities to Onboard Crew
  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
  • 24h Room Service (special selection)
  • English-Speaking Lecturer 
  • Highly experienced and bilingual (French-English) expedition staff
  • Park Entry Fees into Protected Areas
  • 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. 
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Visa Fees
  • Optional Excursions - Ponant allows you to pre-book your excursions approximately six to two months prior to the cruise* departure. Please note that this is subject to change. Please contact us for more details.
  • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned
  • Luggage Handling 
  • Laundry Services, Hair Salon, and à La Carte Spa Treatments
  • Pre or post cruise programs, overland programs or shore excursions 
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned in inclusions
  • CDP recommends that every Traveler has full and adequate travel insurance covering the risks of cancellation, assistance being required, repatriation, damages to and loss of baggage, and medical expenses

Map

When to Go

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Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
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